Group 38 - Ryobi Angle Grinder
Our project was to reverse engineer a Ryobi Angle Grinder. The objective of the project was to understand why and how the components were manufactured, designed, and assembled. During the disassembly and reassembly, we learned how an electric motor works, how power is converted to perform work, and how that work is translated through gears and shafts to provide the product with its purpose. The grinder is used to grind, sand, buff, and cut assorted materials. It is useful on metal especially. However, it can be used on wood, plastics, and concrete. The angle grinder is an important tool in construction, automotive repair, metalworking, and rescue. Angle grinders are very simple power tools and are used in both commercial and private projects.
The grinder has many features, including a removable handle, rotating guard, a wheel-changing wrench, and a lock-on switch. The handle screws into either side for easy use by left-handed and right-handed users. The guard serves as protection from sparks and shrapnel. The guard can be removed for easier access to smaller areas. The grinder can be fitted with several different kinds of disks, including diamond-edged wheels, abrasive disks, buffing and sanding pads. To switch the wheel, the grinder comes with a convenient wrench built into the handle. Though users may never switch the kinds of wheels they use, wheels wear down and the wrench is commonly used to replace with a fresh wheel. There is a lock-on switch for ease and comfort during long period use.
Although the angle grinder is a very handy tool, our group had several recommendations for improvements that Ryobi could have made. Some of our recommendations at the product level included a light, a cordless option, and a relocation of the trigger for more comfortable use.
- John Sisti - Introduction; After Disassembly; Assembly
- Jennifer Blersch - Executive Summary; After Assembly; General Editing
- Alex Poniatowski - Disassembly; After Disassembly; CAD Drawings
- Thomas Ryan - Disassembly; After Disassembly; Assembly; Presentation
- David Welch - Assembly; After Assembly
- Brian Literman - Pre-disassembly; Assembly; PowerPoint; Presentation; Executive Summary
The Ryobi Angle Grinder, Model Number AG402, comes packaged with the grinder, a side handle, a wrench for changing the grinding wheel, directions and safety precautions, and a grinding wheel. Our grinding wheel was removed for safety. The standard grinding wheel measures 4-1/2". The angle grinder weighs four pounds. The grinder has a 10 foot long cord which sends 120V AC from an outlet to power the motor. The motor operates at 60 Hz and 4.4 Amps. The motor and wheel spin at the same rate, up to 11,000 RPM. The arbor threads that hold the grinding wheel on are 5/8" x 11" UNC.
The purpose of the angle grinder is to grind down, cut, sand, polish, and buff. It works on a range of materials, including plastics, concrete, and wood, but mostly metal. The grinding wheel tends to clog with material when used with plastics or rubbers because the heat created can melt the object. The grinder takes electrical energy and transfers it to mechanical energy via an electric motor. It is an AC motor, as the specification sheet showed, so there should be no conversion between AC and DC. The power from the cord, when activated by the switch, goes to the electric motor, polarizing the stator and the rotor. The poles of the stator resist the poles of the rotor, enabling a constant spin. This motion is then translated through gears and eventually through to the grinding wheel. To keep the angle grinder from spinning out of control when it is turned on and contacted with a material, mechanical energy from the operator's hands needs to be applied to the system for steady, accurate use. One or two hands can be used with the assistance of the side handle..
The brand new angle grinder worked as expected. The arbor spins as it should, most likely at 11000 RPM. It was louder than an electric motor should be. This high volume was the first improvement to the grinder that we noted. Any noise made by a process, such as changing an electric current into mechanical energy via an electric motor, is a loss of energy. By reducing the noise of the motor and gears, the grinder could be more powerful while using the same amount of electricity. Also, lowering the volume would greatly reduce the strain on the user's ears.
Initially, the group guessed that there would be around 100 parts and nearly 15 different materials used.