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What Are Ceramic Abrasives?

November 02, 2022

What are Ceramics Abrasives and How Do you Use Them?

What are Ceramics?

Ceramic , unlike the other abrasive grains, is a manufactured or artificial abrasive. This means it is man made rather than found in nature. Although ceramic is more expensive than the other grains, it comes with many benefits that are worth the extra money. They are the sharpest and strongest of all the grains and are also friable, meaning as it is being used, more new sharp material gets exposed. This can be helpful for cutting materials for longer time periods since they do not go dull. Since ceramic doesn't dull as easily, it is preferred for projects with a lot of heat or high stresses like stainless steel and other metals. 

Ceramics are a popular item in the abrasives world for metal fabricators, knifemakers, blade smiths, and more. There are different tools and products you can use to best suit your project. For example there are different sizes of Shredder ceramic sanding belts 2” Quick Change Ceramic discs (good for hard to reach areas), High Density Ceramic Flap Discs, or Resin Fiber Discs.

What are The Benefits of Using Ceramics?

Ceramics have several benefits. We have already mentioned it being friable, but it also has a long lifespan. Ceramics have a lifespan of up to 6x longer than other abrasives such as aluminum oxide. Another benefit is that you do not need to apply a lot of pressure while using ceramics due to its sharpness. Also, ceramics do not create high temperatures or overheating. 

There are many different factors to consider when looking to purchase abrasives and sandpaper. Not only should you be looking at the price of the abrasives, but you also should consider the efficiency of the product. For example, ceramics are the most expensive of the abrasives; however, it will save you in the long run. As we already talked about how ceramic is self sharpening and wont dull fast, it can also cut your time and labor in half. 

What Grit Sizes are Used For Ceramics?

Ceramic comes in grit sizes from 24 – which is the coarsest – up to 120. The reason ceramic doesn't come in grits higher than 120 is due to the fact that it is used for removing softer material. 

Tip: If you are using ceramic on wood, it is important to know that it will not give you a smooth surface. If your goal is to remove a lot of stock at a time then you can use ceramic on wood. However, using ceramic on wood will not allow for the self sharpening feature that it initially has because wood is not hard enough. For grinding, the toughness of the ceramic is ideal to make sure the abrasive doesn’t shatter while it's being used.