What Are Types of Abrasives?

A universal tool for numerous industries, abrasives are a type of material often used on another object to shape or produce a fine finish or outcome as desired. To get your material down a specific size, cut, or surface texture, abrasives can be procured in the form of natural abrasives, synthetic abrasives, bonded abrasives, and coated abrasives. With the aid of these tools, abrasives can serve uses such as polishing, texturizing, cutting, sanding, buffing, honing, sharpening, lapping, and more. As a result, abrasives are a necessary piece of equipment for a wide range of applications. Below, to get a better understanding on which abrasives can be best applied to your applications, we will go over the various types of abrasives, their common functions, and how they can be used.

Cut Off Wheels

Cut off wheels, also known as parting or self-sharpening wheels, are primarily used for hard materials such as stone, concrete, metal, and more. Reliable and long-lasting, this specific abrasive is known for its fairly long lifespan, speed, and easy maneuverability for parts being cut. Within a setting, you can see these tools being used for general and industrial applications, metal fabrication, maintenance, repairs, and various other uses. Regarding this type of abrasive, cut off wheels with reinforced depressed centers are the standard, but they can still be found as mounted points and sand-paper sheet types.

Grinding Wheels

Grinding wheels, as their name states, appear in the form of a wheel composed of an abrasive substance. This tool can be used for various purposes ranging from grinding to abrasive cutting, and abrasive machining applications.

Sand Discs

Sanding discs, or fiber discs, are a convenient tool for removing light defects, corrosion, paint, and rust from materials like metal, wood, and certain plastic surfaces. Also commonly used for removing welds, marks on wood, and rounding edges, the materials composing sand discs are often made out of vulcanized fibers. Coated with resin and an abrasive grain, these components can often be seen used with an angle grinder.

Fiber Discs

Unlike sand discs, fiber discs can often be found in two types: polishing pads and flap discs. Of the two types, polishing pads primarily function to remove light scratches and dents from an object, often a vehicle. Coming in various finishes, shapes, styles, and sizes, these materials are to be used in tandem with a polishing compound. Comparably, flap discs are utilized for metal finishing, welding, machining, industrial, and food production applications. Dissimilar to polishing pads in their function and structure, flap discs are constructed out of several overlapping flaps of abrasives bonded to a central disk, or hub. With flaps commonly made from polyester or polycotton, it is imperative that the user considers flap disk shape, flap density & grit size, and backing plate material before choosing an appropriate abrasive material.


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April 22, 2021
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