Tom Hammel 2017-12-09 03:42:44
WHY SETTLE FOR SPEED OR LONG LIFE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE BOTH? The race for job site and plant floor productivity never ends and the sparks continue to fly as companies jockey for abrasive supremacy. These 10 leading manufacturers are all hot on the trail of maximum speed and life. PFERD USA “Controlling labor costs at the job site is one of the main issues influencing abrasive product design today,” says Neil Otis, PFERD product manager. “Product improvements that help influence costs include increasing tool life and adding features which increase aggressiveness throughout the tool life to help the operator get more work done in less time. This is why PFERD is introducing the new POLIFAN PSF Z-TRIM trimmable flap disc for general use in industry and professional trades.” The POLIFAN PSF Z-TRIM with zirconia alumina abrasive grain is specifically designed with a lightweight composite backing that can be trimmed to expose more of the abrasive flap overhang at the edge of the disc, which extends the service life of the flap disc. The disc can be trimmed multiple times, exposing more abrasive material each time, which also reduces time-consuming disc changes. Trimming the backer also extends the reach of the abrasive material into corners and hard-to-reach places. Improving operator safety is also taken into consideration when designing new abrasive products. The aim is to manufacture a safe, quality product while considering such issues as operator fatigue, reduction of noise and dust levels and improving operator control and comfort. With a lightweight composite trimmable backer, the new POLIFAN PSF Z-TRIM trimmable flap disc features a high-density abrasive flap design. The benefits of this type of flap arrangement for the user include extended disc life, reduced vibration via a cushioned grinding effect and decreased operating noise levels. “PFERD abrasive products are developed, manufactured and tested to the highest quality standards, ensuring worker safety,” Otis says. “With over 200 years of experience in developing innovative products that optimize productivity, achieve economic efficiencies and improve operator health and safety –- customers around the world ‘Trust Blue.’” FORNEY INDUSTRIES Throughout its 85-year history, Forney Industries has built a reputation for operating above and beyond the needs of its customers, delivering innovation and providing the best product mix to the DIY, farm and ranch, automotive and industrial markets. Steve Anderson, president and CEO states, “We listen to our customers, then design and create products to help them get the job done right. We also recruit and hire talented people who are specialists in their field and can identify innovative products our dealers and consumers need.” Forney recently launched a trio of double-sided flap discs to its expansive abrasive product line. These discs allow the user to complete grinding projects from start to finish with a simple flip of the disc. “Our discs are the first of their kind in the U.S. market,” Anderson adds. “Our senior product line managers worked diligently to design these double-sided flap discs to our specifications. They went through a number of rigorous quality control inspections and were tested to meet our stringent requirements.” Forney offers three varieties of the double-sided flap discs. The most commonly used is the 40 grit. Forney’s 40/40 grit double-sided flap disc, model 71925, is used for a coarse finish. For a coarse-to-fine finish, Forney offers the 40/80 grit model 71923. If a medium-to-fine finish is needed, Forney sells a 60/120 grit double-sided flap disc, model 71924. “If our initial sales are any indication of the market’s need for this product, we hit a home run,” Anderson says. GEMTEX ABRASIVES The abrasive industry is constantly striving to improve efficiencies in the metal finishing category. The preferred objective is to achieve desired finishes as efficiently as possible in the minimum number of steps. Gemtex Abrasives has addressed these issues with new advanced-design flap disc and surface conditioning product lines. “In our flap disc offering, we have engineered new flap configurations combined with various backings to achieve optimum performance,” says Frank Prenda, vice president of sales and marketing for Gemtex Abrasives. “In addition, we have added trimmable flap discs and a patented, lightweight, 5/8- 11 plastic spin on hub to minimize downtime and increase productivity.” End users strive to get the maximum usage from their flap discs, so the capability to trim the discs and continually expose sharp cutting grains is very advantageous. It is also important to provide users with options to meet their finish requirements as well as cutting speed and disc life. Surface conditioning products are part of the ever-expanding category of non-woven abrasives. These products, in various shapes and sizes, are used to blend, deburr, grain and polish metals when specific surface finishes are required. Due to the versatility of this category and requests from customers, Gemtex has added three new grades to expand “surface finishing” and to help prevent the need to use coated abrasive products which could possibly scratch or damage a metal surface. Extra Coarse, Extra Coarse HD and Medium HD have been added to provide longer life, more aggressive cut and more rigidity within the surface conditioning category. “It is an on-going challenge to achieve a high-quality finish by means of an efficient process,” he says. “There are many factors to consider, but using the correct flap discs and surface