Grain and Backing Types


Aluminum Oxide:
  •  A very tough grain     
  •  Most widely used grain for wood and steel
  • Available in open or closed coat. Open coat resists loading on soft woods
  • redish brown in color
Silicon Carbide:
  • The hardest and sharpest grain but also the most brittle
  • Used mainly on non ferrous materials like tile, granite, marble, glass
  • Black in color
Zirconia Alumina:
  • A heavy duty self sharpening premium grain that works well for heavy duty grinding of all steels and hardwoods. Excels on stainless steels
    and will outlast regular aluminum oxide as much as 2-5 times
  • Blue or green in color
  • Newest advancement in grain technology this grain fractures exposing new cutting points and works best on hardened steels above 40 RC.
  • Orange or red in color


The backing is the cloth or paper that the abrasive grains are bonded to. They typically are a “J” weight cloth that is very flexible, to an “X” weight that has medium flexibility, to a “Y” weight that has the least amount of flexibility. Even within the same weights there are different degrees of flexibility depending on the materials and density the cloth is made out of. Most are made from cotton, polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend. Polyester is the most water resistant, and some of the poly/cotton blends are water (or coolant) resistant and still fairly flexible. Typically the more flexible the material, the shorter the belt life although in some cases like woodworking and grinding, small inside corner radiuses you need the flexibility.

Contact us and we can help you choose the best combination of grain type and backing type for your specific application.