Technical information about abrasives

JAZ - Productos abrasivos

An abrasive is a material that is hard enough to scratch other materials and tough enough to withstand continuous work with minimal wear, either by removing excess material by deburring or improving the quality of the surface finish through polishing.

There are solid types of abrasives such as resin bonded grinding discs and flexible types such as bands and fiber grinding discs. Today, flexible abrasives have improved and in many applications can replace solid abrasives by being more efficient and more user friendly for the operator and with the environment.

Types of abrasives products

In the abrasive products world we have 2 main types: natural abrasives and synthetic abrasives.

Natural abrasives, as their name indicates, come from natural resources. Many of them are minerals like quartz or diamond, which are two of the most widely used abrasives.

Quartz is common abrasive material and is also known as silica sand. It is on the level 7/10 on the Mohs scale.

On the other hand, diamond is composed of carbon atoms. It is one of the hardest abrasive materials. It is at level 10/10 of the Mohs scale and is widely used to obtain highly accurate results such as in jewelry applications.

In synthetic abrasives we also find high-quality materials such as silicon carbide, aluminum oxide as well as Zirconium Alumina and Corundum. These two are the most common along with synthetic diamond.

Productos abrasivos

Phases for metal polishing

The entire process for polishing a piece consists of five phases or metal finishing techniques. They are the following:



This technique is applied when after stripping there are still traces of rust or impurities of dirt, especially in pieces with many bends and cracks.

  • Gratation is done with brushes made of steel wires, since these can access deeper into difficult areas.


It refers to the action of removing roughness or impurities from the coarser parts of a material that you want to polish. It can be done with both mechanical and manual tools and on all type of materials: wood, stone, metal, plastics, etc.

On metal: with a file, with sanding belts, with discs of different grains, etc., you can remove the extra material to smooth the surface of a weld, for example.

Deburring is done with sandpaper belts of different sizes and grains.

  • The higher the grit number, the finer the sandpaper. For lines and imperfections more pronounced, the sandpaper must be thicker and, therefore, the grit number must be lower, and vice versa.
  • There are sanding belts for different types of metals, for example, for polishing steel or for brass polishing, and some of them can be used in more than one.
  • Softer metals are usually deburred with finer belts, and harder metals with thicker belts.

The deburring process is carried out at a speed of 3,000 r.p.m.



Its main function is to eliminate the marks that the sanding belts have left on the pieces. However, in objects that cannot be subjected to deburring because they cannot withstand the hardness of the contact with the sandpaper, grinding becomes the first step in the polishing process.

  • Grinding is always done with felt discs. The size and shape of the discs will depend on the shape of the piece.
  • The discs can be of different grains. The most used are between numbers 80 and 220.
  • Some examples: for a large piece a disc or a wide band is needed. This process is also carried out at a speed of 3,000 r.p.m.


Through polishing we remove the marks that may have been produced during grinding.

  • Polishing is done with Sisal and Flannel discs at 3,000 r.p.m.
  • Sisal discs are used to polish stainless steel and iron, which are hard metals.
  • Flannel discs are used on softer metals, such as brass and zamak.


The purpose of brightening is to give the piece maximum shine.

  • Brightening is applied to parts that, once polished, will not have any other metallic coating.
  • In this process we always use a cotton disc, regardless of the metal the disc is made of.

Like the other processes, brighening is carried out at 3,000 r.p.m.

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