Abrasive pads consist of abrasive grains adhered onto the surface of a cloth, film, paper, non-woven, or other backing, usually with a die-cut square or rectangular shape. Products include hand pads, block brushes, tufts, and paint pads. Hand pads may have a round or contoured shape. Hand pads, blocks, or sticks are usually thicker than abrasive sheets and often have an integral loop or handle to help the user hold and use the pad. Block brushes consist of a brush core, handle or backing with a series of holes with hold tufts. Tufts are bunches of bristles, filaments, or wires (brush fill). The size and spacing of the tufts can be varied, depending upon the specific application. The space between the tufts provides clearance for the removal of dirt, scale, rust or other debris. Paint pads are absorbent abrasive pads that can be used to create texture patterns, or to fill paint or coatings in hard-to-reach areas.
In addition to width and length, abrasive pads differ in terms of abrasive grain type. Choices include aggregate, aluminum oxide, boron carbide, ceramic, cork, synthetic diamond, emery or crocus, silicon carbide (SiC), cubic boron nitride (CBN), tungsten carbide, and alumina-zirconia abrasive grain. Both synthetic diamond and CBN are superabrasives that are produced in a high temperature, high-pressure process anvil press. When selecting abrasives pads, grain or grit size is also important to consider. Typically, grit sizes are based on ANSI, FEPA, JIS, or proprietary grading systems or standards. These grades define a grit size through specified upper and lower limits at certain points in the size distribution. ANSI and CAMI are U.S. standards, FEPA is the European standard, and JIS is the grading or grit-size standard used in Japan.
In terms of features, abrasive pads differ in terms of backing or base type and mounting style. Backings are the flexible material to which abrasive grains are adhered to make coated abrasives and similar products. Typical backing materials include cloth, fibre, film, foam, paper, plastic, sponge, metal, screen, or wood. Abrasive pads with combination backings made of paper laminated to cloth are also available. Choices for mounting style include pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) and quick change. Some abrasive pads are closed coat, open coat, or anti-static. Others are engineered or structured, anti-loading or lubricated, or use supersize grinding aids.