10 Years Converting

Practical tips for processing welding seams:

Working with the grinding disk

Processing welding seam with grindings discs is a very common technique, but it is not a particularly popular job. While vibrations strain muscles and joints, you have to apply just the right pressure to process the work piece accurately. If the pressure is too high, heat-related discolouration results, if too low, the disc bounces, the seam becomes wavy and grinded unevenly. With just a few basic principles you can grind more efficiently and more successfully. Here are our tips.


Tip 1: Only use grinding discs

When using a hand-operated angle grinder, only use grinding discs and never, ever, cutting wheels! Again and again we hear from operators, that – in order to avoid the disk change – they quickly do the roughing job using an already affixed cutting wheel. But this can easily go wrong and is dangerous. Please follow the recommended safety regulations precisely, and let the angle grinder test run for at least 30 seconds before every job.


Tip 2: Choose the right grinding material

Tests have shown that high-performance ceramic abrasive grains, like 3M™ Cubitron™ II, can triple the tool lifetime and halve the machining time. The reason for this is the absolute regular structure of the 3M™ Cubitron™ II grain. Conventional abrasives require a significant amount of pressure to break up the abrasive structure, to become a useful cutting surface in the first place. The precision-shaped 3M™ Cubitron™ II grain, however, stays – put in simple terms – continuously sharp. The contact pressure is immediately converted into cutting power, so the grinder needs much less force to achieve a constantly high level of abrasion. At the same time less heat is produced, so the risk of annealing colours, or even damage to the metal structure, is reduced. We recommend abrasives with high-performance ceramic abrasive grain as a standard for all scale-free work pieces like scale-free steel profiles, sheets, pipes and containers. For heavily scaled and mineralised surfaces you should use silicon carbide grinding wheels, since these penetrate the oxide/carbide scale layers without vitrifying and blunting.


Tip 3: It’s posture that counts

Operate the angle grinder with downward pressure when moving it towards yourself and more lightly away from you, as appropriate to each phase, and hold it correctly. The perfect angle to the work piece is about 30 degrees. For coarse grinding pull the machine towards yourself while applying pressure. This helps to avoid the disc “biting” into the work piece. Once the coarse work is done, push the machine across the welding seam evenly away from you. This way you can rapidly achieve a cleanly ground surface. During all phases take care to use the right pressure; just use enough pressure so that the machine doesn’t start to “jump”. If you have the feeling you need to apply too much pressure, you may need to switch to a higher quality abrasive. Too much pressure causes damages, as described above. Listen to your machine: If the angle grinder struggles, you’re pressing too hard and are removing less material – your effort is just reflected in increased heat generation and not in cuts. Cutting is only easy with a well running machine that has an even rotation and regular sound.


Tip 4: Safety first!

An important note for all grinding work: Always wear the appropriate protective equipment (goggles, ear protection, gloves, mask). Just once without protection can be once too many.

Do you have questions about coarse grinding for welders?
We’ll gladly and give you personal advice.


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RK Schleifbänder

Broschure: 3M™ Cubitron™ II born to grind (pdf, 2,4 MB)
Broschure: 3M™ Cubitron™ II cut grinding (pdf, 2 MB)
Broschure: 3M™ From first cut to smooth finish (pdf, 3,6 MB)
Krückemeyer Abrasive


Note: The quality of our product is kept under constant review and strict supervision. All information and suggestions are given in best conscience and are based on our practical expertise. Nevertheless Krückemeyer does not assume any liability for the correctness of statements provided, especially in terms of fitness for a particular purpose. With regard to the usability, we thus recommend carrying out appropriate trials. For further information our advisors and field representatives will be pleased to help you. © Reinhard Krückemeyer GmbH & Co. KG, Photos © 3M, Germany

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