conditioning products will have a positive influence on reaching that desired objective!” DEWALT/LENOX Big trends in the abrasives category include a move toward using harder materials as a result of strict regulations. Stainless steel and high nickel-based materials (inconel and hastelloy) are required in more applications. In addition, power tools like grinders have more powerful motors and higher amps. In addition, more copper in the motor puts more stress on the wheels. “End users are shifting to ceramic grain wheels for better performance — speed and life,” says Brian Morrison, senior product manager. “The full range of DEWALT XP ceramic grinding wheels, cutting wheels and flaps discs offers optimal performance. The DEWALT XP line features high-performance ceramic grain for long life and high removal rate and a high grain concentration for aggressive and smooth cutting.” The Lenox METAL MAX type 1 diamond cut-off wheel range delivers 30X longer life than thin bonded cut-off wheels. Since it’s made with diamonds, the cutting depth stays the same throughout its life, meaning better control, reach and precision. They are made with a solid steel body that is stronger to greatly reduce the risk of breakage and are recommended for steel, sheet metal, stainless steel, rebar, cast iron, aluminum and non-ferrous metals. LENOX METAL MAX also produces less odor and dust residue as the wheel does not wear down like bonded abrasives. Sparks originate only from the material being cut. NORTON ABRASIVES “In terms of application trends, we see a need for an 1/8-inch thickness grinding wheel that is versatile enough for multiple grinding modes,” begins Norton product engineer Victor Ramirez. “It is very important for welding, MRO and oil and gas industries to have a wheel that can withstand multiple operations at a 15-degee blending mode, 30-degree grinding or beveling and 90-degree grinding in root passes — or even when opening a groove to prep material for a weld. These industries need a grinding wheel that doesn’t wear down quickly but still has a good metal removal.” “Nowadays, I believe that for this combination of characteristics, the best solution is a ceramic abrasive with a good bond technology.” Norton has spent the last couple of years developing a 1/8-inch thick grinding wheel, the Norton Quantum3 (NQ3). “We are proud to share that our NQ3 Combo wheel provides operators a different grinding experience. This is a wheel that can be used in many grinding and cutting applications; it removes metal fast, blends smooth and can be used in any root pass applications like no other wheel.” The Norton Quantum3 Combo wheel combines Norton’s proprietary sharp ceramic grain and bond technology, which provides the user with more control and comfort, no matter the grinding application. Typically, users sacrifice either speed or cut rate when trying to achieve one or the other. With NQ3 technology, an operator benefits by getting both — with less vibration and longer grind times between changeovers, saving labor costs. OSBORN ABRASIVES One of the ongoing trends in the industry is the demand from end users for an abrasive product that not only provides a fast cut, but also provides long life. This can be a very difficult balance to achieve and most abrasive companies have been trying to tackle this problem for years. Generally, if your product provides a fast cut, then the life of the product will be diminished, and if your product provides a long life, then the speed of cut will be diminished. “Osborn wanted to combat this issue by introducing a full line of pipeline grinding discs in advanced aluminum oxide and zirconia for improved performance and longer life,” explains Ty Weber, abrasives product manager at Osborn. “The zirconia option for our grinding wheels improves speed and durability.” Osborn also introduced its line of HD flap discs, which provide up to 40 percent more life than standard flap discs and can remove material quickly and leave a clean finish in the same step. As machinery becomes more complex and specialized, users can expect to see abrasives tailored for specific materials as opposed to using a general abrasive material to cover a majority of their applications. “At Osborn, we are continuously evolving, and through our European and North America manufacturing and R&D facilities, we are testing new bonding agents with many different abrasive materials to enhance the already high-performing, long-lasting bonded abrasive line that Osborn currently offers.” Most Osborn products currently employ a proprietary blend of bonding agents and abrasive material mix. Osborn will continue to continuously update its line of products to provide the most up-to-date solutions for customers. PEARL ABRASIVE Pearl Abrasive has been supplying quality, innovative tools to welding, construction, tile and flooring professionals since 1968. Among other innovations, Pearl was the first company to introduce continuousrim dry-cutting diamond blades. That culture of innovation continues today with Pearl EXV Zirconia Maxidiscs. “Pearl’s new EXV Zirconia Maxidisc is an ideal combination of performance and value,” states Tim Donovan, Pearl’s national sales manager. “It is engineered with zirconia grains on a heavyduty coated abrasive cloth. The EXV Maxidisc is designed for grinding, blending and finishing on a wide range of metal and stainless steel applications. The EXV Zirconia Maxidisc is ideal for medium to heavy stock removal on metals, blending and intermediate finishing of metal surfaces, weld bead or paint removal and base preparation for steel frame structures. It is also excellent for deburring