Tool Power Affects Abrasive Performance

Ceramic, zirconia and aluminum-oxide cutting and grinding wheels do the same job but have varying lifespans and performance characteristics. Applying the right power, abrasive and tool for each is what makes a given grain choice most effective.

As mentioned earlier, ceramic and zirconia wheels perform best on higher-amperage tools, but not as effectively on a lower-amperage tool, where an aluminum-oxide wheel requiring less torque performs better. When in doubt, use the highest-amperage tool available.

Using a higher load speed and a higher RPM means that the wheel has a higher surface speed and makes more contact/min. with the material, leading to a noticeably faster cut as compared to a lower-amperage tool. With the latter, operators often press harder to improve cutting speed, causing more friction and heat, and potentially damaging the abrasive.

Signs of Running at the Wrong Speed

A tool not running at the right speed starts to bog down when the operator applies pressure. This could be due to inconsistent power to the tool, or to a failing motor. For pneumatic tools, it could be because the seals are opening up, signaling time to rebuild the tool.

If an operator runs a disc too quickly or applies too much pressure with a flap disc, the glue holding the flaps to the disc may give off an odor. The operator should ease up on the pressure or double check the tool-to-consumable-RPM ratio to ensure that the tool and disc are rated for each other.

Check the Rating of the Tool and Abrasive

When choosing the right tool and abrasive for the job, the operator should check the product packaging and operator manual to ensure that the product rating equals or surpasses the tool’s RPM. This helps maximize efficiency and productivity while ensuring a safer workplace. 

When in doubt about product or tool selection, consult a trusted distributor or abrasive manufacturer for help. MF

Industry-Related Terms: Abrasive, Die, Grinding, Run, Surface, Torque
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Weiler Corporation

Technologies: Finishing


Must be logged in to post a comment.
There are no comments posted.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Start receiving newsletters.