In the world of abrasives there are many different ways to attach an abrasive disc to a variety of tools. Some are straightforward, while some are not. Whether you work with metal or wood, this helpful article will differentiate the different attachment methods and help you decide what is best for your application.
Let us start off with the two most common types of attachment for 5 and 6 inch random orbital sanding discs.
Hook & loop backing
Commonly known as Velcro or in 3M's case they use the trade name Hookit. This type of attachment uses two mating surfaces. The hook part almost always resides on the back-up pad itself while the loop portion resides on the disc. Hook & Loop offers a very convenient and fast way to change out worn discs in a production setting. Just rip it off and slap a new one on.
Example of the Loop portion
Not all hooks are created equal.
This is the most common hook for all around use
"J" hook style found on pads designed for more aggressive sanding or polishing pads
"T" hook style found on pads designed for high RPM tools, such as light grinding, deburring, and stainless steel finishing
PSA or Pressure Sensitive Adhesive
These can also be known as sticky back or 3M's trade name Stikit. As it's name implies this type of attachment uses an adhesive that is applied to the disc to secure it to the back up pad. Backup pads designed for PSA type discs have a smooth or slightly textured vinyl face that the adhesive sticks to. Main advantages of a PSA attachment is durability and it is less prone to giving an inconsistent finish as the disc nears the end of its life.
Roloc, twistlock, quicklok are trade names for 4 different styles of attachments of the disc to the back up pad. Other manufacturers have versions of 3M's proprietary Roloc system, but all are universal enough that they will work with each other. The term Roloc has become synonymous with this type of quick change attachment. Below are some examples.
The 4 styles consist of TR (most popular), TS, TSM, and TP. The graphic shows what the disc side profile looks like. Each requires a different style back up pad to be compatible with the disc attachment.
Disc side material TR: plastic TS: plastic TSM: metal TP: plastic
Roloc, twistlock, quicklok backup pads have styles that look like these.
TR TS & TSM TP
All of these types of pads will use this style of mandrel designed to fit in any tool with a collet that accepts a 1/4 inch mandrel.
Be sure to check out our wide selection of various discs for both Wood and Metal working.
See the variety of quick-change discs available
At Abrasive Boss, we have a number of discs available. See our wide selection.