What are abrasives ?

Abrasives and minerals

Many minerals with high hardness (generally hardness 7 and above on the Mohs scale) are used for the manufacture of industrial abrasives.

Garnets (photo on the right) or crushed flint are, for example, the basis of "sandpaper". The impure varieties of corundum (hardness of 9) as well as the diamond unfit for jewelry thus take the path of the cutting and abrasion industries. They are found in many common tools and materials: especially in the saws of rock saws (we also speak of diamond discs), tiles or concrete, in polishing wheels of gems. In powder, they allow polishing and sandblasting. They are used to produce and polish tumbled stones for example, but also to prepare and release mineralogical and paleontological samples. Magnesite (hardness 4) is used in microsandblasters for the release of fossils.