Intro to Abrasives 100

This class defines abrasive processes and explains the major groups of abrasive tools.

Class Details

Class Name:
Intro to Abrasives 100
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • History of Abrasives
  • What Are Abrasives?
  • Grinding and Finishing
  • Advantages of Abrasives
  • Disadvantages of Abrasives
  • Understanding Grains
  • Grain Size
  • Grain Hardness
  • Grinding Products
  • Structure
  • Bonded Abrasives
  • Types of Bonds
  • Bonded Abrasive Tools: Wheels
  • Bonded Abrasive Tools: Stones
  • Coated Abrasives
  • Bonded vs. Coated Abrasives
  • Additional Abrasive Products
  • Summary


  • Describe the origin of abrasives.
  • Explain how abrasives remove material.
  • Describe some abrasive processes.
  • Describe the advantages of abrasives.
  • Describe the disadvantages of abrasives.
  • Identify common natural abrasives.
  • Identify common synthetic abrasives.
  • Explain how abrasives are sized.
  • Describe the properties of abrasive grains.
  • Describe how abrasive grains may be put to use.
  • Distinguish between open and closed structures.
  • Describe the structure of a bonded abrasive.
  • Identify the types of abrasive bonds.
  • Describe the form of a typical grinding wheel.
  • Define honing.
  • List the parts of a coated abrasive.
  • Distinguish between bonded and coated abrasives.
  • Identify non-bonded or non-coated abrasive tools.

Job Roles



Vocabulary Term Definition
abrasive A hard material that is used to machine, grind, or finish a workpiece.
adhesive The glue or other substance that holds coated abrasives to the backing material.
aluminum oxide A widely used abrasive with many varieties that may be naturally occuring or manufactured. Aluminum oxide is favored for its toughness and long life.
attrition Tool wear caused by the friction of grinding.
backing Fabric, paper, or other material on which coated abrasives are adhered.
belt A length of backing material that has been joined end to end and coated with abrasive particles.
bonding agent The material that holds abrasive grains together in a grinding tool. Bonding agents may consist of rubber, metal, or other material.
burr A rough edge remaining on metal after it has been cut or perforated.
chip A small particle of material that is removed during grinding, cutting, or abrasive processes.
chuck A clamping device that grips the post or shank of a mounted grinding tool.
closed coat A dense arrangement of abrasive grains on a coated abrasive wheel or belt.
coated abrasive A belt or flat wheel composed of abrasive grains that are adhered to a backing material with an adhesive.
cubic boron nitride A type of material offering a hardness that is second only to diamond. CBN tools are very effective at grinding most steels and cast irons, but they are also very expensive.
diamond A naturally occuring or manufactured stone made of crystalline carbon that is used as an abrasive because of its extreme hardness. Diamond is the hardest available material.
finishing Any machining process that surfaces, conditions, edges, cleans, etc. a part or component. Usually the last step in the machining process.
friability The ability of abrasive grains to fracture and self-sharpen under stress.
garnet A red silicate material used as an abrasive. Usually pink or reddish in color, it is often used for polishing.
grain A small, hard particle or crystal of abrasive.
grinding The use of an abrasive to wear away at the surface of a workpiece and change its shape.
grinding wheel A grinding tool made by bonding abrasive grits together and forming them into a circular shape.
hardness The ability of a material to resist penetration and scratching.
honing A precision abrasion process in which a relatively small amount of material is removed from a surface by means of abrasive stones. The goal is to obtain a desired finish or extremely close dimensional tolerance.
honing stone A finishing tool that may be hand-held or mounted. Honing stones are used to finish the interior of round holes as well as flat surfaces.
kiln An oven used to bake and harden vitrified grinding wheels.
lapping A precision abrasion process used to bring a surface to a desired state of finish or dimensional tolerance by removing an extremely small amount of material.
make coat The layer of adhesive that goes between the backing material and the abrasive grains.
mandrel The shaft on which honing stones are mounted.
natural abrasive A hard material found in the earth that is used to shape other materials by grinding or abrading. Sand and quartz are both natural abrasives.
open coat A more sparse arrangement of abrasive grains on a coated abrasive wheel or belt.
organic bond A bond made of a carbon-based material. Organic bonds tend to soften under the heat of grinding.
resinoid bond An organic bond used in grinding tools that offers rapid stock removal and finer finishes.
rubber bond An organic bond used in grinding wheels that offers smooth grinding action and fine finishing.
sand Loose, granular material derived from the crumbling of rocks.
sandblasting A surface treatment used to remove material by using air to blow sand or other grit at a workpiece.
shank The stalk or post on which a grinding tool is mounted.
shellac bond A bond material formulated from lac deposits made on tree twigs by the Indian lac insect. It is used to produce fine finishes on metal.
sieving machine A machine that uses a series of progressively finer screens to sort abrasive grains into similar sizes.
silicon carbide A hard and brittle abrasive used on nonferrous materials. Silicon carbide is often used to grind aluminum.
size coat The final layer of adhesive that goes on top of the abrasive grains that are already adhered to the backing material by the make coat.
structure The relationship among the grains, bonds, and space in an abrasive grinding tool.
synthetic abrasive A material of extreme hardness manufactured through chemical and/or physical processes that is used to shape other materials by a grinding or abrading action.
tolerance The unwanted but acceptable deviation from the desired dimension.
vitrified bond A clay or ceramic bond characterized by its strength, rigidity, and resistance to oils, water, or temperature changes.