A machine is complete only with its working components. Sandpaper is the sheet of paper or cloth with abrasive materials coated to one face and is used to remove materials from surfaces, either to make them smoother, to remove a layer of material(such as paint), or sometimes to make the surface rougher. In those days, sandpaper was made of actual grains of sand that were glued onto a paper backing. But nowadays, it is now composed of abrasives like garnet, silicon carbide, aluminium oxide, etc.
Uses of Sandpaper
Sandpaper is used for two types of products: Power-sanding products and Hand-sanding products. Power-sanding products are a good choice for getting rid of blemishes and for shaping and levelling wood. It is an effective method of preparing metal surfaces for paint. For these products, sandpaper comes in sheets, discs, and belts designed to fit specific power tools. Hand-sanding products can sand areas that a power sander can’t reach. They give you a lighter touch for woodworking and finishing. Sandpaper comes in sheets for this product and you can cut the sheet to the size you need. Some sandpapers are used for both power sanding and hand sanding. Sandpapers are used in different types of sanders.
Abrasive materials and their properties
Natural abrasives and manmade abrasives are used in sandpapers. Garnet and emery are the natural abrasives used. Garnet works well on raw wood and is good for hand sanding. They remove the light scratches and prepare the surface for finishing. Garnet sandpaper wears quickly. Emery on sandpapers is used to remove rust or pain and to polish the surface. They work for both hand sanding and power sanding metal. Manmade abrasives like aluminium oxide are coated with sandpaper and that works on wood, plastic, metal, and drywall. This sandpaper is long-lasting and it is the best choice for power sanding. They are used in power sanders like orbital sanders, random orbital sanders, etc. Silicon carbide sandpaper can be used on the wood, plastic, and metal for tasks such as rough sanding, paint or rust removal and sanding between coats when finishing. These products often have a waterproof backing that allows you to wet sand. In wet sanding, a liquid is used to lubricate the work surface, minimizing scratches and this technique also prevents the sandpaper from clogging with dust. Zirconia alumina abrasive is suitable for woods, metal, fiberglass and painted surfaces. Sandpapers are in available in the form of belts , pads, and discs which are used in belt sanders and orbital sanders.
A random orbital sander is one of the best orbital sander widely used everywhere. It eliminates the swirl pattern left behind by regular orbital sanders by moving back and forth. It can perform both the functions of the belt sander and an orbital sander. You only need a one-handed grip on the palm grip handle. The pad is typically 5 to 6 inches in diameter and the sandpaper you use on an orbital sander is sometimes a peel-and-stick adhesive disc that attaches right to the pad of the sander.