|Forum topic by Mary Anne||posted 03-30-2011 01:20 AM||2569 views||1 time favorited||12 replies|
03-30-2011 01:20 AM
I thought I found a pretty good deal on Abralon sanding discs . Well, the place I ordered from sent me some of the grits I ordered in Abralon discs, and some grits in SIA Air discs. I am not at all happy with the substitution without getting an okay from me, but now that I have them, I am curious if the SIA discs are an equal substitute.
The major difference is that Abralon is made with Silicon Carbide and SIA discs are made with Aluminum Oxide. According to Mirka, manufacturer of Abralon, “Aluminum Oxide grains plough into soft wood types” and “Silicon Carbide grains cut through hardwood.” In the microscopic picture the Silicone Carbide surface looks smoother.
SIA Air discs are distributed by Brunswick Bowling and the “experts” on the bowling forums swear by them, saying they last much longer than Abralon when used for polishing bowling balls. SIA discs can also be purchased from Grizzly, but Abralon is much more common on the other woodworking suppliers websites I visited.
Considering my skill level, this is unlikely to make much difference in my work, but I am curious anyway. What do you folks think? Would there be a detectable difference in the results between using Silicon Carbide or Aluminum Oxide? What are the plusses and minuses of using one or the other? Are Abralon and SIA close enough to considered the same even though they are composed of different materials, or is one significantly superior for woodworking?