Abrasive Belts Information

Abrasive belts consist of abrasive grains applied to a backing made of cloth, film, foam and sponge, paper, or otAbrasive belts imageher material. Abrasive belts are mounted on rotating wheels or pulleys and are used in applications such as surface finishing, sanding, and grinding. There are three categories of abrasive belts: Narrow belts for bench sanders or backstand grinders, portable or file belts for use on small hand held power tools, and wide belts for sanding or finishing large flat surfaces and for abrasive planing or lumber dimensioning.


The type of backing, abrasive grain, grit size, and features help determine the applications for abrasive belts. There are several different types of backing. Cloth backing consists of a woven fabric such as cotton and is suited for aggressive applications such as abrasive planing. Film backing uses abrasive grains on plastic film, while foam and sponge backing uses abrasive grains bonded onto a foam layer, sponge, felt or other soft, resilient materials. Other types of backing include paper or combination materials.

Grain Types

Abrasive belts use several different types of abrasive grains. Aluminum oxide, the most common industrial mineral in use today, is used either individually or with other materials to form ceramic grains. Other types of abrasive grains include silicon carbine, alumina-zirconia, cork, and aggregate materials. Super-abrasive diamond pastes are useful in ferrous polishing or lapping applications where heat and reactivity are not a factor. Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a superabrasive grain with hardness second to diamond and a cubic crystal structure. CBN provides superior grinding performance on carbon and alloy steel.

Grit Size

Grit size measures the abrasive grains in a matrix or bonded to a surface. With abrasive discs, grit sizes are based on ANSI (U.S.), FEPA (European), JIS (Japanese), or Micron graded standards.


Abrasive belts also differ in terms of features. Some use an open coat. Others use a closed coat. Lubrication provides improved resistance to loading while anti-static features reduce or eliminate static charge. Abrasive belts that use a grinding aid or solid lubricant enhance cutting performance on stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium.

Image credit:

Lapmaster Wolters International


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