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Types of Abrasives and Abrasive Materials

3/5/2012 12:56:28 PM | by Anonymous


When we hear of abrasives, the first thing that comes to our mind is a material used in polishing surfaces. However, it is not only used to smooth edges but also involved in roughening surface layer as in satin, matte or beaded finish. When two objects are rubbing, the object that causes the other object to be worn out is the abrasive. During the early times, stones were used to sharpen their weapon. Today, abrasives are used in the form of sandpapers, grinding wheels, honing stones, sandblasting, polishing, ball mills, tumbling, and other tools and products.

There are two types of abrasives: Natural and Manufactured. Important natural abrasives, such as emery, corundum and diamond, are used only in special types of grinding wheels and honing stones. Manufactured or also called Synthetic Abrasives are now considered superior if not as effective as natural abrasives. The materials of the latter are aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, boron carbide and titanium carbide. Aluminum oxide is used mostly for grinding carbide tools and non-ferrous metals. About 40 percent in a grinding wheel is comprised of abrasive.

Abrasives can either be bonded or coated. Bonded abrasive is attached to a matrix. This matrix is called a binder. It is often clay, a rubber, a resin or a glass. Blocks, sticks or wheel are usually what shaped when binder and abrasive are mixed. On the other hand, coated abrasives are fixed to a backing material such as cloth, paper, resin, rubber, polyester or even metal. One common example of an abrasive is sandpaper. The abrasives on sandpaper are coated on paper that can be held by the hand. The person can control the smoothing strength of the sandpaper by adjusting the pressure and speed of the hand movement.

Abrasives are important since all industries require it. We would not be able to polish a perfectly designed furniture or create complex buildings without their use.

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