Sandpaper – most popular abrasive

The history and modern use of Sandpaper – most popular mineral abrasive.

While we know that the sandpaper was invented by the Chinese in the 13th century, the man who introduced this tool in the modern world is John Oakey. He figured to glue sand and small pieces of broken glass on a piece of paper to polish musical instruments in the workshop where he worked.

John Oakey Inventor of sandpaper abrasives
John Oakey Inventor of sandpaper abrasives

Hence the name of the product became Sandpaper. Later Englishman became a major producer of abrasives and polishing tools worldwide. In different periods of his work he entered into production sandpaper for dry and wet grinding, tools for polishing shoes, leather, polishing household utensils, furniture, and many more polishers’ modifications.

By its general description sandpaper is abrasive paste or dust that is attached via glue to a piece of paper or textile. It could be used for manual or machine polishing.

Version on paper is more popular for manual works and it has much lower market price, while textile based versions are more resistant, could be used for wet works and machine polishing.

Sandpaper is intended for surface polishing /metal, wood, glass, plastic / and it works by removing particles from the upper layer. According to the type of sandpaper it may remove completely paint, prepare the surface for next operation or perform fine polishing of existing paintwork.

See the videos how sandpaper is made 

General characteristics of types of sandpaper by its grit size

From coarse to fine polishing we use sandpaper with different grit.

The larger is the number of grit (it is usually indicated at the rear side of the sanding), the less is the withdrawal and finer is the grinding.

Grinding: Grit from 6 to 30

Average grinding: Grit from 36 to 80

Fine polishing: Grit from 100 to 180

Finishing Fine polishing: Grit from 220 to 1000


Sandpaper roll
Sandpaper roll


Abrasives, suitable for the manufacture of sandpaper

These are the abrasives that are commonly used for making of sandpapers.

Synthetic corundum, also knows as electro corundum or alundum. Refractory and chemically resistant superhard material based on aluminum oxide

Carborundum. It is synthesized in the middle of 20th century by sintering the silica with carbon in an electric furnace. It is ceramic material with high hardness and thermal stability. It is he is not only used as an abrasive, but also in many other industries like car manufacturing, electronic devices, astronomy and optics tools and etc.

Garnet is silicate mineral which is used for manufacturing of sandpapers for polishing much softer materials such as wood.

Diamond and Borazon are the two hardest materials known to man. Rarely used for the production of sandpaper only for specific tasks due to its high production prize.

Also see the videos how sandpaper is made 

Machine polishing with sandpaper
Machine polishing with sandpaper

3 Responses

  1. […] cheapest sandpaper is made from sand /quartz grains/ and it has enough hardness to work on wood. It scratches the […]

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