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This Glossary page is to help those with key terms that are related to Abrasives and other Industrial supplies. 


Abrasives: Any material usually minerals that are used for the purpose of grinding, sanding, polishing, etc. Typical examples of abrasive products include: Cut-Off wheels, Flap Discs, Grinding Wheels, Resin Fibre Discs, Sandpaper, and Surface Prep-Discs.

Abrasive Grains: This is the mineral used in abrasive products. Common forms of abrasive minerals include Aluminum Oxide, Silicon Carbide, Zirconia, cubic boron nitride, and diamond.

Aluminum Oxide: A common mineral compound used in abrasive products. Aluminum Oxide also abbreviated as AL/OX is great for use on Ferrous and Non Ferrous Metals, It is often recognized by its red color.

Bonded Abrasive: A bonded abrasive product is one that has the abrasive grains are bonded together into a solid form. Typical examples of bonded abrasives are: Depressed Center Grinding Wheels, Bench Grinding Wheels, Cut-Off Wheels, Sharpening Stones, and Dressing Sticks.

Closed Coat: Refers to coated abrasive products where the abrasive grain covers more than 70% of the backing material. Closed Coat products often cut faster than open coat; however, they are more likely to become loaded.

Coated Abrasive: A coated abrasive product is one that has the abrasive grain coated onto a backer, typically polyester, cotton, or paper backing. Examples of coated abrasives include: Flap discs, Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Discs, Resin Fibre Discs, Shop Rolls, and Sandpaper.

Core Bit: A core bit is a hollow drill bit that allows a core sample to be taken out. Core bits often feature diamond tipped teeth to make them excel at cutting Masonry, Stone, Brick and Block.

Cup Wheel: A cup wheel is a cup shaped grinding wheel, it often features diamond matrix making it excellent for grinding masonry applications.  

Cut-Off Wheel: A cut off wheel is an abrasive cutting product similar to a saw blade. They are generally thin in width and are often used on Angle Grinders, Circular Saws, Chop Saws, Stationary saws, and Die Grinders.

Diamond Blade: Diamond blades are saw blades that feature a diamond matrix in the teeth which create some of the toughest and longest lasting cutting tools on the market. Diamond Blades are extremely effective at cutting Masonry, Tile, Stone, Block and Brick.

Dressing Stick: A dressing stick is a bonded block of abrasive material that is often used to remove metal build-up such as swarf and other loose debris from diamond cutting tools.

Flap Disc: A flap disc is a coated abrasive that features little squares of sand paper that are glued onto a polyester, cotton, or fiberglass backing. Flap discs combine the grinding aspect of a grinding wheel and the polishing aspect of a sanding disc.

Friability: Is the attribute of abrasive product that describes the grains ability to break or fracture when in use. High friability allows abrasive grains to fracture exposing new cutting edges as you work, leaving you with consistent sharpness throughout the life of the product.

GHT: Garden Hose Thread, The standard fitting on most

Grade: When applied to Industrial Supplies, the "grade" refers to a ranking system that measures the hardness of an abrasive product. Abrasive manufacturers grade with the letters A through Z, A being very soft and Z being very hard. Hardness values are not standardized, so these grading levels may not be consistent across manufacturers.  

Grinding Wheel: A Grinding wheel is a bonded abrasive product that is well suited to for heavy stock removal, and other grinding type applications on Masonry, Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals. The two main components to grinding wheels are the abrasive material and the bonding material that keeps the abrasive grains together.

Grit Size: Also known as Grain Size; is a ranking system for the size of the particles used in the abrasive material. Low grit number refers to a coarse product that excels at rough and fast removal of material. High grit number refers to a finer product that is used for finishing and polishing.

Loading: Loading refers to when the loose material being grinded builds up on the surface of the abrasive product, reducing the surface contact between the abrasive grain and the work surface. Loading decreases the cutting efficiency and increases friction of abrasive products.   This problem can be addressed by using a dressing stick to clear off the buildup and expose more abrasive grains.

Non-Woven Abrasive: Is a product made with non-woven fabric that embedded with abrasive grains and resin. Non-woven abrasive discs are often used for surface conditioning and preparation.

NPT: National Pipe Thread Taper, NPT is the standard for threaded pipes and fittings in the United States, in contrast to the standard threading on nuts and bolts, a taper thread pulls tight making a fluid tight seal.

Open Coat: Open Coat for coated abrasives refers to when the abrasive grain covers less than 70% of the product. Open Coat abrasive products less efficient at removing material, but they also are less likely to cause loading.

Pressure Sensitive Adhesive: Also known as PSA discs; they are adhesive sanding discs that are lightweight and durable. These discs are used on random orbital or rotary sanders.

Resin Fibre Discs: Are sanding discs that feature heat-treated abrasive grains that are coated onto a vulcanized fibre backing.

Sandpaper: Is the most commonly known coated abrasive; as the name implies, sandpaper started out as sand glued to a paper backing. Today sandpaper is often made with synthetic abrasive materials that glued to paper or fabric backings.

Silicon Carbide: Silicon carbide is a form of abrasive material that is formed from a bond between Silicon and Carbon. Silicon carbide is most effective when used for grinding, sanding and polishing of non-ferrous metals, masonry, stone, glass and even leather applications.

Zirconia: Zirconia Alumina is an abrasive grain that is used in ferrous metal applications. It is often contaminate free, making it effective at grinding stainless steel without leaving marks or discoloration.