What Type of Sand Belt Should I Use on My Deck?

Decks normally fade and look worn over time due to rain and sun. If your deck looks worn out and you want to get rid of the fade marks, chipped paint, or bleached look, you need to get the right abrasive material. It’s important to invest in the specific tool that will you’re your deck look brand new. Sanding belts are used to scrape and grind the surface layers off from floors. You should select the right abrasive material to achieve the desired look. Benchmark Abrasives offers many different abrasive materials for sanders that are available in the market today, including:

Aluminum oxide

This is the most common abrasive material that is used with wood. It has a brown or red appearance. It is a popular abrasive material because it is affordable, strong, and effective when used on softwood and hardwood. In addition, it can be used on non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and some grades of steel. A great option if you don’t want to deal with specific materials.

Zirconium Alumina

This synthetic material is suitable for applications that need high-pressure machining and grinding. This abrasive material is more durable than aluminum oxide. Which is great when you want your deck to last. Moreover, it is suitable for applications where high heat is produced when grinding hard materials. It is used on materials like hardwood and metal, which need vigorous grinding.

Ceramic grit

Ceramic grit materials are cool when grinding, which means they can be used with heat-sensitive materials. In addition, they are self-sharpening like Zirconia material. Which takes the load off you if you don’t want to deal with grinding it yourself. They are more durable than all the other abrasive materials. You can use ceramic grit on stainless steel, aluminum castings, and aerospace-grade titanium alloys.

Silicon carbide

Silicon carbide is very sharp, but it is also very brittle compared to other abrasive materials. Thus, it degrades more quickly than the other materials. It is used on plastic, glass, rubber ceramic, and other types of masonry materials. So, it’s important to not use this for stronger materials. You might run the risk of ruining the silicon with each use.

Grit Selection

The level of grit on the abrasive material determines how smooth or rough the finish will be after grinding the surface. Grit 16 up to 60 are abrasive materials used in rough shaping and for material removal. Grit 80 up to 120 are abrasive materials that are suitable for removing imperfections and for smoothing surfaces. Grit 150 up to eight hundred are materials used for final additions.

Backing Material

Abrasive materials have two diverse types of backing material: cloth and paper backing. Cloth backing is the most versatile and durable backing material for abrasive materials. The material’s weight is indicated by the letters of the alphabet. Therefore, the further the alphabet letter, the heavier the backing material will be. J-weight is a flexible and light cloth backing that can be used over contours. X-weight is a medium-weight backing that is used for general purposes. Y-weight is a heavy-duty backing that can withstand the pressure of product removal and heavy grinding. Paper backing is cheaper than cloth-backed abrasive materials and is suitable for use on flat surfaces. It is popularly used on wide-belt and wood-working stroke sanders.

It’s important to research the sand belt that will work best for your deck. Each one can be specifically used for different tasks depending on what type of deck you have. You should choose an abrasive material that has the right grit size. An abrasive material with grit size of 40 and 60 is perfect for challenging tasks while one with 80 to 120 is ideal for smoothing surfaces. In addition, you need to select the right abrasive material for the right job.