How to Perform a Ring Test on a Grinding Wheel

One method of grinding wheel inspection is called ring testing. OSHA, ANSI and the grinding wheel manufacturers require this method of grinding wheel inspection. It must be performed BEFORE the wheel is mounted on a grinding machine. Ring testing depends on the damping characteristics of a cracked wheel to alter the sound emitted when the wheel is tapped lightly. It is subject to interpretation by the inspector and is primarily applicable to vitrified bonded wheels. To perform the ring test, wheels should be tapped gently with a light nonmetallic implement, such as the handle of a screw driver for light wheels, or a wooden mallet for heavier wheels.

  • Tap wheels about 45 degrees each side of the vertical line and about 1" or 2" from the periphery. Rotate the wheel 45 degrees and repeat the test.
  • Large and thick wheels may be given the ring test by striking the wheel on the periphery rather than the side of the wheel.
  • A sound and undamaged wheel will give a clear tone. If cracked, there will be a dead sound and not a clear ring and the wheel shall not be used.
  • Wheels must be dry and free of sawdust when applying the ring test, otherwise the sound may be deadened. The ring test is not applicable to certain wheels because of their size, shape or composition.

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For additional information on this topic or any other grinding wheel safety information, please review ANSI (ANSI B7.1), OSHA and literature provided by the grinding wheel and machine manufacturer. You may also contact the Saint-Gobain Product Safety Department at Tel. (508) 795-2690 or Fax. (508) 795-5120 for additional product safety information.