Abrasive Disc Materials
Abrasive sanding/grinding discs perform important functions such as removing stock, blending, polishing, finishing and surface preparation on metal parts. Abrasive discs for metal applications contain rough grains affixed to paper, cloth, fiber or other form of backing material. The discs are mounted onto a grinder, sander or similar tool to perform the desired task.
While abrasive orbital sanding discs for metal applications are sometimes referred to as sandpaper discs, they are actually produced from a variety of materials:
- Aluminum oxide: Aluminum oxide offers a combination of hardness, strength and affordability, making it a popular choice for many metal sanding and grinding applications. Other valuable aluminum oxide characteristics include low heat retention and low specific heat.
- Silicon carbide: Silicon carbide is harder than aluminum oxide and provides excellent durability at a relatively low cost. Silicon carbide is often the preferred choice when working with non-ferrous metals such as aluminum, brass and titanium. However, silicon carbide discs do not work well when sanding or grinding steel or other ferrous metals.
- Super-abrasive discs: Abrasive discs made from diamonds or cubic boron nitride (CBN) provide the extra hardness required for more demanding sanding and grinding applications. While diamonds are slightly harder, CBN is the better option when working with ferrous metals.
Other common abrasive disc materials include garnet, ceramic, cubirton, aluminum-zirconia and tungsten carbide.