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Types Of Three-Dimensional Abrasives

Types Of Three-Dimensional Abrasives

A skein of nylon threads that are not woven together would be an example of a fiber backing used to make three-dimensional abrasives. They are distinguished by their excellent dampening capacity during the sanding process and are more frequently referred to as scotch or non-woven fiber.

We can also include abrasive pads and abrasives with flexible foam backing in this family of abrasives from the perspective of damping during sanding work. They are all made up of mineral grains, binders or adhesives, and support materials, just like other abrasives.

Abrasives Can Be Categorized As:

  • Flexible Flexible abrasives are composed of flat supports made of vulcanized fiber, paper, cloth, combination, film, and other materials.
  • Three-Dimensional – Three-dimensional abrasives include paper backings with cushioning foam, abrasive pads or sponges, and non-woven fiber backings.
  • Liquid – Pastes, liquids, and creams with abrasives make up liquid abrasives.

The support, which determines the degree of flexibility, resistance to breakage, ability to adapt to the shape of the pieces, and potential for wet work, is the differentiating factor in most work with a three-dimensional abrasive.

Unlike flexible abrasives, three-dimensional abrasives classify their grains according to the final level rather than a specific grain numbering, such as P240. These grades are coarse, medium, fine, superfine, ultrafine, and microfine.

Each manufacturer provides a table of equivalents between the various abrasive types and the many numbering and grain size standards: Microns, pyramidal type, ANSI (American), and FEPA (European). The equivalences between the grain's size and the polish's level vary among various three-dimensional abrasive forms, such as sheets, rolls, discs, sanding belts, and brushes, produced by the same manufacturer. This is because the properties and density of the fibers used change depending on the format.

Types Of Three-Dimensional Abrasives

The following formats can be thought of as the most typical, depending on the shape and structure of these abrasives:

1) For Hand Sanding

  • sheets made of fiber.
  • Fiber rolls, both precut and uncut.
  • Abrasive pads or sponges.
  • Rolls with and without pre-cut foam backing. 

2) For Using A Manual Sander When Sanding (Orbital, Grinder, Angle, Senator...)

  • Fiber discs.
  • Discs for surface conditioning.
  • Semi-rigid clean-and-strip discs.
  • Core brushes, shaft brushes, and miniature brushes 

3) For Using A Stationary Belt Sander For Sanding

  • Mini, sleeve, long, and wide surface conditioning belts are available.
  • Razor-sharp wheels

Benefits Of Three-Dimensional Abrasives

Compared to other forms of abrasives, non-woven fiber abrasives, abrasive sponges, and foam-backed abrasives offer several benefits.

  • They make it easier for industrial processes with a wide range of manual applications to dampen sanding operations.
  • They may be rolled and compressed to fit contours, shapes, and difficult-to-access areas because they are incredibly flexible.
  • They provide a uniform, fine, and smooth finish by evenly distributing the support's pressure and removing pressure points.
  • They result in a more satin finish than traditional flexible abrasives.
  • They are less impacted by the abrasive mineral's dulling since they are non-woven fibers with an open structure, which encourages less clogging and easy evacuation of the sanded material's remnants.
  • Thanks to the most recent manufacturing techniques, they have a longer usable life.
  • They are reusable, washable, and waterproof.
  • They are simple to use because they have rough surfaces on both sides.

Main Applications For Three-Dimensional Abrasives

A wide variety of applications often use three-dimensional abrasives. They are particularly useful for deburring, cutting edges, removing weld spots, cleaning weld beads, surface preparation, finishing, sanding moldings, etc. They are also used to clean and remove paint or rust.

i. For Hand Sanding

  • FIBER SHEETS AND FIBER ROLL – The manual cleaning, finishing, deburring, and metal polishing and painted surfaces are best accomplished with fiber sheets and rolls (with or without precut fiber).
  • ABRASIVE SPONGES – The finest tools for hand-sanding flat, curved, painted, and metal surfaces are abrasive sponges.
  • FOAM-BACKED ROLLS – The most effective rolls for hand sanding around curves, contours, and rounded edges are foam-backed rolls (both with and without precut pieces). Paint finishes, primers, and topcoats benefit from their presence. 

ii. For Using A Manual Sander When Sanding (Orbital, Grinder, Angle, Senator ...)

  • Fiber discs are ideal for surface finishing, shading, and polishing, just like fibrite sheets and rolls are.
  • When it comes to prepping and cleaning surfaces, surface conditioning discs deliver effective results. They are ideally suited to treating stainless steel weld beads, including cleaning and minor deburring.
  • Rapid strips, and semi-rigid unitized discs, make removing rust easier and achieve superior adhesion during subsequent coating, painting, and welding procedures. After flap discs, these discs are used to smooth and achieve a flawless surface finish in one or two processes.
  • The clean & strip-type discs are ideal for peeling, eliminating sticky or adhesive coatings, and swiftly cleaning the surface without leaving marks or wearing it down.
  • For finishing large components and intricate shapes, non-woven fiber sheet brushes (with a core and a shaft) are the right choice. They work with metals, wood, composites, and polymers and are less harsh than traditional sanding brushes with cloth sheets. 

iii. Use Of A Stationary Belt Sander For Sanding

  • The surface conditioning belts are suitable for removing scale, surface flaws, rust, corrosion, tool markings, lamination marks, bond lines, and light burrs. They are available in various formats, including tiny belts, sleeves, long belts, and wide belts.
  • Rust, gloss, and burrs are removed with abrasive wheels. Additionally, it is used to polish and smooth welded seams, scrape decorative coatings on stainless steel and lessen surface roughness.
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