Abrasive Belt Care and Safety

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Information Source – VSM Abrasives Corporation

image1Storage conditions are among the most important factors affecting the performances of coated abrasives. Coated abrasives will usually perform at maximum efficiency only when they are properly handled and stored.

The backings and some of the adhesives used in their manufacture are sensitive to climatic changes and will pick up or lose moisture according to the relative humidity of their surroundings.

Coated abrasives deliver their best performance when stored and used at recommended temperature and relative humidity ranges. They achieve their maximum efficiency at a temperature range from 60º F - 80º F and at a relative humidity of 40-50%.

When storing, make sure that abrasives are kept away from sources of dampness and extreme heat or cold.

Excessive humidity can cause a softening of the bond or resin. This causes the abrasive grains to tend to push into the backing rather than penetrate the work piece. Frictional heat builds up tending to further soften the bond. The effect of prolonged exposure to conditions of high humidity can result in a drop in performance of as much as 50% of the normal useful life.

Coated abrasives should be kept in closed cartons until the product is actually used. Don’t hang the belts in your truck – keep them protected from temperature and humidity changes.

Belt Breaks



Work pressure too heavy

Reduce pressure, perhaps using coarser grit or changing belts more often so it doesnât require as much pressure.

Incorrectly made splice/poor adhesion

Notify manufacturer.

Not enough belt tension under work load

Increase tension but donât over-tighten.

Too much tension for grit in use

Adjust tension. Tension should not be more than required under load to prevent slippage.

Belt Runs off Machine



Tracking mechanism not adjusted properly

Use centering device to get even movement.

Belt runs off under load

Increase tension.

Grinding pressure too high

Reduce pressure or change grit or belt.




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