Title:
ABRASIVES PRODUCTS WITH EDGES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A coated abrasive includes a substrate, where the substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining a first edge. The flaps can be manufactured with different shapes and spacing between the flaps to improve the conformability of the coated abrasive.



Inventors:
Oliver, Christophe C. (Dover, MA, US)
Rossignol, Lionel J. (Saratoga Springs, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/237129
Publication Date:
03/26/2009
Filing Date:
09/24/2008
Assignee:
SAINT-GOBAIN ABRASIVES, INC. (Worcester, MA, US)
SAINT-GOBAIN ABRASIFS (Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, FR)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B24D11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MORGAN, EILEEN P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Abel Schillinger, LLP (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A coated abrasive comprising a substrate, the substrate having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles affixed to the first surface by at least one binder, the substrate further having a first edge and a second edge, and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge, each flap of the first plurality of flaps having an outer contour extending to a distal end, a line intersecting the distal ends of the first plurality of flaps defining a first outer periphery of the coated abrasive, wherein a reference axis extending normal to the first outer periphery intersects a flap of the first plurality of flaps at two or more discrete locations along the outer contour of the flap of the first plurality of flaps.

2. The coated abrasive of claim 1 where the coated abrasive product is selected from the group consisting of sheets, discs, belts and rolls.

3. The coated abrasive of claim 1 wherein the substrate further includes a second plurality of flaps defining the second edge, each flap of the second plurality of flaps having an outer contour extending to a distal end, a line intersecting the distal ends of the second plurality of flaps defining a second outer periphery of the coated abrasive, wherein the reference axis intersects a flap of the second plurality of flaps at two or more discrete locations along an outer contour of the flap of the second plurality of flaps.

4. A coated abrasive comprising a substrate, the substrate having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles affixed to the first surface by at least one binder, the substrate further having a first edge, and a plurality of flaps defining the first edge, wherein a first flap from the first plurality of flaps has a first straight lateral edge projecting from a first proximal flat to a first distal flat at an angle A relative to a first reference axis extending normal to the first distal flat at the intersection of the first straight lateral edge and the first distal flat, and a second straight lateral edge projecting from the first distal flat to a second proximal flat at an angle B relative to a second reference axis extending normal to the first distal flat at the intersection of the second straight lateral edge and the first distal flat.

5. 5-6. (canceled)

7. The coated abrasive of claim 4 wherein the first straight lateral edge meets the second straight lateral edge.

8. (canceled)

9. The coated abrasive of claim 4 wherein the second straight lateral edge of the first flap meets a first straight lateral edge of a second flap from the first plurality of flaps.

10. The coated abrasive of claim 4 wherein angle A and angle B are equal.

11. (canceled)

12. The coated abrasive of claim 4 wherein angle A and angle B equal zero.

13. The coated abrasive of claim 12 wherein the first proximal flat is longer than 10% of the first distal flat length.

14. The coated abrasive of claim 12 wherein the amount of material removed between the first flap and a second flap from the first plurality of flaps is greater than 10% of a first flap width.

15. The coated abrasive of claim 4 further comprising a second edge, and a plurality of flaps defining the second edge, wherein a first flap from the second plurality of flaps has a first straight lateral edge projecting from a first proximal flat on the second edge to a first distal flat on the second edge at an angle C relative to a third reference axis extending normal to the first distal flat on the second edge at the intersection of the first straight lateral edge and the first distal flat on the second edge, and a second straight lateral edge projecting from the first distal flat on the second edge to a second proximal flat on the second edge at an angle D relative to a fourth reference axis extending normal to the first distal flat on the second edge at the intersection of the second straight lateral edge and the first distal flat of the second edge.

16. The coated abrasive of claim 15 where angles A, B, C and D are equal.

17. The coated abrasive of claim 15 where angles A, B, C and D are not equal.

18. The coated abrasive of claim 15 where angles A, B, C and D equal zero.

19. 19-26. (canceled)

27. A coated abrasive comprising a substrate, the substrate having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles affixed to the first surface by at least one binder, the substrate further having a first edge and a second edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge, wherein the first plurality of flaps have different shapes.

28. The coated abrasive of claim 27 wherein the first plurality of flaps have at least two different shapes.

29. 29-34. (canceled)

35. The coated abrasive of claim 27 further comprising a second plurality of flaps defining the second edge, wherein the second plurality of flaps have different shapes.

