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Engineering Materials


Abrasives are those materials characterized by its
 which are used to wear down softer surfaces in
operations such as
 honing, pressure blasting or other similar process.

Different forms of abrasives used in

1. Polishing wheel - For polishing Stainless steel, Steel,
Non-metal materials, Stone, Wood
 2. Grinding wheel, Cutting wheel and grinding head in
granite quarry- cutting and polishing the rocks
 3. Cup brush - Used in rust removing, dirt removing,
polishing, etc
 4. Abrasive paper/cloth /belts in fine finishing /
polishing operations
 Common uses for abrasives include grinding, polishing,
buffing, honing, cutting, drilling, sharpening, lapping,
and sanding

Norton R228 Abrasive cloth

Sandpaper or glasspaper is a form of paper

where an abrasive material has been fixed to its

General Characteristics:
- Possess high hardness
 - Possess moderate to high fracture toughness
 - Resistant to mechanical shock
 - Not affected by frictional heat

Mohs scale
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes
the scratch resistance of various minerals.
 The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is based on the
ability of one natural sample of matter to scratch
 It was created in 1812 by the German mineralogist
Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of
hardness in materials science.

Mohs hardness
12345678 9 10 

Talc (Mg3Si4O10(OH)2)
Gypsum (CaSO42H2O)
Calcite (CaCO3)
Fluorite (CaF2)
Apatite (Ca5(PO4)3(OH-,Cl-,F-)
Orthoclase Feldspar (KAlSi3O8)
Quartz (SiO2)
Topaz (Al2SiO4(OH-,F-)2)
Corundum (Al2O3)
Diamond (C)

On the Mohs scale, a pencil "lead" (graphite) has a

hardness of 1.
 a fingernail, 2.2-2.5;
 a copper penny, 3.2-3.5;
 a pocketknife 5.1;
 a knife blade, 5.5;
 window glass plate, 5.5;
 and a steel file, 6.5.

Diamond, a common abrasive occurs both naturally and

is industrially produced.

Corundum which occurs naturally but which is nowadays

more commonly manufactured from bauxite as Alundum.

The most usual abrasive used is aluminium oxide.

Also common are silicon carbide, tungsten carbide and


Softer minerals like calcium carbonate are used as

abrasives, such as "polishing agents" in toothpaste.


Natural abresives
 siliceous quartz , garnet.
 Non-siliceous -- diamond, corundum, emery
 ii Synthetic / artificial abresives
carborundum, boron carbide, alundum

Natural abrasives


Crystalline form of C, ranks I in hardness

Mohs scale hardness -10, Chemically
Exist in three major forms gem diamond,
borts offcolor diamond, carbonado- black
Used in Jewellery,in bits of drilling
points,saw teeth for cutting rocks,in grinding
wheels,in engraving tools.
Diamond wheels are grinding wheels with
industrial diamonds bonded to the periphery.
Diamond abrasive belt developed for grinding
glass and ceramics materials.

Naturally occuring cryst. form of alumina.
 ranks next to diamond.
 Mohs scale hardness -9.
 not of gem qlty,brown to grey (red-ruby,
other than red or dark pink
sapphire("blue stone" ))
 Used in grinding wheels to grind


is a hard , fine grained,opaque and dark grey

to black.
 Composition:crystalline alumina (50-5%)
magnetite (20 -40%) other minerals(12 %)
hardness depends upon alumina content
Mohs scale hardness -8
 Used in emery paper/cloth for polishing,
cutting and drilling tools


is a trisilicates of alumina/ magnesia/ ferrous

 Common garnet- a complex Calcium alminium
iron silicate.Ca3Al2(SiO4)3. Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3.
 Mohs scale hardness 6 -7.5.
 Used in paper/cloth to polish wood and metals,
in bearing pivots in watches and in glass

SiO2 (crystalline),
 Mohs scale hardness 7.
 Impure grey quartz used in sand paper as granules
 Used in grinding machines used to grind flour,
pigments, ores.

Synthetic abrasives:

SiC & B4C Commonly used forms of synthetic

abrasives in abrasive paper/ cloth, grinding wheel.

Silicon carbide/carborundum
2000o C
 SiO2 + 3C
SiC + 2CO
 Characteristics : hard synthetic abrasive (Mohs scale
hardness 9.3),chemically inert, high refractoriness
 Used in grinding of low tensile strengths like cast
iron, bronze, porcelain/marble, glass/ lens
 And in cutting wheels, polishing machines

boron carbide / norbide(B4C)

 B2O3 + 7C

B4C + 6CO
 It resist oxidation more than diamond.
 Mohs scale hardness 9.7
 Used in making of hard materials for making grinding
dies, for cutting & sharpening high speed tools
 Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) Abrasive Wheels are
used for grinding dies, for cutting & sharpening high
speed tools.

Bonded abrasives

A bonded abrasive is composed of

an abrasive material contained
within a matrix. This matrix is
called a binder and is often a clay,
a resin, a glass or a rubber.

Coated abrasives

A coated abrasive
comprises an abrasive
fixed to a backing
material such as
paper, cloth, rubber,
resin, polyester or
even metal many of
which are flexible.
Sandpaper is a very
common coated

A German sandpaper