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11 January, 2017

Cibo Abrasives Flap Discs for Sanding & Grinding

All you ever needed to know about Abrasive Flap Discs from Cibo Abrasives

Standard Line discs Zirconia FSC (conical face); FSF (flat face)
Industrial Line discs Top coated Zirconia FNC (conical);  FNF (flat); FOZ (extended – for external and internal radius grinding)
Top Line discs Ceramic FTC (Conical); FTF (flat); FOV (extended – for external and internal radius grinding)


Standard Line:  FSC (conical) / FSF (flat)  Zirconia Flap Discs

Description:  After extensive testing Cibo Abrasives launched their Standard Line of Zirconia abrasive cloth flap discs.  The FSC and FSF flap discs combined a good quality zirconia cotton cloth with great performance and a competitive price.  Since their launch flap discs sales have just continued to grow as users come to recognise their benefit.  For general purpose use the zirconia flap discs are used on stainless steel, mild steel and aluminium.

Grit Type: Zirconium Oxide / Zirconia

Available Grades: 40, 60, 80, 120


Industrial Line:  FNC (conical) / FNF (flat) Zirconia Flap Discs

Description: With a longer disc life than the Standard Line, Cibo’s FNC and FNF flap discs are made from a top performing zirconia abrasive cloth with grinding aids to ensure high cut rate and long life.  FOZ discs use the same high performance abrasive but have an extended flexible edge to improve access on internal corners and the radiussing of external corners

Grit Type: Zirconium Oxide / Zirconia

Available Grades: 40, 60, 80, 120

Applications: Industrial Line flap discs are particularly suited to more aggressive grinding applications where speed of cut really matters.


Top Line: FTC (Conical), FTF (Flat) and FOV (extended) Ceramic Flap Discs

Description: The Cibo FTC and FTF ceramic Top Line discs out-perform traditional grinding discs by as much as 50% whilst achieving a better finish. Cibo’s Ceramic flap discs have the highest stock removal capacity of any flap disc we have tested, as well as the longest effective life.  FOV discs use the same Top Line performance abrasives but have an extended flexible edge to improve access on internal corners and the radiussing of external corners to reduce the risk of flat spots on curves and tubes

Grit Type: Ceramic

Shape: Conical, flat, extended

Available Grades: 40, 60, 80

Applications: The FTC conical ceramic flap discs have an excellent cut rate on steel and aluminium.

25 Years ago nobody knew what an abrasive flap disc was.  Today they are everywhere in the world of metal fabrication.

Dependent on the product selected abrasive flap discs can now offer everything from aggressive and consistent stock removal through to fine finishing, pre-polishing and now even mirror polishing solutions.

For the operator flap discs offer a number of advantages over traditional grinding discs.  Firstly they are lighter in weight and are easier to control when grinding metal.  More importantly flap discs generate less noise and cause less vibration thus reduing the risk of vibration white finger.  In addition flap discs provide much less down time when compared to traditional sanding discs.

So given the benefits of flap discs.  How do I choose the right disc for my metal fabrication application?

Flap Disc Shapes

Flap discs are designed for use on angle grinders which means that they have a locking nut in the centre allowing them to work at shallow angle or even flat to the metal surface. The angle at which the disc is presented to the workpiece will change how aggressive the grinding action is.  To assist with this three types of flap disc are now commonly made.

Conical shaped discs, flat faced discs and flat faced discs with a flexible edge.

FOV ceramic flap disc

Flat faced ceramic flap disc

Conical face ceramic flap disc

Conical face ceramic flap disc

Type 29 Flap Disc – Flat Construction

Flat faced discs are generally preferred for finishing or more controlled grinding applications where a lower grinding pressure is applied to the disc.

Type 29 Conical Disc – Beveled Edge Construction

Conical or bevel edged flap discs are generally preferred for high aggression applications and are by far the most commonly preferred shape of disc on the market.  Many operators believe that having a conical edge to the disc makes it easier to have a flat grinding face in direct contact with the metal fabrication.

Plastic or Glass Fibre Backing on the Flap Disc?

Well obviously the choice is yours.  Originally flap discs were all supplied with an aluminium backing plate but as the discs became more commonly used the glass fibre backing has become the standard.  With a semi rigid backing it allows for high aggression grinding whilst allowing some control.

If greater control and / or reduced vibration is required then it is worth considering the plastic backed flap discs which increase the control and conformability of the flap disc but they will reduce the overall grinding power slightly.

Types of Abrasive

After choosing the grit size then the most important question is which type of abrasive grain will give me the best cut / life / cost ratio.  Aluminium oxide discs have now largely disappeared from the market due to their poor performance against the zirconia disc.  There is however a new kid on the block with the ceramic aluminium oxide flap discs which are the future of power grinding.

Ceramic alumina:  This technology has now been perfected and gives a great cut under high pressure grinding applications.  Early itterations of ceramic flap discs had a great initial cut but then glazed over.  This is not a problem with the latest generation of ceramic abrasives.  In 40 and 60 grit forms we recommend ceramic grain grinding on steel, stainless steel and aluminium as well as on high alloy metals such as waspalloy.

Zirconia alumina:  Good quality zirconia flap discs are a high quality blend of zirconia and aluminum oxide grain which provides an excellent cut v cost ratio.  They are traditionally supplied for general steel grinding applications.

What Grit Size Should I Use?

All that matters is stock removal?  Then 40 grit

I need good stock removal but I may need to refine the finish afterwards?  Then 60 grit is a good starting point

Lighter weld removal and shaping only?  Then 80 grit is probably going to be the right disc for you.

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