Understanding Ceramic Grains

Understanding the unique properties of various products and grains can result in productivity gains

What makes ceramic grains unique?

Unlike other synthetically fused abrasive grains, ceramic grains are uniformly produced by a controlled chemical process to provide optimal strength and consistent properties. They are made in a way which creates thousands of fracture points throughout, ensuring consistent breakdown and life.

How do they work?

The characteristic crystalline structure of ceramic grains provides numerous cutting points within each grain. Contact pressure will fracture weakened cutting points and expose fresh grain surfaces, effectively “self-sharpening” during use. Consider traditional aluminum oxide grains which dull and wear down to a rounded profile. This shape is no longer sharp and too blunt to cut effectively, acting more as a spoon than a knife.

  • Thousands of cutting points
  • Consistent fracture rate
  • Continual self-sharpening
Quick Change Product Showcase

Superior Abrasives, LLC. offers three unique types of ceramic quick change discs for harder steels and alloys that are difficult to grind and finish. Variations in grain properties, backing weights and grinding aids ensure a solution to your unique application.


  • Light operator pressure
  • High temp applications
  • Aggressive cut rate on hard or exotic alloys
  • Higher, prolonged cut rate


  • Medium operator pressure
  • Continual exposure of fine, sharp cutting points
  • Top size coat reduces loading, glazing and dulling

GA (Grinding Aid)

  • Additional heat dissipation for high temp grinding
  • Flexible x-weight backing
  • Extended life

Why do I use them?

The continual fracture rate of ceramic grains prolongs consistent performance and maintains sharp cutting points throughout product life, easily penetrating harder materials. The continual sharpening effect avoids dulling and glazing, both of which will cause overheating and premature wear.

Ceramic grains produce high stock removal rates on most materials, but added pressure is necessary for proper use. Softer materials do not provide enough resistance against the grains and will likely glaze. Or, an operator may combat the reduced fracture rate by overapplying pressure, resulting in unnecessary fatigue for both operator and product.

For higher stock removal or controlled finishing, ceramic grains are optimal for hard steels and exotic alloys, commonly found in the following metalworking industries.

  • Aerospace
  • Chemical or Food Processing
  • Industrial Gas Turbines
  • Medical
  • Commercial or Home Appliances
  • Architectural Finishing

How to Choose Ceramic Grains

Proper selection of abrasive grains can realize efficient, and sometime surprising performance

Each of our ceramic quick change discs have unique properties and characteristics. Different materials also have very unique properties. To utilize ceramic products to the fullest, you must first determine if it is truly the best grain for your application. Ceramic grains require pressure to properly breakdown and realize efficiency. Harder metals, such as stainless steels, provide the resistance to fracture ceramic grains properly.

Consider the Variables

Depending on your process and final requirements, several options are available between our three ceramic grains. Take into consideration some of the variable properties and offerings of each ceramic grain.

Diameter1″ through 4″1″ through 4″1″ through 4″
ButtonType R & SType R & SType R & S
Grit36, 60-12036-12036-120
Grain TypeCeramicFine CeramicCeramic
Coating DensityClosedClosedOpen

Ceramic Application Showcase

Speed doesn’t always win the race

When justifying the necessity of ceramic materials, don’t just consider the removal rate. Working with harder materials requires extra attention and the surface outcome is critical in industry applications such as Aerospace or Pharmaceutical.

If you have been using zirconia on stainless, which is generally acceptable, do you require additional finishing to achieve the desired surface requirement? Zirconia is a tough, durable grain excelling in heavy material removal or shaping, but ceramic grains exceed in their finishing qualities and provide more consistent surface finishes (Ra) than zirconia.

If concerned with achieving and maintaining a finish, ceramic grains will perform closer to their initial finish than most other grains due to their continual fracture rate.

MATERIALGritRa NEWRa USED (2 min.)Variance
Ceramic Premium80132.9119.210%
Zirconia GA80116.745.6561%

Consider the Ra values above. After only two minutes of use, the zirconia Ra value has varied over 60%, whereas the ceramic shows only a 10% difference, projecting consistency throughout use.

SHUR-KUT Quick Change Discs

With one of the largest material offerings in our product lineup, coated quick change discs are a workhorse

Some of the versatility of quick change discs comes from the vast offering of materials. While ceramic materials are specialized in application, several other grains also cater to ideal operations. The unique quick change functionality eases transitions between materials to make these discs one of the most agile products in our offering.

Each unique group of abrasive grains share similar qualities tailored toward specific applications and operations. Some factors to consider when choosing abrasive grains are cut rate, finish quality, production environment and cost, as applied to any particular surface or workpiece.

The reduced diameter of quick change discs provide ease of use on intricate parts and excellent control when shaping or blending surface imperfections

  • General purpose grinding and stock removal
  • Deburring or parting line removal on cast parts
  • Spot weld removal and blending
  • Mold and cavity grinding and refurbishing
  • Grinding and preparing hot castings

Ready To Find Your Solution

Contact us for more information, or view our selection of products and solutions.