There are four keys to every coated abrasive belt — Abrasive, Grit, Backing, Coating. We'll break each of these down for you.
The most common abrasives available are Aluminum-Oxide, Silicon-Carbide, Zirconia-Alumina and Ceramic Alumina. Let's look at each one.
One of the most common abrasives available, Aluminum-Oxide is a tough, durable synthetic abrasive known for long life and wear resistance. It offers excellent penetrating strength, even at high speeds. Aluminum oxide abrasives are ideal for ferrous metals, aluminum and hardwoods. Abrasive Industries offers this abrasive on J-Weight (AOJ) and X-Weight (AOX) backings (see below)
Silicon-Carbide abrasives are the sharpest and hardest abrasives manufactured. Due to the extreme sharpness this abrasive grain provides fast stock removal and a cool cut. Silicon-Carbide abrasives are ideal for cast iron, non-ferrous metals (brass, bronze, aluminum), non-metallic materials (glass, rubber, stone, etc.), wood and stainless steel.
Zirconia-Alumina is an ultra-tough synthetic abrasive that provides a free, cool cut for high stock removal applications. It is a tougher, sharper abrasive than Aluminum-Oxide (A/O). Its micro-crystalline structure allows for controlled breakdown and self sharpening. These abrasives are ideal for heavy-duty snagging and grinding of all ferrous and non-ferrous metals, abrasive planing of wood, plywood and particleboard, grinding fiberglass, rubber and plastics. Abrasive Industries offers Zirconia-Alumina belts on a Y-Weight (ZAY) backing (see below).
Ceramic Alumina (CA)
Ceramic grain products have the reputation of being the toughest, longest lasting metal removal products on the market today. Compared to other conventional grain products that immediately begin to lost aggressiveness once grinding begins, ceramic abrasives maintain their cut rate with minimal additional pressure. This constant cut rate reduces grinding time, results in less operator fatigue and helps to increase productivity with a decrease in overall cost.
The grain's inherent crystalline structure provides for thousands of new cutting points throughout the life of the product. As the crystals dull, grinding forces expose new crystals ready to cut. This unique process is duplicated thousands of times throughout the life of the product, allowing it to last longer than conventional abrasives.
Ceramic Alumina is a high-performing grain that is well suited for ferrous metals, carbon steels, high nickel and other exotic alloys. This mineral is typically used in stock removal applications. Some benefits include high cut rates, long service life and excellent price-performance ratio.
Perhaps the easiest of the specifications to understand, grit is the size of the abrasive grains on the belt. The lower the number, the coarser the abrasive. Check out the chart below to see what grits are available in which abrasives.
Several backings are available, the most common being cloth. Abrasive Industries generally deals with three backing weights:
- J-Weight, also known as jean weight. This is the lightest, most flexible weight backing available.
- X-Weight is a heavier weight cloth backing. It ranges in flexibility, strength and durability and is used on a broad range of abrasives.
- Y-Weight, a heavier weight generally used for heavy-duty, high stock removal. Y-Weight belts are still flexible, but not as flexible as J-Weight.
Coating / Sizing / Lube
Abrasive Industries offers coated abrasives with a lubricating grind-aid already applied on its Zirconia-Alumina abrasives. This lubrication saves you the step of adding it yourself and makes the abrasive cut cooler and more smoothly.
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