October 30, 2015

Making your own Abrasive Belts

Every so often at Abrasive Resource, we get an email or call from someone that is interested in either repairing a broken belt or making their own belts at home and they are wondering if we sell any DIY belt splicing materials. Unfortunately, we do not…and here is why:
  • The splicing tape is a specialized product designed for bulk abrasive belt manufacturing. It is very thin (from .0025” to .0085”), yet has a tensile strength up to 380 lbs/inch.
  • The tape is manufactured with an exact thickness of dry, thermosetting adhesive that is applied to the yarn surface of the splicing tape.
  • The rolls of tape are cut and wound into 76 meter lengths—that is the shortest length you can buy.
  • They are sealed into a plastic bag and shipped frozen—on dry ice—in insulated cartons via air freight. Once they arrive at our facility, they are stored in a deep freezer at -20 degrees or lower to maintain their 90 day shelf life.
  • After the abrasive material has been cut to the desired angle and length, the backing material is abraded and a special two part adhesive is applied to both belt ends.
  • The tape is then applied and permanently affixed in a belt press, applying between 2000 and 3000 PSI at 165-185 degree temperature.
This is all done, of course, to insure that the joint will not break and fly apart—which could potentially cause damage to your belt sander or injury to the operator.

Tips to facilitate a longer life for your Sanding Belts:

Sanding belts DO have a shelf life! We always advise our customers to only order the quantity of belts they estimate they can use within a year.

  • Don’t purchase abrasive belts in bulk to get “a better deal” and risk having the joint age out and potentially break in a year or two or three.
  • In addition, do not buy sanding belts if you do not know when they were manufactured! Purchasing belts on closeout from a retail store that may not get enough traffic to “turn” their inventory or online from an importer is always risky since you do not know how long ago the belt was manufactured or the condition it has been stored in. Abrasive Resource makes all of their belts “to order” so you get the freshest belts possible!
  • Store the belts in a dry, stable environment. Perfect conditions would be in a protected area that is humidity controlled like an air conditioned office, storeroom or shop.
  • If a “new” belt breaks at the seam—one that you have had less than 90 days—then there is most likely some sort of manufacturing defect and they should be replaced by the manufacturer. Keep your broken belt (s) to show the manufacturer how they broke and they will be able to identify the reason and make sure that you receive a n/c replacement. It doesn’t happen often…but when it does, you want to make sure that you are able to directly contact the manufacturer of your belts to get the problem resolved quickly.
If you have any questions, or need to order new sanding belts—please give us a call at 800-814-7358 or visit our website for standard size sanding belts!

September 23, 2015

Choosing the right Fiber Disc for your grinding application

An angle grinder is a useful tool for any shop! You can use bonded grinding wheels, cut-off wheels, overlap discs or standard fiber discs all on this same tool for many different applications in metalworking, woodworking and stone or tile.

Abrasive Resource just lowered their prices on resin fiber grinding discs, so we thought it would be a good time to review all of the different applications where a fiber disc would be effective:

Aluminum Oxide: A general purpose abrasive used for metal or wood. Removes small welds and imperfections along with light stock removal, blending and finishing. Wood applications include log furniture and homes. These AO discs are also used in light-duty metal applications on low alloy steel or when loading is a problem, such as painted surfaces or aluminum. 

Zirconia: The workhorse of the fiber disc world. Zirconia refractures for longer life when used in high pressure applications like stock removal on Chrome and chrome-nickel steel or high-alloy steel. Used for applications that include blending, deburring and weld removal. Generally lasts twice as long as an aluminum oxide disc when used in the proper application. 

Ceramic: A premium abrasive for high heat generating applications such as stainless as it resists glazing and provides long life. The choice of metalworking professionals due to self-sharpening characteristics that provide high stock removal rates. Features cool cutting technology for reducing heat and increasing performance. Ideal for grinding and blending welds. 

Silicon Carbide: Excellent on titanium, fiberglass, plastics, and stone, tile and masonry products. Sharp silicon carbide abrasive grain quickly “bites” to remove any coatings such as adhesives, paint, acrylics, mastics, etc. Aggressive cutting action provides a clean, smooth finish on concrete, marble, granite, and other stonework. 

To purchase any of these discs at the new lower price, please visit the Abrasive Resource fiber disc home page on our website to find the discs best for you!

February 26, 2015

What are Non-Woven Abrasives?

Traditional coated abrasives are a cloth or paper backing that has abrasive grain “coated” or applied to one side. But a non-woven abrasive is composed of a synthetic substrate onto which a slurry of resins and abrasive grain are deposited. Non-woven abrasives are divided into two categories—they are either scrim backed, which is also known as surface conditioning products or non-scrim backed, which are the surface finishing, or open web products.

Surface Conditioning: Scrim backed materials are manufactured by needling synthetic fibers into a woven base of monofilament threads known as the scrim. It looks a little bit like burlap. This forms a fuzzy textured substrate on one side onto which a slurry of resins and abrasive grit are deposited. Since the material is only coated on one side of the material, it must be used flat with the grit side down—just like a coated abrasive, so it used primarily for belts or discs. These products are well suited for nearly all metals and used for gasket, paint, rust, scale and oxidation removal as well as light deburring, weld blending and for satin or decorative finishes.

Surface Finishing: Non-scrim, open web material is identified by the absence of the woven base or scrim for strength. It is more homogenous than scrim backed material with the resin and abrasive grain evenly distributed throughout. The nylon or polyester fibers are needled together to form an open, spongy mesh, which is then dipped into the resin and abrasive grit mixture. The result is a lightweight and flexible abrasive material that is less aggressive, more non-loading and more forgiving than the scrim backed material. It is very flexible and long wearing. The finishing material is then converted into discs, hand pads, rolls and other abrasive specialties.

Check out both the Surface Conditioning and Surface Finishing abrasives in the Non-woven Abrasives section on our website.

Basic Sanders

The basic styles of portable sanders haven’t changed very much over the years. We have some old advertising posters from the Rockwell Manuf...