How to choose the right grinding wheel abrasives for robot polishing

What is the best grinding wheel abrasives type for your robot sanding application? Your decision will affect the quality and efficiency of your entire application, so it’s important to handle it correctly!

You have your robot. You have your sanding end effector. Now you can create an innocent automatic sanding product, right?

Ok, almost…

Before you start using robot polishing, you have to make a big choice: Which Hook and loop – very common, easy to connect and disassemble.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSA) – When applied pressure, they adhere firmly to the sander, but are difficult to remove.
Drill Accessories – Some grinding wheel abrasives are attached to the shaft and need to be tightened into the chuck.
For example, the sanding kit is compatible with grinding media supported by a 5-inch round shackle. This is a very common type, which means it has many options.

To find the right grinding wheel abrasives for the end effector, you can start with an online search. For example, you can search for: 5-inch shackle-type 50-grained nonwoven sandpaper.

Then all you have to do is program the robot and you’re ready to go! will you use? Your decision will affect the quality and efficiency of your robot polishing application.

This is the three decisions you must make to find the right choice for you.

Choose the right grinding wheel abrasives type
The type of grinding wheel abrasives media can seriously affect your work.

Which type is best for your needs? Choose the materials that will be polished and the materials that need to be removed by the robot. For example, removing 1 mm of surface varnish is very different from removing 10 mm of wood.

Grinding media are divided into three main categories: bonding or coating, non-woven fabrics and brushes.

Here are some of the three introductions:

1. Bonded or coated grinding wheel abrasives

These are probably the most common types of grinding wheel abrasives because they are widely used in industrial manufacturing, joinery and home repair. If you use a sander at home, you can almost certainly use bonded or coated grinding wheel abrasives.

The bonded grinding wheel abrasives consists of a mixture of grinding wheel abrasives particles and a type of binder such as a resin, epoxy, rubber. The mixture is formed into a shape that is hardened when the adhesive cures (usually a wheel). A common example is the grinding wheel.

The coated grinding wheel abrasive is similar to the bonded abrasive. However, instead of forming a solid shape, a mixture of abrasive particles and binder is applied to the surface of another material. A common example is sandpaper in which a mixture is applied to paper.

There are many options for coating grinding wheel abrasivess that are compatible with robot sanding.

2. Non-woven grinding wheel abrasives

They are between sanding and polishing. They are less aggressive than bonded grinding wheel abrasives but are more corrosive than polishing pads. They are usually made of fibers (usually nylon plastic) with small particles of gravel embedded in the fibers.

Nonwoven grinding wheel abrasives are almost as many shapes, sizes and types as coated and bonded grinding wheel abrasives, from hand pads to belts and discs.

Nonwoven grinding wheel abrasives are available in a variety of options and are compatible with automatic sanding.

3. Grinding wheel abrasives brush

These consist of grinding wheels with sanding. The bristles are made of metal or made of nylon fibers embedded with grinding wheel abrasives particles. A common use of nylon abrasive brushes is to deburr the holes.

A grinding brush can be used on the robot. One strategy is to have the robot hold the workpiece and push it into the rotating brush. Another strategy is to use a cup wheel and connect it to the drill actuator.

In addition to these three types, there are other types of grinding processes, such as sand blasting and sand blasting, but they are not very relevant to robotics.

Choose the right granularity
The size of the sand will determine the aggressiveness of the robot’s sanding material. It refers to the average size of the grinding wheel abrasives particles ranging from about 10 μm to 2 mm.

Larger particles will remove the material very quickly, leaving deeper scratches in the material. The usual sanding strategy begins with large particles and then gradually moves to smaller and smaller particles as each sander passes. In this way, the scratches of the previous pass can be removed every time.

Bonding and coated grinding wheel abrasives are rated using the ISO “P” or CAMI (Coated Abrasive Manufacturers Association) name. Both are a measure of the size of the abrasive particles. Nonwoven abrasives are defined by the roughness description.

This is the coarse-grained range of bonded/coated abrasives and nonwoven abrasives as these are the most relevant abrasive types in robotic applications:

Make sure it is compatible with your robot
Finally, you need to make sure that the media and granularity you choose is compatible with the robot. Only a few of the many options are compatible.

The first step is to find a robotic end effector that can be used for sanding tasks, such as a sandpaper kit. It is attached to the end of the robot arm and provides the software needed to program the grinding task.

You will then need to find an grinding wheel abrasives with a fixed method supported by the end effector.

There are many ways to attach, but the three most common methods are:

Hook and loop – very common, easy to connect and disassemble.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives (PSA) – When applied pressure, they adhere firmly to the sander, but are difficult to remove.
Drill Accessories – Some abrasive flap discs are attached to the shaft and need to be tightened into the chuck.
For example, the sanding kit is compatible with grinding media supported by a 5-inch round shackle. This is a very common type, which means it has many options.

To find the right grinding wheel abrasives for the end effector, you can start with an online search. For example, you can search for: 5-inch shackle-type 50-grained nonwoven sandpaper.

Then all you have to do is program the robot and you’re ready to go!

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