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General
  • An abrasive is a material, often a mineral, that is used to shape or finish a workpiece through rubbing which leads to part of the work piece being worn away.
  • Abrasives may be classified as either natural or synthetic.
  • Abrasive materials used in blasting can generally be classified as sand, slag, metallic shot or grit, synthetic, or other.
  • Abrasives give rise to a form of wound called an abrasion or even an excoriation.

Process

  • Three basic methods can be used to project the abrasive towards the surface being cleaned, air pressure; centrifugal wheels; or water pressure.

  •  Air blast (or dry) systems use compressed air to propel the abrasive using either a suction-type or pressure-type process.

  • Centrifugal wheel systems use a rotating impeller to mechanically propel the abrasive by a combination of centrifugal and inertial forces.

  • the water (or wet) blast method uses either air pressure or water pressure to propel an abrasive slurry towards the cleaned surface.

Technology

  • Companies are finding that abrasive water jet complements other cutting systems and metalworkers can expect to see more integrated systems incorporating water jet with flame cutting (oxy-fuel cutting), routing, plasma cutting, or ED Ming.

  • water jet has become a big business as some heavy hitters are now including water jet systems among their offerings of cutting systems, each adding the advantage of their unique experiences.

  • EDM and laser cutting are finding that water jet extends their capabilities to reflective and nonconductive materials.

  •  Also users frequently mention that precision is often less important than the flexibility and speed of water jet in these applications.

Market

  • The vast majority of all industrially manufactured products, abrasive operations are crucial stages of the production process for preparing and finishing surfaces.

  • Abrasives estimates the total market volume for abrasives used in all these processes at approximately CHF 8 billion per annum.

  • Abrasives are generally distinguished as being either coated or bonded.

  • Abrasives estimates the total worldwide volume of the coated and bonded abrasives markets at approximately CHF 4 billion per annum each.

Applications

  • The flexibility of  flap wheels makes them an excellent tool for blending and finishing flat and slightly contoured surfaces.

  • Anderson flap wheels are used in both production and maintenance grinding, finishing and de burring operations.

  • The stem-mounted wheels are used in manual operations on portable tools and provide consistent aggressive action in hard-to-reach areas and flat surfaces.

  • The un mounted wheels are used on bench grinders and other machinery and provide controlled grinding, finishing and de burring action on machined parts and flat surfaces.

  • Abrasive flap wheels can be contoured to fit irregular surfaces in a variety of applications.

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