What Type of Sanding Belts are Best For Metal

Choosing the right sanding belt is sometimes a challenging task for everyone. Selecting an inappropriate belt can lead to damage to the working materials as well as the belt sander. So, be wise while choosing the best sanding belts for metal.

Ceramic, zirconia, aluminum oxide, and silicon carbide are the main type of sanding belts for metal (on the basis of abrasive grains). Among all of the sanding grains, ceramic and zirconia alumina are highly effective sanding grains for metals that last much longer than aluminum oxide & silicon carbide. For each use, they also sharpen and facilitating to do an effective cutting work until the grain is totally worn.

Type Of Sanding Belts (Abrasive Grains Basis)

  • Aluminum Oxide Sanding Belt

are red/brown color resin bonded abrasive and have split resistant joints. This abrasive sanding belt is perfect for all metals and hardwoods. They are durable and perform efficient sanding on metal & wood. Alumina sanding belts are often used on virtually any quiet sander to significant effect.

  • Silicon Carbide Sanding Belt

is perfect for heavy-duty and more aggressive scribing. This polyester sanding belt is designed for wet and dry applications. They are suitable to use for non-ferrous metals, marble, plastic, glass, rubber, and fiberglass.

  • Zirconia Alumina Sanding Belts

are closed-coated and resin-bonded abrasive belts. Zirconia grains are highly compatible with high grinding applications and machining. They are self-sharpening and more aggressive. This sanding belt is perfect for scribing stainless steel, hardwood, and other tough metals.

  • Ceramic Grain Sanding Belts

are resin-coated abrasive belts for faster cutting and instant cooler. They are somehow similar to the zirconia alumina sanding belt. This sanding belt is best suited for grinding and sanding stainless steel and other tough metals. The ceramic sanding belt has wide uses on numerous metalwork like finishing aluminum castings, chrome steel, and also aerospace-grade titanium alloys.

Now when you are well known for the principal fact that Ceramic and Zirconia alumina’s are more effective sanding belt than aluminum oxide & silicon carbide. So,

In the next step, We will see a detailed comparison between zirconia and ceramic sanding belts so that you can compare better and find the best sanding belt for metal.

Comparison Chart (Zirconia Vs Ceramic Sanding Belts)

ZIRCONIA SANDING BELTCERAMIC SANDING BELT
GRAIN COMPOSITION
Zirconia Alumina is a closed-coated and resin-bonded abrasive grain for metal scribingCeramic grains are similar in composition to zirconia. They are resin-coated abrasive belts
HEAT & PRESSURE RESISTANT
Zirconia sanding belts are high heat & pressure resistanceCeramic belts are exceptionally sensitive to pressure and heat
Zirconia requires more pressure to sanding. Ideal for hard surface But, not a good choice for polishingCeramic requires comparatively less pressure for sanding. Suitable to the hard surface and a good choice for metal polishing
GRINDING COMPATIBILITY
Zirconia belts are compatible with high grinding machining and applicationsCeramic grain are less compatible with high-speed machining and grinding 
The quality and efficiency of metal grinding products are less affected by zirconia sanding beltThe quality and efficiency of metal grinding products are highly affected by ceramic sanding belt
LIFESPAN & CUT-RATES
Zirconia have less lifespan & comparatively low cut rates than ceramic beltsCeramic sanding belts last longer & fastest cut rates than zirconia sanding belts
COST
Zirconia belts are cost-effective (low-cost than ceramic) sanding belts Ceramic sanding belts much costly than zirconia
GRINDING APPLICATIONS
Zirconia sanding belt performs high-quality grinding job on the following metals:

  • Stainless steel
  • Nickel alloy
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Cast iron
  • Carbon Steel
  • Blades, rotors, and welds
Ceramic belts have a wide range of applications, including:

  • Aluminum castings
  • Stainless steel finishing
  • Titanium alloys (commonly used in aerospace applications)
  • Mild steel mill scale

Zirconia Vs Ceramic Sanding Belt

Both zirconia and ceramic sanding belts can last longer as highly efficient belts and scrape metal faster than aluminum oxide or a silicon carbide sanding belt. Both belts are capable of resharpening as they tear, and both apply mainly for metal applications.

A significant concern of metal scribing with a sanding belt is heat production. There are several ceramic and zirconia products available to minimize heat deposition that has fillers and topcoats.

In the end, both belts are perfect for metal scribing. A combination of use and your requirements can depend on the selection of an ideal sanding belt. If you need a grit higher than 120, the best option is probably ceramic. Ceramic belts last longer but are significantly more costly than zirconia belts as well.

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