Abrasive wheels – how to choose and use consumables for angle grinders

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We have already familiarized ourselves with angle grinders, their features, technical characteristics. But, like all other construction tools, none of the angle grinders will benefit you without consumables. You simply cannot work without a cut-off or grinding wheel, a brush.

Let’s see what exactly is useful for us to work with an angle grinder: what are the consumables, additional equipment, how to choose the right consumable for your angle grinder, what you should pay attention to. Now we will focus on abrasive materials, since it is cutting, sharpening, grinding wheels that are the most demanded consumables that are used during work.

All consumables and accessories are divided into two large groups:

  • for small angle grinders (single-handed angle grinders up to 1500 W).
  • for large-sized angle grinders, as well as stationary machines (two-handed angle grinders up to 2600 W, special machines, stationary and portable cutting machines). These consumables have the same 22mm bore holes, and are also designed for the spindle thread of the M14 angle grinder (the thread is the same for all types of angle grinder). The main difference is the size and speed of rotation for which certain consumables are designed.

According to their purpose, consumables for angle grinders are also divided into several groups:

  • consumables that are designed for cutting all kinds of building and other materials;
  • consumables that are intended for cleaning, grinding, removing rust, roughing, polishing;
  • consumables that are intended for rough and fine processing of various kinds of surfaces (concrete, natural stone, wood, etc.)

In addition to consumables, in combination with angle grinders, other equipment is used, mainly for dust removal, which is connected to the tools using special casings and adapters. Dust removal is carried out using special industrial vacuum cleaners or special stationary dust removal systems. A separate group of additional equipment is cutting tables for both small and large angle grinders. We will talk about diamond consumables separately, and now we will analyze the features of abrasive and some other consumables.

Let’s read the inscriptions on the circle

When you pick up an abrasive wheel (it does not matter – cutting or grinding (grinding)), then you will see a huge number of inscriptions. Naturally, this is not an advertisement or an empty decoration of the product. These inscriptions are intended to convey to us all the information about the product. Let’s first of all deal with those inscriptions and special designations that do not cause much difficulty. All circles that meet international standards are first of all marked in the form of a picture, which shows us for which materials this circle is intended..

The picture can be an image of a metal profile, ceramic tiles, reinforced concrete, stone, etc. In addition, the circle may contain an image of gloves, a respirator, protective headphones (a reminder that it is necessary to use personal protective equipment and safety during work), an image of a book (a reminder of the need to read the instructions when working with a particular tool), there may be symbols that indicate a ban on misuse of the circle. Sometimes there are designations that indicate the need to apply cooling when working with a wheel. Sometimes the circle indicates the type of circle and the type of its reinforcement (there is a central reinforcement of the circle C (circles for stationary machines) and external reinforcement A (for hand tools). In addition, all its dimensions (diameter, thickness of the circle and diameter of the bore) are indicated on the circle. ), as well as the permissible wheel speed (or wheel speed in m / s).

  • 230х3х22.2 – circle diameter / circle thickness / bore diameter
  • max RPM 6600 min – rotation speed 6600 rpm.
  • 80 m / s – wheel speed

There will be an inscription without fail – the material on which the circle is used is indicated. Most manufacturers indicate the expiration date of the product on the metal part of the circle that frames the bore hole. This is a very important parameter. Sometimes circles literally “bribe” with their cost. It would seem – a well-known trademark, not a fake, there is no visual damage. But, if you pay attention to the expiration date, then everything becomes clear – the warranty storage period of the disk has either expired, or is already “on the way”. Applying such circles is deliberately risking your health, the health of others, and sometimes life..

A prerequisite when choosing a circle is that the rotation speed for which the circle is designed should not be lower than that with which your tool works. The most commonly found and used circles with a red stripe.

These designations are typical for all types of wheels – abrasive, diamond, flap (wheels using abrasive sheets), cut-off, cleaning, grinding, polishing. In addition, the circles may have a colored stripe applied in the middle. The color of this strip can also be determined. what speed of rotation this or that circle is designed for.

