Non-woven abrasives, consisting of non-woven fabric, abrasive particles, and bonding agents, have emerged as highly elastic and three-dimensional flexible abrasive tools. Over the past decade, China has witnessed rapid development in the application of non-woven abrasives, spanning industries like machinery, electronics, plastics, furniture, automotive, and construction materials. The advantages of non-woven abrasives over traditional coated abrasives include enhanced aesthetics, longer lifespan, and preservation of the workpiece's substrate integrity. As industries demand increasingly stringent surface finishing requirements, the need for these abrasives is set to grow exponentially.
*Manufacturing Process of Non-woven Abrasives*
**1. Raw Materials**
Non-woven abrasives primarily consist of non-woven fabric, abrasive particles, and bonding agents. The raw materials used are as follows:
- Non-woven fabric: Short fibers of materials such as polyester, polyamide, polypropylene, and polyvinyl chloride are used, and the non-woven fabric is manufactured using the air-laid method.
- Bonding agents: Epoxy resin, phenolic resin, urea-formaldehyde resin, furfural resin, and more. The choice of raw materials determines the characteristics of the final product, based on performance requirements and workpiece specifications.
**2. Manufacturing Process**
The manufacturing process involves several steps:
- First, short fibers are converted into fluffy non-woven fabric with a three-dimensional structure using an air-laid machine. The fabric typically weighs between 50 to 500 grams per square meter.
- Then, a mixture of abrasive particles and bonding agents is applied to the non-woven fabric base. There are two common methods of application:
1. Immersion Method: This process involves mixing, immersion, rolling, stacking, curing, and finishing. It is widely used for producing nylon wheels.
2. Spray Method: In this approach, mixing, spraying, curing, and finishing are carried out. Industrial non-woven wipes are often manufactured using this method.
- Additionally, there is another manufacturing process wherein plastic chips and abrasive particles are mixed and extruded to create a non-woven fabric base or individual filaments containing abrasives. These can be directly used after processing.
*Characteristics of Non-woven Abrasives*
**1. Long Lifespan**
The unique three-dimensional structure and pore ratio exceeding 90% contribute to the prolonged lifespan of non-woven abrasives. They are less prone to clogging and maintain their cutting efficiency over an extended period.
**2. Efficient Heat Dissipation**
The net-like three-dimensional structure ensures excellent heat dissipation, preventing damage to the workpiece due to overheating during the abrasive process.
**3. Elastic Abrasion**
With high elasticity and flexibility, non-woven abrasives can effectively process complex surfaces with grooves and ridges. The elasticity prevents excessive abrasion and scratching of the workpiece surface, preserving its dimensional integrity.
**4. Water and Oil Resistance**
Non-woven abrasives exhibit excellent water and oil resistance due to the inherent properties of the fibers used.
**5. Safety and Pollution-free**
During use, non-woven abrasives produce minimal noise and dust, creating a comfortable, safe, and pollution-free operating environment for users.
*Common Types and Applications of Non-woven Abrasives*
**1. Industrial Non-woven Wipes**
Industrial non-woven wipes, available in various shapes such as sheets, discs, and rolls, find applications in hardware, woodworking, and other industries. They are used for descaling, removing surface oxidation, and creating decorative finishes, including hairline patterns. These wipes can be used both manually and with machines.
**2. Abrasive Rollers**
Manufactured using non-woven fabric as raw material, abrasive rollers are processed in different ways. They are extensively applied in circuit boards, steel plates, and artificial board industries, primarily for surface finishing and creating decorative finishes, including hairline patterns.
**3. Nylon Sanding Belts**
Nylon sanding belts, composed of nylon fibers as the base and bonded abrasive particles, are widely used in metal, wood, and plastic surface treatments, polishing, deburring, and cleaning.
**4. Unified Polishing Discs**
Unified polishing discs, made with nylon fibers, abrasive particles, and special bonding agents, are characterized by their durability, high efficiency, convenience, and excellent finishing results. They are used for wire pattern finishing, cleaning, and deburring in metal, composite materials, and plastic industries.
**5. Black Diamond Abrasives**
Black diamond abrasives, fabricated using high-strength nylon fibers, abrasive particles, and specialized bonding agents, are widely utilized in shipbuilding and automotive industries for weld seam removal, and rust removal, featuring high abrasive power, low noise, and minimal dust.
Non-woven abrasives, with their exceptional characteristics of longevity, elasticity, and minimal impact on workpiece surfaces, continue to find diverse applications across industries. As health and environmental concerns gain prominence, their eco-friendly attributes position them to replace more traditional abrasive products in the future. As research in the field progresses, the versatility and utility of non-woven abrasives are expected to expand further, fostering technological advancements and raising the bar for surface finishing standards.
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