The products we stock are manufactured by world-leading brands including Klingspor & Abracs, while we also supply our own Engweld branded range of high-quality cutting and grinding discs at very competitive prices. If you are looking for OSA approved abrasive products, then you’re in the right place, as the vast majority of Klingspor discs have been manufactured to meet these standards, while our own, Engweld branded products also meet this standard.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global abrasives market is projected to grow to $58 billion by 2025, up from $46.4 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2020 to 2025. This is largely due to the key role that abrasives play in a number of industries, including automotive, construction, electronic, electrical, machinery, medical and metal fabrication.
What are Abrasives?
Essentially, an abrasive is a material of a certain density and hardness that is used to process other materials by removing the material you are working with. One of the most typical uses for abrasive materials is the polishing of a surface, although they can be, and are used in a wide variety of applications.
The abrasive material itself will be of either a synthetic or a natural origin, and are distinguished by the degree of hardness, the harder the material, the more abrasive it tends to be. Materials such as zirconium, corundum and silicon carbide are commonly used in abrasives.
However, in order to make use of the abrasive material, there must be some form of support in place. If you think of sandpaper, the abrasives are adhered to the backing using either resin or glue, which gives the user the ability to sand effectively.
But there are far more abrasive products than just sandpaper and abrasive strips, you also have more complex abrasive products, such as flap wheels and discs, which require slightly more complex manufacturing procedures.
What are Abrasives used for?
As we have already mentioned, the use of abrasive products is widespread amongst numerous industries, not least in any industry in which welding is common practice. Any time that any metals are welded together, there are burrs created at the point at which the metal is joined. These burrs protrude from the surface of the metals, and in order to remove them, abrasives for metal are used.
Just as abrasives are used to refine welds, they can also be used to works of art or metal furnishings, giving them an imperfection free finish, or obtaining either a matte or gloss finish, depending on what is desired and which type of abrasive is used.
Understanding Abrasive Products
Different types of processing will require a different abrasive instrument. You can find abrasive pads, belts, discs, sheets, and many others, and generally speaking, each will be used for a specific task, or are best suited to working with a specific metal or material.
The shape of the product you are using is essential, and it will have a direct correlation to the type and shape of the surface you are working with.
When working on flat surfaces, typically both flat and conical discs work well and will allow you to achieve the desired result, with flat discs offering excellent abrasion on a narrow surface, while conical discs allow for greater precision and for a larger surface area to be worked on.
However, if you are working on a corner, or an oddly shaped surface, using a cup shaped abrasive is recommended.
8 - 16. Very rough grit that is used to remove large amounts of stock quickly.
36 - 40. Heavy-duty grit for heavy-duty applications such as removing large amounts of stock from workpieces.
36 - 60. Great for edge work, including edge bevelling and chamfering.
40 - 60. Well suited for applications such as weld blending and grinding.
60. The perfect size for deflashing and deburring.
60 - 80. The best choice for finer work such as blending and the removal of rust.
80 - 120. These fine grit discs are ideal for finishing, cleaning and refining.
Do abrasives have an expiration date?
Yes, abrasive products that are resin bonded should be used within two years of the manufacturing date. However, if stored correctly it is entirely possible to use products past this date, although you should always thoroughly examine any older products prior to use, and you might also want to opt to have older products professionally inspected or even speed tested to determine if they have begun to degrade.
Similarly, if you store your abrasive products incorrectly, you can expect them to begin to degrade before the use by date. Products should always be stored in a dry area, away from solvents and free from extreme temperature variations. And always be sure to use your older wheels first.
Do I need to use a guard with a coated abrasive?
If your tool comes equipped with a guard, then yes, you need to use the guard when the machine is in use. You should never remove the guard from a machine that comes equipped with one for any reason.
ANSI B7.7, Safety Requirements for Abrading Materials with Coated Abrasive Systems, states:
“If the machine is designed and equipped with guards, it shall not be operated without the guards properly installed and in place. Safety guards shall be properly installed and in place on any machine used in grinding. Guards prevent operator exposure to the drive mechanism and the moving coated abrasive product, help contain grinding swarf and any flying debris in case of breakage, and are often part of the dust collection system.”
Do I need to wear any special personal protective equipment (PPE) when using abrasive products?
Yes, there are a number of different types of PPE that are recommended to be worn when using abrasive products. These include:
- Face shields
- Thick and durable gloves
- Safety shoes, such as steel toe cap boots
- An apron
- Long trousers
- A dust mask where required
- Hearing protection where required
At Engweld, we stock a wide range of PPE, take a look for yourself. Protection and Safety Products
You should also avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and jewellery that hangs, as these could potentially get caught as the machine is spinning, while long hair should also be tied up.
If you have any questions, or are unsure of which of our products is best suited for your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us using our contact form.