36. The coated abrasive of claim 1 wherein the distal end of the flaps is wider than the proximal end of the flaps.

37. The coated abrasive of claim 36 where a width of the distal end of the flap is at least 10% wider than a width of the proximal end of the flap.

38. The coated abrasive of claim 36 where a width of the distal end of the flap is at least 20% wider than a width of the proximal end of the flap.

39. 39-42. (canceled)

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/995,105, filed Sep. 24, 2007, entitled “ABRASIVES PRODUCTS WITH EDGES”, naming inventors Christophe C. Oliver, and Lionel J. Rossignol, which application is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This disclosure, in general, relates to abrasive articles that have edges.

BACKGROUND

Abrasive articles, such as coated abrasive articles, are used in various industries to machine work pieces, such as by lapping, grinding, or polishing. Machining utilizing abrasive articles spans a wide industrial scope from optics industries, automotive paint repair industries to metal fabrication industries. In each of these examples, manufacturing facilities use abrasives to remove bulk material or affect surface characteristics of products. Various types of automated processing systems have been developed to abrasively process articles of various compositions and configurations. For example, coated abrasive strips, rolls or tapes, fed from automatic abrasive feed machines are employed to process parts, such as automobile and powertrain parts (e.g., crankshaft, camshaft, transmission shaft, steering shaft, steering rod). Although conventional coated abrasive strips, rolls or tapes in automatic abrasive feed machinery systems provide abrasive coverage to the process parts, certain process parts such as crankshafts and camshafts, can be hard to abrade due to sharp changes in curvature of the parts. Manual examination and verification is time consuming and costly. Poor abrasive coverage on the process parts can have very deleterious results, resulting in significant waste during manufacture.

In some cases it can be difficult to abrade a workpiece with an abrasive article due to the given shape of a workpiece that might have significant amounts of curvature and gradients. The inability to properly abrade the entire workpiece can have very deleterious results, resulting in significant waste during manufacture. Prior art coated abrasives with sinusoidal edges or coated abrasives with slit edges have been used in the past for improved conformability with some level of success.

However, as should be clear from the foregoing, the abrasive industry would be receptive to an abrasive article with improved conformability to allow more uniform abrasion of a workpiece.

SUMMARY

In one particular embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps has an outer contour extending to a distal end. A line intersecting the distal ends of the first plurality of flaps define a first outer periphery of the coated abrasive, wherein a reference axis extending normal to the first outer periphery intersects a flap of the first plurality of flaps at two or more discrete locations along the outer contour of the flap of the first plurality of flaps.

In another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge. A first flap from the first plurality of flaps has a first straight lateral edge projecting from a first proximal flat to a first distal flat at an angle A relative to a first reference axis. The first reference axis extends normal to the first distal flat at the intersection of the first straight lateral edge and the first distal flat. A second straight lateral edge projects from the first distal flat to a second proximal flat at an angle B relative to a second reference axis. The second reference axis extends normal to the first distal flat at the intersection of the second straight lateral edge and the first distal flat.

In another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge. The flaps of the first plurality of flaps are spaced apart from each other by varying a non-constant distance.

In another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge wherein the plurality of flaps have different shapes.

In another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge wherein the distal edge of the flaps are wider than a proximal end of the flaps.

In another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge wherein a flap has a distal width, a proximal width and a median width where the median width is smaller than the distal width and the proximal width.

In yet another embodiment, a coated abrasive includes a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate further has a first edge, and a plurality of flaps defining the first edge. A first flap of the first plurality of flaps has first and second opposing lateral sides where the first and second opposing lateral sides have a respective first and second rectilinear portions. The rectilinear portions forming at least 20% of an outer periphery of the flap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present disclosure may be better understood, and its numerous features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings.

FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 include diagrams illustrating exemplary abrasive articles.

The use of the same reference symbols in different drawings indicates similar or identical items.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In one particular embodiment, the disclosure is directed to a coated abrasive including a substrate. The substrate has a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of abrasive particles are affixed to the first surface by at least one binder. The substrate has a first edge and a first plurality of flaps defining the first edge. The flaps can be manufactured with different shapes and spacing between the flaps to improve the conformability of the coated abrasive. Improved conformability of the coated abrasive results in better finish of a workpiece. Improved conformability also lowers the possibility of folding of the edges of the coated abrasive when the coated abrasives are being used. Finally better conformability of a coated abrasive may result in a lower number of operations that are required to process a workpiece.

