Grinding Techniques: Abrasive solutions for challenging applications

Abrasives have been part of human history since the stone age. Used for shaping basic tools and or implements, to the most modern examples of super-abrasive tools used on space-age alloys and materials, they have always played an essential part in shaping our daily lives.

From the 2000’s, material technology exploded with advanced composites and super-alloys being used within the automotive, aerospace, and other industries, demanding a different approach in abrasive products, necessitated research into and development of improved abrasives and manufacturing techniques to meet the growing demand for specialist products.

One material that has seen rapid growth and at the same time massive development in its alloys, is aluminium. This non-ferrous metal accounts for the second highest usage in comparison to iron, and more than all other non-ferrous metals combined. Aluminium’s high strength to weight ratio and ability to alloy with various elements for achieving specific desired outcomes, make it ideal for many applications, of which the biggest are within the automotive and construction industries. Although very versatile, the low melting point and softness of this metal make it a challenge to machine.

Grinding techniques manufacture a specialist range of aluminium specific abrasives for effective cutting, grinding, and blending applications, whilst minimising clogging and contamination of the base material. Aluminium being particularly susceptible to oxide contamination, it is of utmost importance to take special precautions when working with this alloy to avoid contamination which could result in porosity and lack of fusion in welds.

Coated metals, or metals containing chrome or manganese are much harder than aluminium, and post other challenges, like their ability to work harden. Due to their hardness, they require great care when abrading these steels. Although traditional abrasive grains work well on some applications, there is a growing need for more advanced options.

Our range of precision grinding wheels are manufactured with only the best in raw materials, and include the newer, more advanced versions of grains like Ceramic Alumina and Mono-Crystaline Alumina grains that provide a faster and cooler cut.

Reduction in heat input will help to avoid work hardening, whilst also avoiding micro cracking of the work piece and limiting the loading or clogging of the abrasive product. Advancements have also been made in the bonding and structure systems within the wheels – a wheel’s porous structure is an important factor for several reasons and depending on the application. A wheel with a precisely engineered, porous structure can assist in coolant flow, which will keep the work piece cooler and remove swarf faster. Wheels with a more open structure are also ideal for use on rubber or neoprene type materials where clogging is a major consideration.

Safety should always be the first point of consideration when applications become challenging. This has become very prevalent in the realm of welding and weld preparation. The go to product for blending welds and for back grinding of weld roots has always been the humble cutting disc. The Superflex Dual-Purpose Cut & Grind abrasive disc was designed for just this purpose, thin enough to cut with, but strong enough to grind, bevel and blend with. Available for angle grinders in diameters from 115mm to 150mm, this product is designed to achieve optimal results on mild, carbon and stainless steels, whilst protecting the operator from potential failures.

Grinding Techniques is constantly evolving and innovating to remain ahead at the forefront of abrasive technology, to provide industry with the newest available grain types, bonding technologies, and manufacturing processes.

For further information contact Grinding Techniques on TEL: 011 271 6400 or email or visit