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!

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