  • Green bar – corresponds to a rotation speed of 100 m / s.
  • Red bar – corresponds to a rotation speed of 80 m / s.
  • Yellow bar – corresponds to a rotation speed of 63 m / s.

The grain size that is used to make the circle is indicated by the letter F (from F 16 to F 220). Hardness is also indicated by English letters (H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T). The abrasive in circles is connected with each other with special connecting (adhesive) materials (bonds).

There are several types of bundles. Which has a letter designation:

  • Ceramic V
  • Bakelite B
  • Bakelite with BF hardening
  • Bakelite with graphite filling B4

The abrasive material itself, which is used to make wheels, is marked as follows:

  • Electrocorundum A
  • Elbor B
  • Silicon carbide C
  • Diamond D

These are the most common types of abrasives. Having seen an inscription on the circle, for example A 46 S BF, we can confidently say. That this wheel uses aluminum oxide with a grain size of 46, high hardness, on a bakelite base with hardening, an external reinforcement is applied in this wheel.

But further differences in designations are possible. This is due to the fact that, for example, diamond discs simply lack those materials that are used in abrasive wheels and vice versa. There are other differences as well. In flap wheels, an abrasive belt is used, where the grain size is indicated by the letter P. Knowing all these parameters, it is easier for us to decide on the choice of a circle and to choose the right consumable for our tool (angle grinder).

Types of processed materials and consumables

We have already said that angle grinder consumables are for different materials. For example. Do not grind concrete with an abrasive cut-off wheel for metal. However. recently, universal wheels have appeared, which make it equally easy to process a wide variety of materials – ceramics. Concrete, metal and even plastic, which is widely used in modern construction. However, there are also downsides to this versatility – rather high cost and lower performance. It is for this reason that it is best to use a circle that exactly matches the material being processed. For example, if you are cutting stainless steel, it is best to choose an appropriate circle, such as the AS60T INOX BF BOSCH stainless steel circle..

circle on stainless steel AS60T INOX BF BOSCH

Very often, angle grinders are used for processing wood, for example, to remove old paint. For this, special petal circles (KLT) are used. Thanks to the high revolutions, the optimally matched grain size of the flap wheel, you can tidy up the surface to be treated without much effort.

Petal circles KLT

Cup abrasive wheels are used for both metal and stone. Such consumables are often used at construction sites, in production. Despite the fact that they are small in size, the cup wheels are intended exclusively for large and powerful angle grinders. The use of such abrasives on small angle grinders will lead to the fact that angle grinders will quickly fail as a result of overload.

Abrasive cup wheels

When working with metal, we often have to deal with rust. And in this we are helped by special wire brushes. They have a different shape, type of attachment (with and without an integrated nut) and are designed for different types of angle grinders. It is very important to remember that each wire brush, like any other consumable for angle grinders, is designed for a specific speed..

Wire brushes

There are a variety of materials that are designed to polish different materials. Such consumables are most often made of fabric, natural or artificial wool, felt, etc. To attach them to angle grinders, special support plates are used:

  • for fiber sanding sheets,
  • for sticky sanding sheets .

So we moved on to the so-called additional equipment for angle grinders, which also just needs to be remembered..

Additional equipment for angle grinders

In addition to supporting plates, special equipment includes quick-clamping hooks for attaching consumables without the use of keys, covers with a dust extractor, devices for laying strobes, cutting tables. No matter how funny it sounds, industrial vacuum cleaners can be classified as additional equipment. It is industrial vacuum cleaners that allow processing concrete and stone and at the same time avoiding the appearance of dust on the construction site, and special quick-locking nuts will help to avoid such troubles as jamming of the clamping nut.

The use of consumables for their intended purpose, the use of additional equipment will allow you to perform all work in maximum terms, effectively use the tool and your working time. Remember that the use of non-standard, damaged, improperly stored angle grinder consumables is not allowed. It is very important to use tools and consumables for their intended purpose, remember that angle grinders are not designed for cutting firewood and manufacturers do not produce consumables for such purposes. The shelf life and storage conditions of abrasive materials play an important role – do not use wheels with an expired shelf life or those that were stored in violation of storage conditions.

Successful, fast and, most importantly, safe work for you.

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