In one embodiment the detailed cutting of a coated abrasive to result in coated abrasives with custom shaped flaps and custom spacing between the flaps can be achieved with a laser cutter. The beam of the laser cutter can be controlled with mirror technology which is usually referred to as a galvanometer. More information on a galvanometer can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanometer. The laser beam itself can be of any power, typically a few hundred watts and can be turned on or off at extremely fast rates. The speed of travel of the beam in the working window is typically dictated by the material and thickness of the coated abrasive to be cut. In contrast to the prior art that only cut slits into a coated abrasive, or a dye cut that formed a sinusoidal pattern, the laser cut allows for custom shaped flaps and custom spacing between the flaps. The flap shapes and spacing can be chosen to improve the conformability of the coated abrasive for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of the coated abrasive on a given workpiece.

FIG. 1 shows a coated abrasive product 10 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 10 has a substrate 12. The substrate 12 has a first surface 14 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 16 are affixed to the first surface 14 by at least one binder 18. The substrate 12 has a first edge 20 and a first plurality of flaps 22 defining the first edge 20. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 22 has a first outer contour 24 extending to first distal ends 26. A line intersecting the first distal ends 26 defines a first outer periphery 28 of the coated abrasive product 10. A reference axis 30 extending normal to the first outer periphery 28 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 22 at locations 32, 34 and 36.

Coated abrasive product 10 can further include a second edge 40. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 42 has a second outer contour 44 extending to second distal ends 46. A line intersecting the second distal ends 46 defines a first outer periphery 48 of the coated abrasive product 10. A reference axis 50 extending normal to the first outer periphery 48 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 42 at locations 52, 54 and 56.

FIG. 2 shows a coated abrasive product 110 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 110 has a substrate 112. The substrate 112 has a first surface 114 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 116 are affixed to the first surface 114 by at least one binder 118. The substrate 112 has a first edge 120 and a first plurality of flaps 122 defining the first edge 120. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 122 has a first outer contour 124 extending to first distal ends 126. A line intersecting the first distal ends 126 defines a first outer periphery 128 of the coated abrasive product 110. A reference axis 130 extending normal to the first outer periphery 128 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 122 at locations 132, 134 and 136.

Coated abrasive product 110 can further include a second edge 140. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 142 has a second outer contour 144 extending to second distal ends 146. A line intersecting the second distal ends 146 defines a first outer periphery 148 of the coated abrasive product 110. A reference axis 150 extending normal to the first outer periphery 148 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 142 at locations 152, 154 and 156.

FIG. 3 shows a coated abrasive product 210 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 210 has a substrate 212. The substrate 212 has a first surface 214 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 216 are affixed to the first surface 214 by at least one binder 218. The substrate 212 has a first edge 220 and a first plurality of flaps 222 defining the first edge 220. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 222 has a first outer contour 224 extending to first distal ends 226. A line intersecting the first distal ends 226 defines a first outer periphery 228 of the coated abrasive product 210. A reference axis 230 extending normal to the first outer periphery 228 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 222 at locations 232 and 334.

Coated abrasive product 210 can further include a second edge 240. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 242 has a second outer contour 244 extending to second distal ends 246. A line intersecting the second distal ends 246 defines a first outer periphery 248 of the coated abrasive product 210. A reference axis 250 extending normal to the first outer periphery 248 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 242 at locations 252 and 254.

FIG. 4 shows a coated abrasive product 310 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 310 has a substrate 312. The substrate 312 has a first surface 314 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 316 are affixed to the first surface 314 by at least one binder 318. The substrate 312 has a first edge 320 and a first plurality of flaps 322 defining the first edge 320. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 322 has a first outer contour 324 extending to first distal ends 326. A line intersecting the first distal ends 326 defines a first outer periphery 328 of the coated abrasive product 310. A reference axis 330 extending normal to the first outer periphery 328 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 322 at locations 332 and 334.

