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.