When removing material, abrasives should be:
- as hard and tough as possible so that the material is removed from the workpiece and so that cutting edges keep their sharpness for a reasonable length of time
- resistant to thermal cycling so that the grain can withstand high machining temperatures as well as rapid temperature changes
- chemically resistant so that no chemical compounds are formed which might weaken the grain, even during higher pressures and temperatures in conjunction with air, cutting oils, or workpiece material.
Abrasives are distinguished with regard to size and material and may have various backings such as paper, cloth, or film. EFCO also offers GSS grinding discs.
Lapping is a machining process to smooth surfaces while maintaining close tolerances and flatness. In this case, an abrasive embedded in a lubricant works as a moving or rolling grain. Consideration should be given to paste vs. liquid, grain type and size, carrier, and ratio of grain to carrier.