Abrasive is a tool used for shaping or giving a fine finish to the workpiece by rubbing. By doing this, the friction wears away some part of workpiece. It can also do the detailing of a workpiece, i.e. polishing to get a silky, smooth and shiny surface. Users can obtain various types of finishes like satin, matte or beaded finishes.
In short, the abrasive is a form of ceramic used for cutting, grinding and polishing other softer materials. It is commonly used in industrial, domestic and technological applications. Along with cutting and grinding, users can perform buffing, honing, drilling, sharpening, lapping and sanding using these abrasives.
All Types of Abrasives:
- Cut Off Wheels - It is also known as parting or self-sharpening wheel. It is mostly used on materials like metal, stone, concrete, etc. It is known for fast and comfortable cutting and has a long life. It is ideally used for metal fabrication, maintenance, repair and general industrial applications. Based on the shape, size, type, and grit-number of abrasive, users can decide which cut off wheel is suitable for the workpiece. Reinforced, depressed center and thin cutting wheels are its standard types.
- Mounted Points - It is the form of small grinding wheels bonded over a mandrel. It comes in different shapes and sizes, abrasive grains, rubberized and felt material. Mounted point abrasive is mainly used for deburring application in the foundry industry. It is suitable for detailing and finishing in congested areas like in-between machine gears. It is combined with a die grinder, straight shaft grinder or hand-held rotary tools.
- Grinding Wheels - It is a wheel composed of an abrasive compound and is used for grinding, abrasive cutting, abrasive machining operations. It is designed for working with grinding machines. Grinding wheels are either made up of solid steel or aluminum. Some of its types include - straight wheel, cylinder ring, tapered type, dish cup, diamond-type, cut off type and saucer type. Abrasive grains are held together in the machine using various bonding materials like resinoid, silicate, rubber, and metal.
- Sand & Fiber Discs - Sanding disc is a circular disc used for removing material, light defects, corrosion, paint, rust from wood, metal or plastic surfaces. It has a coarse grit that helps in removing welds on metal, mill marks on wood, and even outs the edges.
Safety Tips For Using Abrasives
While working with abrasives might seem like no big deal, I would be remiss here if I did not mention the following safety recommendations for working with industrial abrasive tools:
- Wear proper PPE, including gloves, eye protection, ear protection, and the recommended respiratory protection for what you’re abrading.
- Avoid loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the tools.
- Stay clear of sparks and be aware of where other people are in relation to where your sparks are flying.
- Grind in well-ventilated areas and avoid working near flammable materials.
- Stop immediately if your tools vibrate or seem loose.
- Use your oldest abrasives on the shelf first.