How Flexible are Coated Abrasives?
Our Friday Training this week: What is the difference between a Y-weight and J-weight abrasive material?
In simple terms: A stiff and heavy duty backing means that the abrasive grit cannot move very much, which means that the abrasive will be better at high pressure grinding applications whereas a light, flexible backing will allow the abrasive grit to move around a lot, thus reducing the grinding pressure and increasing the conformity with the workpiece.
Which belts should I use for aggressive grinding?
Most abrasive belt materials have a coding on the back which denotes the weight of the abrasive backing. For an aggressive grinding operation we would typically recommend using a Y-weight (Y) or X-weight polyester (e.g. our FX87 belts). And if it has a polyester backing that will increase the stiffness and aggression of the belt even more.
And if I need high aggression and flexibility?
The real world is always one of compromise. In this type of scenario products such as our JF4top belt materials are excellent. The ‘J’ denotes the flexible backing and as it can be supplied with a 60 grit abrasive grain it can give a high cut rate. But be aware – increasing the flexibility will reduce the speed of cut.
How can flexibility be varied?
Premium quality coated abrasives are highly technical materials. By applying a range of processes to the material before a belt is made the flexibility characteristics can be changed. For example. In the picture below. Pic 1, FX87 belt material has reasonable flexibility along the length of the belt which allows belts to be made easily but it FX87 does not twist very well. Pic 2, JF4top belt material is flexible in many directions (great for metal polishing belts). Pic 3, is a super flexible product called MX, Micro Mesh belt material. Micro mesh belts are so flexible they will scrunch up into a ball and still recover their shape.
So how do I choose my ideal abrasive belt?
That is why we do Friday Training at AFS!! Give us a ring any time to discuss the right product for your application and our trained sales team will be able to help you get it right, first time, every time.