Abrasives: Flap Discs from Tyrolit, Klingspor & Abracs
What is a flap disc?
A flap disc is a round abrasive disc for use on an angle grinder. The disc is made of overlapping flaps of abrasive material. They also have a backing for the abrasive material, which is typically made from polycotton or polyester. The abrasive flaps are then placed on a backing pad which can be made of plastic or, occasionally, an organic fibre.
What are flap discs used for?
Flap discs are similar in use to a sanding disc. Depending on the grit type you choose their use can vary.
For instance, a commonly sold flap disc is a 40 grit. A 40 grit flap discs primary use is for fast stock removal. 60 & 80 grit flap discs offer a good combination of stock removal and smooth finishing. 120 grit, which is the highest grit which is commonly available, is primarly used to smooth of welds or workpieces.
Common applications for flap discs include smoothing out welds, pre-weld workpiece preparation & workpiece finishing.
What type of flap discs are available?
Flap discs typically come in 3 different grades:
- Aluminium oxide: Aluminium oxide, or alox for short, are the type of flap discs that offer the lowest level of longevity. They are "cheap & cheerful", offering a low price but typically low lifespan.
- Zirconium: Zirconium are the most commonly purchased type of flap disc. They offer a great balance between price and longevity.
- Ceramic: Ceramic are the best of the best. They offer the highest level of lifespan. They also offer fast stock removal. This is due to their self sharpening nature.
However, the user usually pays a much higher price for this. However, the increased lifespan of ceramic flap discs can often make for "smart buying".For instance, you may pay £3 for a ceramic flap disc that last 5 times longer than a £1 aluminium oxide flap disc. Thus creating savings in the long run for the user.