Sandpaper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Grit size)
Jump to: navigation, search
Sheets of sandpaper with different grits (40, 80, 150, 240, 600).

Sandpaper (sometimes called glasspaper[1]) is a heavy paper with abrasive material attached to its surface.

Sandpaper is part of the "coated abrasives" family of abrasive products. It is used to remove small amounts of material from surfaces, either to make them smoother (for example, in painting and wood finishing), to remove a layer of material (such as old paint), or sometimes to make the surface rougher (for example, as a preparation to gluing).

History[edit]

The first recorded instance of sandpaper was in 13th-century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum.

Shark skin was also used as a sandpaper. The rough scales of the living fossil Coelacanth are used by the natives of Comoros as sandpaper.[2]

Boiled and dried, the rough horsetail is used in Japan as a traditional polishing material, finer than sandpaper.

Sandpaper was originally known as glass paper, as it used particles of glass. Glass frit has sharp-edged particles and cuts well; sand grains are smoothed down and did not work well like sandpaper made from glass. Cheap counterfeit sandpaper has long been passed off as true glass paper; Stalker and Parker cautioned against it in the 17th century.[3]

Glass paper was manufactured in London by 1833 by John Oakey, whose company had developed new adhesive techniques and processes, enabling mass production. A process for making sandpaper was patented in the United States on June 14, 1834 by Isaac Fischer, Jr., of Springfield, Vermont.

In 1921, 3M invented a sandpaper with a waterproof backing, known as Wet and dry. This allowed use with water, which would serve as a lubricant to carry away particles that would otherwise clog the grit. Its first application was automotive paint refinishing.[4]

Types[edit]

320 grit silicon carbide sandpaper, with close-up view.

There are many varieties of sandpaper, with variations in the paper or backing, the material used for the grit, grit size, and the bond.

Backing[edit]

In addition to paper, backing for sandpaper includes cloth (cotton, polyester, rayon), PET film, and "fibre", or rubber. Cloth backing is used for sandpaper discs and belts, while mylar is used as backing for extremely fine grits. Fibre or vulcanized fibre is a strong backing material consisting of many layers of polymer impregnated paper. The weight of the backing is usually designated by a letter. For paper backings, the weight ratings range from "A" to "F," with A designating the lightest and F the heaviest. Letter nomenclature follows a different system for cloth backings, with the weight of the backing rated J, X, Y, T, and M, from lightest to heaviest. A flexible backing allows sandpaper to follow irregular contours of a workpiece; relatively inflexible backing is optimal for regular rounded or flat surfaces. Sandpaper backings may be glued to the paper or form a separate support structure for moving sandpaper, such as used in sanding belts and discs. Stronger paper or backing increases the ease of sanding wood. The harder the backing material, the faster the sanding, the faster the wear of the paper and the rougher the sanded surface.

Material[edit]

Materials used for the abrading particles are:

  • flint: no longer commonly used
  • garnet: commonly used in woodworking
  • emery: commonly used to abrade or polish metal
  • aluminium oxide: The most common in widest variety of grits, lowest unit cost; can be used on metal (i.e. body shops) or wood
  • silicon carbide: available in very coarse grits all the way through to microgrits, common in wet applications
  • alumina-zirconia: (an aluminium oxide–zirconium oxide alloy), used for machine grinding applications
  • Chromium(III) oxide: used in extremely fine micron grit (micrometre level) papers
  • ceramic aluminum oxide: used in high pressure applications, used in both coated abrasives, as well as in bonded abrasives.

Sandpaper may be "stearated" where a dry lubricant is loaded to the abrasive. Stearated papers are useful in sanding coats of finish and paint as the stearate "soap" prevents clogging and increases the useful life of the sandpaper.

The harder the grit material, the easier the sanding of surfaces like wood. The grit material for polishing granite slab must be harder than granite.

Later abrading surfaces include long-life stainless steel sanding discs.