and corner removal and grinding, blending and finishing stainless steel. Pearl CBT (Ceramic Bonded Technology) grain is a nonfused ceramic aluminum oxide that is extremely strong and durable. It has a very fine crystalline structure that allows for micro fracturing of the abrasive grain. This promotes constant generation of new cutting edges that deliver longer life and faster stock removal throughout the entire life of the wheel. In addition, CBT grains perform exceptionally well on stainless steel. “Pearl Redline CBT depressed-center grinding wheels deliver faster stock removal compared to aluminum oxide and zirconia grinding wheels in the same class and longer life than aluminum oxide and zirconia grinding wheels in the same class as well,” Donovan explains. “They grind cool, don’t burn the work piece and the grains remain sharp through entire life of the wheel — they are essentially ‘self sharpening.’ They deliver exceptional performance on stainless steel and other high-tensile alloys.” EXTREME ABRASIVES Based in Ontario, Canada, Extreme Abrasives was founded in 2004 with a commitment to providing quality and cost effective grinding solutions. It is now the North American master distributor for Carbide DK of Denmark, which manufactures a wide variety of tungsten-carbide-grit sanding tools for construction, woodworking and DYI users. These products outlast sandpaper 50 times or more. “Carbide DK abrasive tools consist of granulated sintered tungsten that is evenly brazed, using a proprietary process, onto metal plates,” explains Andre Simard, Extreme Abrasives owner. “This combination makes these tools extremely long lasting and heat resistant.” The large 15-, 16- and 17-inch discs are made for removing all kinds of material from concrete — epoxy paint, carpet backings, grout and almost any kind of product found on a concrete floor. These discs are also double sided which means they can be used on either side. They are made to use on orbital floor sanders in place of sandpaper. Just one side of a disc is capable of removing 25,000 square feet of epoxy paint on a concrete floor. Carbide Abrasive Tools also manufactures smaller discs for use on orbital sanders in 5-inch x 8 holes, 6-inch x 6 holes and in both sizes with no holes, all made with a male Velcro backing so they are easy to attach. Loaded discs are easily restored for continued use with a hand held wire scratch brush. WEILER ABRASIVES GROUP Weiler Abrasives Group has recently introduced its new Tiger Aluminum line of cutting, grinding and combo wheels. Tiger Aluminum wheels have been designed with a non-loading formula that keeps them from gumming up, allowing operators to get more work done in less time — without compromising durability. Their extended wheel life reduces changeover and lowers the cost of use to improve productivity and the bottom line. Tiger Aluminum wheels feature a blend of cutting grains that deliver a consistently high cut rate throughout the life of the products, and they are contaminant-free, making them a reliable, worry-free solution for aluminum applications. The wheels are ideal for aluminum cutting, grinding, stock removal, weld removal, weld blending, beveling and chamfering. “Fabricators know aluminum can be challenging to work with because of its low melting temperature and tendency to load and stop cutting,” says Rick Hopkins, senior product manager for metal fabrication, Weiler Abrasives Group. “We designed this new line of cutting and grinding wheels to help address those challenges by eliminating loading and maximizing cut rate, which in turn increases productivity when working with aluminum.” MAKITA Makita has a deep system of corded and cordless grinders, with nearly 50 models engineered for a range of applications. Using the right grinder accessory means faster material removal and increased efficiency, and Makita ultra-thin cut-off wheels, INOX grinding wheels and Anti-Vibration diamond cup wheels are bringing new innovation to the category. “Makita INOX grinding wheels are engineered for fast material removal on steel and stainless steel, but with less noise and vibration, says Steve Relaz, Makita product manager, Accessories. “Makita INOX wheels feature an aggressive composition with white aluminum oxide abrasive and 36-grit abrasive for efficient material removal. Makita engineers applied a new formulation that results in less vibration and lower noise under load. They are available in a full range of diameters, including 4, 4 1/2, 5, 6, 7 and 9 inches.” Makita Ultra-Thin cut-off wheels are engineered to cut faster with reduced material waste. At only .032 inches thick (20 percent thinner than most competitor cut-off wheels), they are designed for fast cutting and will quickly slice through channel, pipe, rebar, angle iron and stainless steel. The ultra-thin design with 60-grit abrasive cuts faster and reduces the load on the motor, making them ideal for use with cordless grinders including Makita 18V LXT brushless angle grinders. For efficient concrete surfacing, Anti-Vibration diamond cup wheels are engineered to keep the wheel planted firmly on the surface for better material removal with less chatter, lower noise and vibration and an improved operator experience. Anti-Vibration diamond cup wheels are available in sizes 4 1/2 to 7 inches, with three configurations: single row for more aggressive material removal; double-row for a smoother finish; and turbo rim for the smoothest finish. For a cleaner work environment, a Makita dust extractor and dust extracting surface shroud (sold separately) are ideal solutions.
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