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Abrasives: Cutting & Slitting Discs
What is a cutting disc?
A cutting disc, also known as a slitting disc, is an abrasive disc that is used to cut through material. Common materials that are cut with a such a disc include steel, stainless steel & aluminium. These discs are a consumable item, therefore they are often sold in multiples. Their expendable nature means the user has to replenish their stock when they are running low.
Cutting discs are usually manufactured from fibreglass net, a material that offers abrasive properties and a bonding resin. These components are added together and then formed under a combination of pressure & heat, thus forming a disc that can be used to cut through materials.
Slitting discs require a power tool to be used effectively. An angle grinder is the most common choice.
The user must ensure that the angle grinder is not too powerful for the disc being used. If the angle grinder provides too many RPM's the disc could shatter. A shattering cutting disc can cause serious injuries. Information on maximum operating speeds of abrasives discs can be found here, in this interesting article from one of our Abrasives partners Klingspor.
Common Cutting Disc Diameters & Thickness'
Cutting discs can come in many diameters and thickness'. For instance, the most commonly sold cutting disc in the UK is 115MM (4.5 inch) in diameter and 1MM in thickness.
Other common diameters include 125MM (5 inch), 150MM (6 inch), 178MM (7 inch) & 230MM (9 inch). These discs are commonly found in various thicknesses, including 1MM, 1.6MM, 1.9MM, 2.5MM & 3MM.
In addition to these diameters, which are most commonly used on angle grinders, other larger diameter cutting discs are used on power tools such as chop saws or stihl saws. These diameters include 300MM, 350MM & 400MM. Again, these discs are available in various thickness'.
Which materials can be cut with a cutting disc?
Practically all materials can be cut with a cutting disc. The most commonly cut materials are metals. These can include steel, stainless steel & aluminium. However, some materials have their difficulties when cut, for example:
Stainless steel: When stainless steel is cut, it must be cut with a disc that is specifically made for stainless steel. Why? Standard cutting discs contain iron, and therefore would potentially cause corrosion on the stainless steel which defeats the point of using stainless steel on a fabricated item. INOX cutting discs do not contain iron, and are therefore suitable for use on stainless steel.
Aluminium: Aluminium can quickly clog up standard cutting discs. When cutting aluminium the user should use a special disc that is suitable for cutting aluminium, such as Klingspors A 60N Supra or Tyrolits Premium 3*** cutting disc for non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium.
These special aluminium slitting discs ensure minimal clogging and a fast cut.