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APRIL 2006

Stable Micro Systems has developed a new test for assessing the effectiveness of abrasive sheet materials. The innovative Abrasive Test Rig analyses the frictional properties of a wide range of materials such as sandpaper, dental abrasive strips and flexible nail files, enabling manufacturers to highlight strengths, weaknesses and variations in product lines and materials. It is used in conjunction with the company's TA.XTplus or TA.HDplus heavy duty texture analysers and Exponent software.

Abrasive materials are widely used across a variety of industries for polishing, grinding, honing and other similar processes. The efficacy of these materials relies on their frictional properties, which can be calculated as the force required to draw the material across a given surface. Assessment of these properties will allow manufacturers to evaluate the suitability of their products for a specific use. The test results will also highlight differences between grades or brands of abrasive materials.

Prior to performing the test, a sample of the abrasive material is held in place in a self-tightening grip. As the test is carried out, the arm of the TA.XTplus or TA.HDplus draws the sample under and around a cylinder at 90 degrees and the force required to pull the material is recorded. The cylinder material is customer-specific according to the substrate over which the sample is required to abrade.  Exponent software is then employed to analyse the multi-peak force profiles obtained and apply special calculations to evaluate the frictional properties of the material. For coarse samples, a wider fluctuating force band will be recorded, while for the finer materials, a narrower force band can be expected.

As well as providing an accurate measurement of the frictional properties of the material, the results recorded can also be used to evaluate the stick/slip characteristics of the abrasive sample. This can be achieved by calculating the force difference between the maximum and minimum peaks obtained.

The Abrasive Test Rig is the newest addition to Stable Micro Systems' comprehensive range of testing instrumentation.


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