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Sia Abrasives is one of the world’s leading suppliers of abrasives. Furthermore SIA Abrasives has over 140 years of expertise. In addition Sia has unrivalled innovativeness and one of the most comprehensive ranges of products. As a result these products include: solutions for all materials, a wide range of applications and abrasives in all shapes and forms.

SIA are your abrasives specialists. As a result SIA is familiar with the process steps of our customers from industry and craft trades. SIA supplies a wide range of abrasive formats, and our solutions are always tailored to your specific requirements.

Finished by sia Abrasives with the aim: SIA solutions for perfect surfaces.

SIA has a complete range of compatible abrasives for any machine or portable application that is sold at our website:

  • Rolls
  • Foam abrasives
  • Discs

Sandpaper and Abrasives Basics: 


An abrasive is a material used to finish (the act of polishing or making a surface smooth) or shape a workpiece through friction. The materials used on abrasives to create friction are often minerals. Abrasives are commonly mislabeled as sandpaper by the general public, but that is a misnomer because neither sand nor glass is used to manufacture abrasive products anymore.

Abrasives are used for many different industrial, consumer, and technological applications. Abrasives can be used for cutting, grinding, polishing, drilling, sharpening, lapping, buffing, honing, and sanding among many other things. The wide range of uses has given birth to many different types of abrasive products.


As previously mentioned, abrasives rely on friction to remove material and smoothen out workpieces. While any two solid materials will wear each other away when repeatedly rubbed together over time, abrasive materials work well and last longer because they tend to be harder than the material that is being worked on.

Abrasive grains (also called grit) have rough edges and when the grains come into contact with a material while in motion, the grains break away fragments of the workpiece. There are many different factors that determine how effective an abrasive will be. Factors include:

  • The relative hardness of an abrasive compared to the material being worked on (harder abrasives will cut deeper faster)
  • Adhesion between grains (determines how quickly grains are lost)
  • Loading (worn abrasives can reduce cutting efficiency)
  • Contact force (greater force will result in faster abrasion)
  • Use of lubricant, coolant, or metalworking fluid (can help to carry away sanding debri to prevent friction and reduce heat)


There are many different types of abrasives and each type of abrasive has its own manufacturing process. Abrasive grains are produced by heating or chemically treating minerals to produce hard materials good for abrading. After being treated, the minerals are crushed and sifted by size. The smaller a grain is, the finer the finish is. Once crushed, the grains may be washed in classifiers to remove slimes and passed through magnetic separators to remove iron-bearing material.

For abrasive wheels, the grains are then bonded to a wheel using one of six types of bonds:

  1. Vitrified or ceramic
  2. Resinoid
  3. Rubber
  4. Shellac
  5. Silicate of soda
  6. Oxychloride of magnesium

For coated abrasive products, the grains are bonded to a backing using resins, glues, and/or varnish. Coated abrasive products are first produced as large rolls of abrasive-coated fabric or paper. The rolls are then manufactured into a finished product.


Different jobs call for different types of abrasives. The most common abrasive products are sanding belts, sanding discs, sanding sheets, and sanding rolls.

Sanding belts are great for jobs that require a lot of material to be removed quickly. Sanding belts are often used for stock removal in knife making, sanding hardwood floors, removing paint from flat surfaces, and sharpening tools.

Sanding discs are great for sanding large surfaces if you don’t have a wide belt sander. They are good for preparing surfaces, finishing wood, or derusting metal.

Sanding sheets require more manual labor and are usually only used when absolutely needed. Sanding sheets allow for a lighter touch for woodworking and finishing. Sheets are also able to reach small surfaces and crevices that electric equipment can’t. Blade smiths will often switch to hand sanding after 220 grit (using a waterproof aluminum oxide sanding sheet)  to have more precision during the finishing process.

Sanding rolls can be cut into sanding sheets or wound around drum sanders. Drum sanders are good for efficiently putting a fine finish on materials. They are often used on wood products, but can be used to finish plastic and metal work pieces as well. If you’re interested in cutting your own drum sanding strips from a sanding roll, we’ve covered how to do that in our blog post on cutting your own drum sanding strips.


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