Applications of Abrasives

Abrasives – Overview

An abrasive is a type of very hard material, (it can often be a mineral). Abrasives are are used in a wide range of domestic, industrial and technological applications. Abrasives are used to finish or shape a work piece. Rubbing the abrasive on the work piece leads to part of the work piece being worn away. When finishing a material it is often thought of as a means to polish the material to gain a smooth surface or even reflective surface; however some finishes require roughening as in beaded, matte or satin finishes.

Abrasion Mechanism

Abrasion is a term given rise by Abrasives describing a wound or excoriation. Abrasions can occur from strong contact with certain surface like Stone, Concrete, Carpet and Wood. The difference in hardness between the Abrasive and the surface they are worked on is what allows the Abrasive to work, the Abrasive being the harder of the two substances. However any two solid materials that tend to rub against each other will eventually wear each other away. An example of this is the sole of a shoe, after decades it will eventually wear away wooden or stone steps that are repeatedly walked upon.

Abrasives – Types

Abrasives are structured for individual purposes. Generally abrasives can be classified into synthetic or natural. Many synthetic abrasives are productively equivalent to an organic mineral. It differs only in the fact that synthetic minerals are manufactured instead of mined. If natural minerals are impure, they tend to be less valuable. Nowadays, they are synthetic. Both synthetic and natural Abrasives can be found in a wide variety of shapes, they are often coated or bonded abrasives including grinding wheels, blocks, discs, belts, rods, loose grain and sheets. Manufactured abrasives are classified into three types namely coated, bonded and super abrasives.

Visit our Abrasives section to know more about types of abrasives.

Bonded Abrasives

Bonded Abrasives are an abrasive material contained within a matrix. Bonded Abrasives are required to be dressed after they are used. Visit our Abrasives section to know more about Bonded Abrasives

Coated Abrasives

Coated Abrasives are also minerals that are used in the same way as bonded abrasives. A coated abrasive is an abrasive fixed on to a form of backing material like paper, metal, rubber, resin, cloth and polyester. Sandpaper is a best example of coated abrasive.
Visit our Abrasives section to know more about Coated Abrasives

Super Abrasives

Super Abrasives are one of a group of relatively expensive but effective materials possessing superior hardness and abrasion resistance. Super Abrasives include cubic boron nitride (CBN) and diamond. Super Abrasives have been developed to meet the needs of modern industry.
Visit our Abrasives section to know more about Super Abrasives

Abrasives – Applications

Common applications for abrasives include the following:

  • Buffing
  • Honing
  • Drilling
  • Grinding
  • Sanding
  • Polishing
  • Cutting
  • Sharpening

Further abrasives can also be used for various applications which include:

  • It can be used as control cables in bicycle brakes, car parking brakes & chokes, etc
  • Abrasives are used in flexible steel hoses like shower hoses, armored cables, etc
  • It is used in collets for chucks
  • Abrasives are used in diesel injection needles
  • It is used in valve stems such as internal combustion engine valves
  • It is used in axle shafts
  • Abrasives are used in hypodermic needles in medical, dental & veterinary
  • It is used in tungsten rod for contact points
  • It is used in precious metal contact points
  • It is used in tungsten wire electrodes for lamp bulbs
  • Abrasives are used in trigger components for firearms
  • It is sprag bar for sprag clutches in automotive transmissions, elevators, helicopter transmissions
  • It is used in precious tubes in solar panels, soldering irons, etc.
  • It is used in spark plug electrodes
  • It is used in copper rod for soldering guns
  • It is used in piston rings
  • It is used in cutting expensive metals
  • It is used in laminated magnetic cores like transformer cores
  • It is used in Ferrite Rods for Magnets
  • It is used in high speed steel (twist drills, etc.)
  • It is used in sewing needles
  • It is used in wafering in various materials
  • It is used in capillary tubes metal and glass
  • It is used in tubing for extendable telescopic aerials
  • It is used in thin walled tubes in aircraft, helicopters