What Are Coated Abrasives and What Do They Do?

Coated abrasives consist of an abrasive grain adhered to a backing material. These materials work well in manufacturing and construction for various applications, such as grinding, polishing, sanding, and finishing.

In this blog post, we will explore what coated abrasives are, what they do, and their various applications.

Types of Coated Abrasives

The type of backing material used in coated abrasives determines the type of coated abrasive it is. The most common types are fiber-backed (cloth or paper), resin-backed (plastic), and metal-backed (aluminum oxide). Each type has specific characteristics and advantages.

Fiber-backed abrasives are usually used for grinding and sanding operations because they are flexible enough to conform to contoured surfaces. Resin-backed abrasives are more rigid than fiber-backed ones but can still be bent slightly without breaking, making them ideal for polishing operations. Metal-backed abrasives offer superior durability but may require additional steps to ensure proper adhesion between the backing material and the abrasive grain.

How They Work

Coated abrasives remove small amounts of material from a surface during use. This removal is accomplished by embedding tiny particles of the abrasive grain into the surface. As these particles move across the surface, they cut away at it as a sharp knife would cut through food. The finer the grit size of the coating, the less aggressive it will be on the surface; conversely, a coarser grit size will provide a faster cutting action with deeper cuts into the material.


Coated abrasives have many uses in both industrial and consumer applications. Commonly used for grinding metal surfaces before welding or finishing operations, coated abrasives can also smooth out rough edges or remove paint or rust from metal surfaces before refinishing them. Additionally, you can use them in woodworking operations, such as sanding down rough spots or creating intricate patterns on wooden surfaces. Finally, they work well in automotive applications, such as polishing car bodies or buffing out scratches in headlights or taillights.

In conclusion, coated abrasives are an integral part of many different manufacturing processes due to their versatility and effectiveness when working with various materials such as metals and wood. There are many types of metalworking abrasives, and each offers unique advantages over the others. Understanding how they work and what applications they are best suited for can help you make the right choice when selecting the abrasive material for your project.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Logan Voss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.