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Abrasives Basics
16 March, 2015

For Professional Grinding and Finishing: Speed is Everything

 If you talk to our technical team here at Abrasive Finishing Systems you will soon realise that we talk about machine speeds a lot. The question is why.

The simple truth is that abrasives are no different to any other cutting tool. If you use your abrasives at the wrong speed, at best they will under-perform and wear out too quickly, at worst they just won’t do the job at all!!

 

So What is the Right Speed?

Below is a summary table showing the recommended surface speed in metres per second.

Material to be Processed Surface speed ms-1
Stainless steel, tool steel, high speed steel 18 – 30
Cast iron, carbon steel 25 – 45
Non-ferrous metals, copper, brass 25 – 35
Aluminium, zinc 18 – 30
Hard and hardened steel 8 – 15
Titanium and titanium alloys 10 – 25
Glass, ceramic materials and stone 8 – 14
Acrylics 5 – 14
Plastic and rubber 10 – 18
Wood 15 – 25
Lacquers, varnishes 8 – 15

 

That is all well and good but in the real world most people work in rpm so we have also prepared a small guide below for commonly used machines.

 

Angle Grinders:

Material to be processed 4” / 100mm 4 ½” / 115mm 5” / 125mm 7” / 178mm
Stainless steel, tool steel, high speed steel 3500 – 6000 3000 – 5000 2750 – 4600 1900 – 3200
Cast iron, carbon steel 4800 – 8600 4100 – 7500 3820 – 6900 2650 – 4775
Non-ferrous metals, copper, brass 4800 – 6700 4100 – 5800 3820 – 5350 2650 – 3700
Aluminium, zinc 3500 – 6000 3000 – 5000 2750 – 4600 1900 – 3200
Hard and hardened steel 1500 – 2900 1300 – 2500 1200 – 2300 850 – 1600
Titanium and titanium alloys 1900 – 4800 1650 – 5800 1500 – 3800 1050 – 2650
Glass, ceramic materials and stone 1500 – 1900 1300 – 2500 1200 – 2300 850 – 1600
Acrylics 955 – 1500 830 – 1300 760 – 1200 530 –   850
Plastic and rubber 1900 – 3500 1650 – 3000 1500 – 2750 1050 – 1900
Wood 2850 – 4800 2500 – 5800 2300 – 3800 1600 – 2650
Lacquers, varnishes 1500 – 1900 1300 – 2500 1200 – 2300 850 – 1600

 

Powerfile Machines

Powerfile machines vary widely in terms of their performance capabilities. Most fixed speed machines operate at the equivalent of 32ms-1 whereas variable speed machines operate from 0 – 32ms-1. We have therefore given a recommendation below on whether fixed speed or variable is required for a particular material.

 

Material to be Processed Machine Recommendation
Stainless steel, tool steel, high speed steel Variable speed
Cast iron, carbon steel Fixed speed
Non-ferrous metals, copper, brass Variable speed ideal.
Aluminium, zinc Variable speed
Hard and hardened steel Variable speed with low speed option
Titanium and titanium alloys Variable speed with low speed option
Glass, ceramic materials and stone Variable speed with low speed option
Acrylics Variable speed with low speed option
Plastic and rubber Variable speed with low speed option
Wood Variable speed with low speed option
Lacquers, varnishes Variable speed with low speed option

Read More of our “How To Guides” and Related Posts Below:

Buy Our Hand-Held Machines Here         Buy Our Powerfiles Here

SAG angle grinder          powerfile

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