When it comes to flap discs, there are a wide variety of discs on the market today. Let's start by understanding the various components of a flap disc so you know how to choose the right disc and flap disc manufacturers for the right task.
Is stock removal your main goal, or do you want a smooth surface? Choosing the correct disc shape is the most important variable, and the shape will help you achieve your results efficiently. Flaps are almost always used on right angle grinders where they are at an angle or parallel to your work. Flaps come in two shapes: conical or flat.
Tapered flaps: When you need to remove large amounts of material in a short time, tapered flaps are your best friend. They can be used for edge processing as well as contouring applications. The flaps in a tapered flap disc are angled. As a result, these discs provide a larger surface area for cutting on horizontal surfaces.
Flat Flap Discs: While tapered discs are great for fast cutting, flat flap discs are best suited for mixed and excellent finishing. They are primarily used for flat surfaces. Flap discs have flaps that adhere to the support plate and provide stability during operation.
Backing plate material is also an important variable to consider when selecting flaps for your application. Fiberglass, plastic and metal are the most popular backing plate materials in abrasives manufacturing.
✱ Fiberglass: Strong, durable, lightweight and safe, fiberglass is the most popular material choice. Fiberglass forms a strong bond with the adhesive and will not contaminate the work surface. This board also consumes during use and absorbs vibrations well. Keep in mind that fiberglass backing is made from layers of fiberglass that are web-bonded and pressed together. With more layers and higher mesh density, the backing will be stronger and more durable - an important consideration when you check the detailed specifications of your flap discs.
✱ Plastic: Another popular backing material is plastic, with nylon being the most commonly used plastic. These backings can be trimmed, allowing longer use of the flaps, especially during mixing and finishing. Today, plastics are becoming an increasingly attractive choice due to their compliance and cost.
✱ Metal: Metal backings are the safest choice, and they are perfect when you need extra strength and solid support. Aluminum is a commonly used metal. Because metal panels are expensive, they should also be used where it makes the most sense. For example, when using baffles in concrete or stone applications, use baffles with metal for strong support and better performance. The metal is not consumed during use, but when the flap disc exceeds its useful life, the metal plate can be easily recycled.
What does abrasive flap density mean? Think of density as the total amount of abrasive area provided by the flaps on the flap disc. This area depends on the number of flaps on the disc, their angle relative to the center of the disc, and the spacing between them. Remember that each variable affects the amount of disk area available for work.
✱ Standard Density: Standard density flaps are the best choice for fast cutting and heavy-duty applications.
✱ High Density: High density flaps are best for handling curved or uneven work, and finishing processes. Don't take the description of flap density at face value. Consider the number, angle and spacing of the flaps to distinguish between the two discs, both of which can be designated as "standard density flaps" or "high density flaps".
Flaps can be used for a variety of applications, whether metal or woodworking, concrete grinding or finishing, stone smoothing or finishing, painting or rust removal, etc. To get the most out of flaps, it is important to choose the right abrasive for your specific job requirements. Let's take a look at the most commonly used types of abrasives.
✱ Ceramic Aluminum Oxide: This material is ideal for stainless steel or alloy metal applications. With ceramic alumina, the grit material breaks down at a microscopic level during operation. This produces a continuous supply of sharp cutting surfaces. As a result, it allows for faster cutting while allowing the use of whole grains. Since the entire grain is used up during the cutting process, these discs offer higher durability.
✱ Zirconia Alumina: This is a mixture of zirconia and alumina grains that is ideal for carbon and mild steel applications. Zirconia alumina costs less than ceramic alumina, and it offers excellent cost reduction rates.
✱ Alumina: This is the original grit material used when flap discs were first introduced in the 1970s. It was also the lowest cost option. Today, it is recommended for smaller jobs that produce a lower value product.
If you have been using grinding wheels, you are probably familiar with grit size. Grit size is the ultimate variable that you must choose based on the end goal and what you want to achieve. For cutting or general grinding, use an abrasive with a lower grit. On the other hand, if you want a smooth surface finish, use a higher grit.
Flap discs were initially popular for use with metals, especially in welding abrasives applications. Today, various flap discs can be used for different surfaces.
✱ Flaps for aluminum: Compared to other metals, aluminum has a lower melting temperature and melts easily. This causes the aluminum material to cover the flap disc during the grinding process, covering the grit and exposing only a small amount of aluminum. When cutting, use a T29 tapered disc at a 15 degree angle to provide maximum surface contact. If you need to surface clean or provide a smooth finish, use a T27 flat disc parallel to your work area. For best results, use light and even pressure to optimize the grinding process and reduce the load.
✱ Flaps for wood: Flaps are excellent tools for treating wood. Flaps designed for wood are similar in nature to flaps designed for metal. You can use aluminum oxide grit for wood applications. For wood, you should also use the flap disc on an angle grinder, just as you would with an abrasive wheel. To avoid deep scratches, start with a heavy grit and work your way up to a lighter grit (100+) for the final polish. For wood sanding, use grit sizes 120, 150, 180 and 220 for a furniture grade finish.
✱ Baffles for paint removal: Do you have rusty metal objects that you know you can still extend the life of? Do you have old, chipped paint on your car that needs to be removed to give it a fresh look? Flap discs, especially non-woven discs, are the ideal tool for removing paint and rust. Non-woven flaps or flaps with aluminum oxide can be used for paint or rust removal applications. Like regular flap discs, these discs can be ground and finished in one operation while providing a smooth and controlled grind.
✱ Flaps for concrete: You need silicon carbide or diamond flaps to make strong cuts in concrete. Silicon carbide and diamond are among the hardest materials in the world. Using these discs will allow you to work on concrete surfaces without high pressure. These Flap Discs have a rigid backing and can also be used on other surfaces such as engineered stone, granite, marble and ceramics.
Before starting to use any store tool, you should always make sure that you
1. Know your tool
2. Read the user manual
3. Wear appropriate safety equipment
4. Ensure a safe working area
5. Know what you are using the tool for
With a flip-flop, you need to consider the size and scope of the project. Do you have to aggressively remove inventory, or are you successfully accomplishing your goals? Or do you want to grind somewhere in between? Whatever your answer, there is a flap disc for your situation.
Don't limit flap discs to plain metal. Flaps can also be used on a variety of surfaces, including aluminum, wood, concrete, engineered stone, granite, and more. For each of these applications, whether you are grinding or finishing, be sure to select the correct flap disc. Remember, tapered flap discs are great for cutting and flat flap discs are best for finishing.
The flap disc backing material is important because it provides support during operation. Use metal backing for concrete or manufactured stone, and fiberglass or plastic backing for most metal or wood work. Also consider your abrasive grit material and choose your grit size to get the desired results. For general grinding, use a lower grit size abrasive. For a smooth finish, use a higher grit size.
Using a flap instead of a conventional tool can greatly improve the quality of your work. You can also benefit from lower noise and vibration. Flap Discs can take you into a world of new applications while helping you achieve higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness.
You have many choices when it comes to purchasing Flap Discs. However, a reputable company that cares about you and your projects will help you get better results. You should also feel comfortable asking for samples when you try new tools.
Changzhou RMN Abrasives Co., Ltd. has a wide variety of tools, accessories and supplies to meet your current needs and future needs. If you have any questions, our team can guide you to the right tool for your specific job. Contact us today to get started!