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Engineering Materials -Abrasives

What are Abrasives ? Abrasives are those materials used in operations such as grinding, polishing, cutting, sharpening, lapping, honing, pressure blasting or other similar process. Different forms of abrasives used in Industries: 1. Polishing wheel - For polishing Stainless steel, Steel, Non-metal materials, Stone, Wood 2. Vitrified Grinding wheel 3. Grinding head 4. Cup brush - Used in rust removing, dirt removing, polishing, etc 5. Abrasive paper/cloth /belts 6. as powder in fine finishing / polishing operations General Characteritics: - Possess high hardness - Possess moderate to high fracture toughness - Resistant to mechanical shock Not affected by frictional heat Mohs scale of Hardness: capacity of the material to grind away another surface (Refer textbook) Soft Abrasive: Abrasive having hardness 1-4 in Moh's scale Classification i. Natural siliceous quartz , garnet. Non-siliceous -- diamond, corundum, emery ii Synthetic / artificial carborundum, boron carbide, alundum Coated Abrasives



Sturcture / characteristics crystalline form of C, ranks I in hardnessMohs scale-10, Chemically inactive,. Exist in three major forms gem diamond , borts,.carbonade Cryst. form of alumina , ranks next to diamond-Mohs scale-9, not of gem qlty, brown to grey (red-ruby, other sapphire) hard , fine grained, dark grey to black comp-cry alumina(50-75%) magnetite (20 -40%) other minerals(12 %) hardness depends upon alumina content mohs scale-8 trisilicates of alumina/ magnesia/ ferrous oxide. Common garnet- Calcium alminium iron silicate, Mohs scale 6 -7.5,

Applications Jewellery, in bits of drilling points, saw teeth for cutting rocks, in grinding wheels, in engraving tools. in grinding wheels



ruby lasers

in emery paper/cloth for polishing. in bits of cutting/drilling tools


in paper/cloth to polish wood /metals, in bearing pivots in watches, glass grinding


SiO2 (pure crystalline), Moh 7 Quartz

Impure grey quartz used in sand paper As granules in grinding machines used to grind flour, pigments, ores.

SYNTHETIC ABRASIVES Name Silicon carbide/carborundum Prepn / characteristics

2000 C

uses in grinding of cast iron, bronze, porcelain/marble, glass/ lens in cutting wheels, polishing machines

SiO2 + 3C SiC + 2CO Charc : hard synthetic abrasive ( 9.3), chemically inert, high refractoriness

boron carbide / norbide (B4C)


B2O3 + 7C B4C + 6CO resist oxdn more than diamond. 9.7

in making of hard materials for making grinding dies, for cutting & sharpening high speed tools

Some Important application of Abrasives In grinding wheels (Bonded abrasives) : used to grind and polish the surface of other materials Manufacture : mixing abrasive grains + suitable binder and fired to make them hard. Selection of components : choice of abrasive based on nature of work, grain size of abrasive, choice of bonding material In Abrasive paper / cloth (coated Abrasives): abrasive coated on paper / cloth with help of glue.. Used for cleaning and polishing purpose

Bonded Abrasives