CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Abrasive Material

  • Konstantinos SalonitisEmail author
  • Apostolos Fysikopoulos
  • George Chryssolouris
Reference work entry



An abrasive grain is a hard, tough substance containing many sharp projection cutting edges or points. It is used as a cutting tool to penetrate and cut away material that is softer than itself. Abrasive Materials used for abrasives are generally characterized by high hardness and moderate to high fracture toughness.

Theory and Application

Abrasive materials are usually classified into two groups, natural and manufactured ones. The natural abrasives are generally referred to as those that have been produced by the uncontrolled forces of nature and because of that, they can contain many impurities and vary in quality. Emery, corundum, quartz, flint, garnet, diamond, tripoli, diatomaceous earth, sandstone, pumice, and natural sharpening stones are some of them (Krar 1995; Jacobs 1928). On the other hand, artificial abrasives were first developed in the late nineteenth century and overcame the problems of impurities and inconsistencies, since their...
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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos Salonitis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Apostolos Fysikopoulos
    • 2
  • George Chryssolouris
    • 2
  1. 1.Manufacturing and MaterialsCranfield UniversityCranfieldUK
  2. 2.Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS)Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, University of PatrasPatrasGreece