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Super Abrasives for Heavy Duty Metal Grinding

Super abrasives like cBN (Carbon Boron Nitride) and Diamonds are a metal manufacturer’s preferred abrasive coating for a number of reasons. When it comes to selecting the right grinding wheels for your tool sharpening, deburring and finishing tasks, it can get a little confusing with all the different types of abrasive products and bonding agents used to make these wheels. Our hope is to shed some light on this subject. As a top Norton Abrasives distributor for many years, we have learned what clients order most and why. Perhaps you can benefit from this experience.

CBN Grinding Wheels


A single layer of cubic boron nitride particles bonded to a metal disc can grind most of the hardest metals including steels over 45Rc hardness and nickel alloys most machinists work with. When you add a few more layers of cBN grit to the typical cBN grinding wheels we sell from manufacturers like Norton Abrasives and Engis Abrasives, you get a product designed for long life even in high speed applications. cBN grit tends to stay cool during use and does not react to the steel the way other abrasives do. Aluminum oxide and silicon carbide grinding wheels also tend to leave a particle dust that can be left on metal tooling during your sharpening process. cBN grinding wheels do not cause any grit that can dull your bits. Grit concentration has more to do with material removal. The higher the concentration of cBN grit, the finer the polishing. Coarser (less) grit concentration, more material removal capabilities.

Diamond Grinding Wheels


Industrial diamonds are actually more common than you may realize. Almost 5 billion carats are manufactured synthetically. Because these types of diamond have irregular shapes and contain aesthetical flaws in their clarity, they are not used in jewelry. But they are still very valuable for their extreme level of hardness and therefore great for their metalworking applications. Diamond grinding wheels are generally used for carbide metals and non-ferrous materials such as aluminum, copper and zinc. And precious metals like gold and silver. These wheels are more often used in a higher (finer) grit concentration for various finishing applications.

Resin Bonds vs. Vitrified Bonds

The adhesive bond on a grinding wheel not only holds the abrasive materials in place but also acts as a shock absorber and extend the life of the grinding wheel. An organic resin bond is probably the most common what cBD grinding wheels are made. There is a little give and therefore good for tasks that require high speeds and vibrations will be present, such as conditioning hard metals or when you are making cuts in your metal parts.

A vitrified bond is often used for adhering diamond to an abrasive wheel. The superheated clay and flux produce a very strong bond that is ridged. Polishing and tool sharpening are often the tasks that require a diamond grinding wheel with a vitrified bond.

Die Grinder Attachments from Norton

Almost every production foreman has a portable Die Grinder Attachmentsdie grinder close at hand to smooth out those rough edges that continue to appear. We sell a ton of die grinder cartridge rolls, spiral rolls, mounted points and carbide shaped attachments for these handy tools. Your Flood Supply customer service team knows this Die Grinder Attachment catalog inside and out. After we have worked with you for a couple of months, we learn the attachments you use most and weather you are a Quantum or Gemini shop. Give us a call here: (215) 357-7746 or send us an email using the form on this page.

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