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Last updated: June 2, 2018

What Does Abrasive Mean?

Abrasive refers to the quality of a material, usually a mineral, utilized to finish or shape work pieces through rubbing, leading to wear and tear. It is similar to polishing that is used to achieve a reflective and smooth surface that also involves roughening such as in matte or satin finishes.

Abrasives are very common and are extensively used in a broad range of technological, industrial and domestic applications.


Corrosionpedia Explains Abrasive

Abrasives are commonly used in processes such as:

  • Polishing
  • Grinding
  • Honing
  • Buffing
  • Sharpening
  • Drilling
  • Sanding

Abrasives are harder than the substance of materials that are worked upon. The most commonly used abrasives are hard minerals that usually have a value of 7 or higher in the Mohs hardness scale. These can exist naturally or can be synthetic. Common examples of abrasives include diamond, which can be industrially and naturally produced. Other examples are corundum and even softer abrasives such as calcium carbonate, which works as a polishing agent in products like toothpaste.

The applications of abrasives to control corrosion can be found in printing, paint and coating industries as well as other related processes. The rate of abrasion depends on various factors like hardness difference — harder abrasives perform cutting deeper and faster.

Other factors include grain adhesion, grain size, contact force as well as the use of coolant, lubricants and fluids for metal working.


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