Southwestern Industrial Fasteners
924 Tony Lama | El Paso, TX 79915 | (915) 592-5859
What is a Coated Abrasive?
A coated abrasive is a product that consists of a thin layer of abrasive grain attached to a substrate such as paper, cloth, etc. Coated abrasives come in a variety of forms such as sheets, discs, rolls, specialties, or belts.
Components of Coated Abrasives
Coated abrasives are manufactured using abrasive grains; the most common are aluminum oxide, zirconium, ceramic, silicon carbide and garnet. The crude grains are crushed and separated into sizes, called grit sizes, using calibrated screens. Grits range from 12 (very coarse) to 1200 (very fine). Once the grains are separated into sizes, they are attached to a backing material using various bond techniques. Below are descriptions of the most common abrasive grains:
A high performance, man-made abrasive material. Very uniform, high density grain structure is extremely durable and self sharpening for longer life and cooler cut. Excels on tough to grind materials.
A tough, blocky shaped, man-made grain used for high speed grinding and finishing of metals, wood, and other high tensile strength materials without excessive fracturing or shedding. Wherever the ability to resist fracturing is the main consideration, aluminum oxide will outperform all other coated abrasive grains.
A very fine, dense, man-made crystalline grain which can be used for aggressive stock removal. Zirconium is a very dense material with a unique self-sharpening characteristic which gives it long life on heavy stock removal operations.
A very hard, very sharp, man-made abrasive suited for non-ferrous materials and non-metallic materials such as concrete, marble and glass. A very friable grain, silicon carbide cuts faster under light pressure than any other grain used in coated abrasives.
Garnet is made of natural aluminum oxide which is a relatively sharp, but very weak bonding structure. Very inconsistent when compared to synthetics. It is used primarily in woodworking as garnet dulls too quickly to be used in metalworking.