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Exploring the Diversity of Natural Abrasive Materials in Industrial Applications

Abrasives are divided into two categories: natural abrasive material and man-made abrasives. All materials in nature that can be used for grinding or polishing are collectively called natural abrasive material. Although the preparation of man-made abrasive materials is becoming more and more delicate, natural abrasive material still has a certain status.

Natural Diamond

Diamond is the hardest known substance. Natural diamond is used as an abrasive material in two main ways, i.e. dressing grinding wheels, grinding and lapping difficult-to-machine materials. The main tools are natural diamond grinding wheel cutter, natural diamond dresser, and natural diamond pen. Different uses of diamond have different technical requirements. For example, natural diamond used for glass processing tools requires crystal integrity and no cracks.

Natural Corundum

Among natural minerals, corundum is second only to diamond in hardness. Corundum belongs to the tripartite crystal system, the crystal has the nature of the transition from ionic bonding to covalent bonding, making the structure more compact. Single crystals are usually girdled and columnar, and the aggregate is granular or dense block. Generally blue-gray, yellow-gray, or iron containing black. As an abrasive, corundum grit is commonly used to make grinding wheels, oil stones, sandpaper, emery cloth or micropowder, and abrasive paste.


There are many mineral species of garnet and almost all of them can be used as abrasives. Garnet is treated with a high-temperature forging process, which increases its toughness and makes it very abrasive, especially in the abrasive processing of wood, where its durability is higher than that of aluminum oxide abrasives. It seldom produces the phenomenon of abrasion and scratches when grinding such materials as silicon wafers and optical glass, and this unique and excellent property is incomparable to that of synthetic abrasives of the same specification.


Perlite can become polishing abrasives after crushing, sieving, and other processes. Perlite abrasives are mainly used in the polishing of TV glass cases, computer monitors, optical glass instruments, and glass craft jewelry. In some computer display production, in order to reduce the reflectivity of the display surface, and to protect the operator's eyesight, the display glass shell surface needs to be polished.

As an important tool for grinding and polishing, abrasives play an irreplaceable role in industrial production. Natural abrasive materials each have unique physical and chemical properties that make them perform well in specific application scenarios. Although advances in man-made abrasive preparation technology continue to drive the development of grinding technology, natural abrasive material still occupies a place in the field of grinding by virtue of its unique performance and stability.

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