Non-woven abrasives are used for preparing and applying the final surface finish. They are ideal grinding products for deburring, cleaning, & imparting the desired finish to a wide variety of materials. An understanding of how these products are created, & how they should be selected & used will help the metalworking manufacturer achieve the desired surface finish.
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NON-WOVEN ABRASIVES 101
It is often said that the job of non-woven abrasives begins where other grinding products leave off.
The relatively non-aggressive nature of nylon and the abrasive grit used in non-wovens make them excellent finishing tools.
With their open-mesh construction, non-wovens are waterproof, washable, and resilient. They resist loading and rusting, and are not conductive.
While non-wovens are made in a different way than conventional coated abrasives, both types of products use many of the same abrasive minerals.
Silicon carbide is sharper, cuts faster and produces finer scratch patterns on most surfaces. Aluminum oxide is more durable and tends to last longer.
It is more aggressive on certain applications (such as hardened steel parts), and produces less discoloration on aluminum.
When the non-woven supplier talks about grit, he is referring to the size of the abrasive grain impregnated into the nylon web.
The lower the number, the larger the grains. Use of large particles (coarse grit) results in a more aggressive cut and a coarser finish.
Small size particles result in a non-woven product that produces fine surface finish, if all other conditions are equal.