The role of non-woven products in the polishing process
2020-06-01 14:53 reading
In the abrasives market, right-angle grinders have traditionally been used in conjunction with grinding wheels, fiber discs, wire brushes and flap discs. When non-woven abrasive products entered the field, the technology replaced traditional coated abrasives as a faster and more cost-effective method of stripping, deburring, blending, prepping and finishing.
Non-woven abrasives are manufactured by “blending” crimped synthetic and natural fibers. During the manufacturing process, the web is impregnated with various abrasive additives, depending on the product, by either spraying or dipping the web formation in resin binders. The resulting 3-D material is pliable, conformable to the workpiece and long-lasting.
Overall, non-woven abrasives have three basic components: the synthetic fiber web, the abrasives and the resin. The density of the web and the size and type of the abrasive used provides an array of combinations that give non-woven right-angle grinding products not only a great deal of versatility but also unique attributes not available in other abrasive products.
Non-woven abrasive stripping wheels are recognizable by their coarse, open web construction. They are ideal for stripping paint and coatings without affecting the base metal. The open structure resists loading, enabling it to strip even the gummiest of substances like seam sealer and adhesives.
Non-woven abrasive prepping wheels have a more open fiber web, matrix setup. This may be familiar to most users as it was the original structure of most non-woven products. It is an excellent product for surface preparation, cleaning and finishing. The prepping wheel is available in a depressed center wheel configuration with a fiberglass backup pad or, when more conformability is needed, as a disc that attaches to a rubber backup pad.
Non-woven finishing wheels have a much tighter fiber web, matrix setup, creating a firm product ideally suited for removing light welds, deburring rough metal edges, and blending and cleaning all metal surfaces.
The abrasive grain of choice for most metalworking operations using non-woven abrasive products is aluminum oxide, which is generally offered in medium and fine grit for metal removal and deburring. For light-pressure finishing operations, a very fine silicon carbide grain is generally recommended.