Types of Abrasives in the Auto Industry

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With the advent of manufacturing robots and molded auto and engine bodies, extensive use of abrasives has shifted primarily to auto parts suppliers, and repair and mechanics shops.

Abrasives and Diamond Tools Marketplace

Abrasives and Diamond Tools Marketplace

Automotive manufacturers were once major users of abrasives, which were used in all stages of the vehicle manufacturing process. Now, with the advent of manufacturing robots and molded auto and engine bodies, extensive use of abrasives has shifted primarily to auto parts suppliers, and repair and mechanics shops.

The market is huge, especially as worldwide auto demand grows. From engine parts sizing, deburring, and cleaning to auto body, interior, and accessories repairs, abrasives are used to smooth welds, clean the insides of pipes, and roughen or smooth surfaces and edges for fitting, oiling, painting, or polishing.

Automobile Engine Abrasives

There are thousands of specialized abrasive wheel formulations, sizes, and shapes used in industrial applications for making auto, truck, and aircraft engines and parts. New ones come out on the market every year.

In 2012 The Hardinge Grinding Group developed new grinding wheels that remove metal 20% faster and last 30% longer than before. Their applications in the automotive industry are many, including cylindrical grinding of crankshafts and camshafts, gear grinding, and internal grinding of hydraulic components.

Nylon abrasive cross buffs are another fairly recent product. They are used in tight spots, like the insides of pipes. Motor manufacturers and mechanics use them to polish the insides of carburetor venturis, cylinder head exhaust ports, lifter bores, valve bodies, brake cylinders, and exhaust pipes.

Body Interior and Exterior Use of Abrasives

Coated and non-woven abrasives are both used to refinish auto bodies. Abrasive papers, sponges, pencils, emery cloths, steel wool, rubbing compound, finishing pads are all abrasives used for prepping and polishing. The multi-perforated sanders that whisk away dust are especially useful to prevent dust from spoiling freshly painted surfaces.

Cutting compound is an abrasive suspended in liquid paste or wax used to cut through oxidized paint or polish out scratches. An aluminum oxide emery cloth is used to polish auto body contours.

3M recently produced a new mini orbital sander for automotive paint repair. It uses a new gripping material cover, and has better ergonomics and a lighter aluminum body to increase ease and comfort in using the sander. An improved skirt attachment extends its durability.

Abrasives Used for Non-Engine Parts & Accessories

Accessories like air conditioners and radios are made as complete entities intended to slip into a pre-engineered slot in the dashboard with room for minor sizing errors. However, parts like steering wheels, brakes, axles, and wheels need precision fits.

In 2013 Germany's Wheelabrator Technology Center developed a new Robot Peener that allows axle gear parts to be processed three times quicker than conventional peeners. The part to be blasted is maintained at exactly defined distances by the robot.

Brakes have their own special abrasive with a non directional scratch pattern that fits onto a collet tool. It's used to eliminate brake squeal and reduce discoloration on heat sensitive metals. Aluminum oxide emery cloths are used for polishing brake spindles and crank shafts.

A wheel hub cleaning tool uses abrasives in the shape of little round circles to remove corrosion around wheel studs.

All of these tools and accessories are bought and sold in bulk on the popular online B2B abrasives portal, iAbrasive.com. If you are not already registered on the site, registration is easy. Suppliers have their own stores and buyers can post requests on the site bulletin board. The site also provides plenty of news about abrasives and their uses, as well as current trends in sales. Check it out.

Copyright: iAbrasive.com--Abrasives & Diamond Tools Market

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since: 08/2012
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