Brief Introduction of Garnet Used As Abrasives

garnet grits under microscope
Garnet Grits Under Microscope

Garnet is a kind of ruby, the name evolved from the Latin word “granatus”, because it is the crystal in the rock like pomegranate seed. The fracture surface presents shell shape and oil luster, it usually looks like opaque.
Garnet has the characteristics as following: moderate hardness(6.5~8.0 Mosh), high melting point (1170~1280℃) and, good chemical stability. Its density is 3.5~4.3g/cm, refractive index is 1.714~1.887. There are so many colors, like amaranthine, blood red, dark red, brown red, yellow,green, bright green, black depending on its different chemical contents. The variety of garnet includes almandine, pyrope, magnesium-iron garnet, manganese-alumina garnet, andradite and calcium-chromium garnet. Almandine has the highest hardness and good chemical stability.
Garnet is a natural abrasive. It is also a good abrasive, used to replace sandblasting sand. After mixed with the high pressure water, garnet is used for cutting steel and other materials in water jet cutting.

It can be divided into garnet abrasive blasting, garnet abrasive water jet and garnet wear-resistant aggregate.

Rock Garnet
Rock Garnet

●Traditional application
A.Large granular garnet (>3mm) has been taken as the role of jewelry.
B.Medium granular garnet (0.10mm-1.5mm)

* The characteristics of garnet have good hardness and high toughness, which can be used for sandblasting, rust removal, water jet cutting.
* Because of its gravity, it can be used as heavy medium, oil well drilling mud weighting agent filter material.
* Thanks to its chemical stability and toughness, garnet can be a filler for rubber and paint coatings.
* Using the ability and chemical composition of pomegranate stone,which can be used in the construction of airport runway, wear-resisting floor and non slip road surface of highway.
* Making use of garnets’beautiful colors, it can be made as lacquer and wall paints.
C.Garnet powder
It can be used for grinding optical instruments, semiconductor, glass and ceramic products, parts of the production of polished soft metal, and cleaning the oil pollution on the surface of mechanical transport equipment.
Garnet in 1878 began to be used for producing sandpapers; during the reign of from 1944 to 2001, garnet, mainly used for optical lenses, jewelry, picture tube of polishing and grinding; since 1988, garnet is widely used in spray painting / surface sandblasting before electroplating, high pressure water jet cutting, polishing, grinding and other related fields.

reddish brown garnet
Reddish Brown Garnet

●Four common industrial usages
A.Wear-resistant floor aggregate
Due to hardness of garnet, it also known as natural corundum. In recent years, with the development of the domestic diamond sand flooring industries, the applications of garnet abrasive in this industry are also increasing. This floor is characterized by bright colors, wear resistant to acid and alkali, easy to clean up and maintenance, especially suitable for parking, airport, factory production workshops, docks and other needs clean and significant place.

B.Water purification material or waste water filter material

This is a new application of garnet abrasive in the environmental protection industry, but it is early in the foreign countries. At present, it has been more mature, but in the domestic this application has yet to be universal. It mainly uses the characteristics of the garnet abrasive material ratio, porosity, large hardness and high wear resistance to acid and alkali, in addition to other reasons like its natural no harmful substances, rich in nature, and the price is reasonable and so on. There is a trend of gradually replacing quartz sand and magnetite filter material.

C.Water cut grade garnet abrasive
This is one of the two applications in using garnets in domestic, which is mainly with the advanced cold water jet cutting equipment to cut and shape various materials. The quality of using the garnet abrasive has a great influence on cutting performance and the yield rate, especially in the ceramic tile, art glasses and fragile products of water jet medallion. It has been widely used in aviation, military, stone, construction, decoration and other refined processing enterprises.

D.Sand blasting and polishing material
This is the most potential and widely used garnet abrasives field, because it is used in the industries that are closely related to the national production, such as shipbuilding, automobiles, pipelines, drilling platforms and other basic areas. Garnet blasting abrasives can easily reach the most strict industrial and military sandblasting requirements. Besides, it do harmless to the human body and environment, the working environment is good and it is an affordable price. Therefore, it can easily replace other traditional blasting abrasives. 
At present, there are some problems in sandblasting abrasives, like harmful substances, high prices and other issues. The former such as copper slag, quartz sand, the latter such as brown fused alumina, white fused alumina. While garnet abrasive does not contain harmful substances, on the other hand it can achieve excellent blasting effect. Not only can it achieve the effect of other abrasive blasting, but also it can achieve the highest SA3 and SA2.5 blasting grade. The most important thing is that it is a kind of natural abrasive, the price is much cheaper than the brown fused alumina, etc…

Orange Color Garnet
Orange Color Garnet

In addition to the sand blasting industry, in the polishing grinding industry the garnet abrasives are also using a lot. As for garnet powder, it is mainly used in a number of high precision industries, such as mobile phone screen polishing, gold jade polishing. Certainly, there are many applications in using garnet abrasive, like sandpapers and abrasive filler etc… With the further development of the industry, garnet abrasives will have a better application in more fields.

red garnet 20-40 mesh
Red Garnet 20-40 Mesh

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