Bonds[edit]

Different adhesives are used to bond the abrasive to the paper. Hide glue is still used, but this glue often cannot withstand the heat generated during machine sanding and is not waterproof. Waterproof or wet/dry sandpapers use a resin bond and a waterproof backing.

Sandpapers can also be open coat, where the particles are separated from each other and the sandpaper is more flexible. This helps prevent clogging of the sandpaper. The wet and dry sandpaper is best[citation needed] used when wet.

Shapes[edit]

Sandpaper comes in a number of different shapes and sizes:

  • sheet: usually 9 by 11 inches, but other sizes may be available
  • belt: usually cloth backed, comes in different sizes to fit different belt sanders.
  • disk: made to fit different models of disc and random orbit sanders. May be perforated for some models of sanders. Attachment includes pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) and "hook-and-loop" (similar to velcro).
  • rolls: known as "shag rolls" by many contractors
  • sponge: for tight places

Grit sizes[edit]

Grit size refers to the size of the particles of abrading materials embedded in the sandpaper. Several different standards have been established for grit size. These standards establish not only the average grit size, but also the allowable variation from the average. The two most common are the United States CAMI (Coated Abrasive Manufacturers Institute, now part of the Unified Abrasives Manufacturers' Association) and the European FEPA (Federation of European Producers of Abrasives) "P" grade. The FEPA system is the same as the ISO 6344 standard. Other systems used in sandpaper include the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JIS), the micron grade (generally used for very fine grits). The "ought" system ({0, 00, 000, ...} aka {1/0, 2/0, 3/0, ...}) was used in the past in the US. Cheaper sandpapers sometimes use nomenclature such as "Coarse", "Medium" and "Fine", but it is unclear to what standards these names refer.

Grit size table[edit]

The following table, compiled from the references at the bottom, compares the CAMI and "P" designations with the average grit size in micrometres (µm).

Grit size table
ISO/FEPA Grit designation CAMI Grit designation Average particle diameter (µm)
MACROGRITS
Extra Coarse (Very fast removal of material, hardwood flooring initial sanding) P12   1815
P16   1324
P20   1000
P24   764
  24 708
P30   642
  30 632
  36 530
P36   538
Coarse (Rapid removal of material) P40 40 425
  50 348
P50   336
Medium (sanding bare wood in preparation for finishing, for gentle removal of varnish, also used for skateboard grip tape)   60 265
P60   269
P80   201
  80 190
Fine (sanding bare wood in preparation for finishing, not suitable for removing varnish or paint from wood, use for cleaning plaster and water stain from wood) P100   162
  100 140
P120   125
  120 115
Very Fine (sanding of bare wood) P150   100
  150 92
P180 180 82
P220 220 68
MICROGRITS
Very Fine (sanding finishes between coats) P240   58.5
  240 53.0
P280   52.2
P320   46.2
P360   40.5
Extra fine, start polishing of wood   320 36.0
P400   35.0
P500   30.2
  360 28.0
P600   25.8
Super fine (final sanding of finishes, final sanding of wood)   400 23.0
P800   21.8
  500 20.0
P1000   18.3
  600 16.0
P1200   15.3
Ultra fine (final sanding and polishing of thick finishes) P1500 800 12.6
P2000 1000 10.3
P2500   8.4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ E. M. Kirkpatrick, ed. (1983). Chambers 20th Century Dictionary. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers Ltd. p. 532. ISBN 0-550-10234-5. 
  2. ^ Thomson, Keith Stewart (1992). Living Fossil: The Story of the Coelacanth. W. W. Norton & Company Limited. ISBN 978-0-393-30868-6. 
  3. ^ Stalker & Parker (1971) [1688]. A Treatise of Japaning and Varnishing. Tiranti. 
  4. ^ Jeffrey, Kirk (1989). "The Major Manufacturers: From Food and Forest Products to High Technology". In Clark, Clifford Edward. Minnesota in a Century of Change: The State And Its People Since 1900. Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-0-87351-238-1. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]