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Abrasive Discs: Advantages and Disadvantages

2015 December 16
tags: Metal Cutting · Tips
by Blade Wizard

Abrasive discs play an important role in the metal cutting industry. It's vital to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using abrasive discs for cutting if you work in or have a workshop. In the world of modern technology, advanced abrasive cutting is widely used to generate high material removal rates and exceptional precision. Abrasive discs are ideal to use in projects that require tough tolerances and high volume at a moderate price.

What are Abrasive Discs?

These discs can provide an array of benefits that come in handy under a variety of circumstances. Comprised of abrasive grain adhered to the surface of film, cloth, non-woven, paper, or other type of backing, these products come in handy for a range of applications. They are most commonly used for sanding, finishing, and grinding. These discs are often round in shape, but there are also petal shapes that are available for use with specific applications in specific industries.

Abrasive Disc Applications

A full line of discs are used in stock removal, blending, finishing and polishing applications. The combination of several minerals, resin systems and backings results in a wide variety of products. This means there are discs that meet requirements for use on most wood, metal, composite, gel coat, painted substrates or hard-to-grind materials.

Choosing the Right Abrasive Discs

In order to ensure an optimal outcome with the use of abrasive discs, it is important to select the most appropriate abrasive disc backing and type of abrasive grain for the job at hand. Furthermore, it's essential to choose the most appropriate thickness with your cutting wheel. The thinner wheel you have, the easier cutting goes. The thicker disc you use, the harder it will be, because thicker discs have larger material resistance. With a thin wheel you will have a more accurate cutting line. Abrasive discs are highly effective in processing non-ferrous metal materials and non-metallic materials like copper, aluminum, etc. It’s drawback is the poor toughness, low thermal stability, and the chemical reaction that occurs when abrasive discs are in contact with elements in the iron group. When cutting nickel-based alloys, abrasive discs will wear quickly. Usually, it's not recommended to use abrasive discs with high melting point metal.

Understanding Abrasive Cutting

Abrasive cutting is a misunderstood method of precision metal cutting. Some users assume abrasive cut offs have rough edges, a lot of burrs, and other surface defects. But, in reality, abrasive cutting provides outstanding service performance. It gives aggressive stock removal rate and low- burr edges. There are always pros and cons to any method of cutting. You should bear in mind that benefits should outweigh the disadvantages for each particular project. It is important to fully understand the advantages and drawbacks of using abrasive discs for cutting.

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