Coated abrasive product 310 can further include a second edge 340. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 342 has a second outer contour 344 extending to second distal ends 346. A line intersecting the second distal ends 346 defines a first outer periphery 348 of the coated abrasive product 310. A reference axis 350 extending normal to the first outer periphery 348 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 342 at locations 352 and 354.

FIG. 5 shows a coated abrasive product 410 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 410 has a substrate 412. The substrate 412 has a first surface 414 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 416 are affixed to the first surface 414 by at least one binder 418. The substrate 412 has a first edge 420 and a first plurality of flaps 422 defining the first edge 420. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 422 has a first outer contour 424 extending to first distal ends 426. A line intersecting the first distal ends 426 defines a first outer periphery 428 of the coated abrasive product 410. A reference axis 430 extending normal to the first outer periphery 428 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 422 at locations 432 and 434.

Coated abrasive product 310 can further include a second edge 340. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 342 has a second outer contour 344 extending to second distal ends 346. A line intersecting the second distal ends 346 defines a first outer periphery 348 of the coated abrasive product 310. A reference axis 350 extending normal to the first outer periphery 348 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 342 at locations 352 and 354.

FIG. 6 shows a coated abrasive product 510 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 510 has a substrate 512. The substrate 512 has a first surface 514 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 516 are affixed to the first surface 314 by at least one binder 518. The substrate 512 has a first edge 520 and a first plurality of flaps 522 defining the first edge 520. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 522 has a first outer contour 524 extending to first distal ends 526. A line intersecting the first distal ends 526 defines a first outer periphery 528 of the coated abrasive product 510. A reference axis 530 extending normal to the first outer periphery 528 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 522 at locations 532 and 534.

Coated abrasive product 510 can further include a second edge 540. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 542 has a second outer contour 544 extending to second distal ends 546. A line intersecting the second distal ends 546 defines a first outer periphery 548 of the coated abrasive product 510. A reference axis 550 extending normal to the first outer periphery 548 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 542 at locations 552 and 554.

FIG. 7 shows a coated abrasive product 610 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 610 has a substrate 612. The substrate 612 has a first surface 614 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 616 are affixed to the first surface 614 by at least one binder 618. The substrate 612 has a first edge 620 and a first plurality of flaps 622 defining the first edge 620. Each flap of the first plurality of flaps 622 has a first outer contour 624 extending to first distal ends 626. A line intersecting the first distal ends 626 defines a first outer periphery 628 of the coated abrasive product 610. A reference axis 630 extending normal to the first outer periphery 628 will interest a flap of the first plurality of flaps 622 at locations 632 and 634.

Coated abrasive product 610 can further include a second edge 640. Each flap of the second plurality of flaps 642 has a second outer contour 644 extending to second distal ends 646. A line intersecting the second distal ends 646 defines a first outer periphery 648 of the coated abrasive product 610. A reference axis 650 extending normal to the first outer periphery 648 will interest a flap of the second plurality of flaps 642 at locations 652 and 654.

The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 1-7 illustrate that each flap of the first plurality of flaps has an outer contour extending to a distal end. A line intersecting the distal ends of the first plurality of flaps define a first outer periphery of the coated abrasive, wherein a reference axis extending normal to the first outer periphery intersects a flap of the first plurality of flaps at two or more discrete locations along the outer contour of the flap of the first plurality of flaps. The flaps illustrated in FIGS. 1-7 improve the conformability of the coated abrasive which results in a more consistent abrasion of a workpiece.

The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 1-7 can be either belts, rolls or sheets. The coated abrasive products of FIGS. 1-7 can also be discs when there is only a first edge.

FIG. 8 shows a coated abrasive product 710 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 710 has a substrate 712. The substrate 712 has a first surface 714 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 716 are affixed to the first surface 714 by at least one binder 718. The substrate 712 has a first edge 720 and a first plurality of flaps 722 defining the first edge 720. A first flap 723 from the first plurality of flaps 722 has a first straight lateral edge 724 projecting from a first proximal flat 726 to a first distal flat 728 at an angle A relative to a first reference axis 730. The first reference axis 730 extends normal to the first distal flat 728 at the intersection of the first straight lateral edge 724 and the first distal flat 728. A second straight lateral edge 732 projects from the first distal flat 728 to a second proximal flat 734 at an angle B relative to a second reference axis 736. The second reference axis 736 extends normal to the first distal flat 728 at the intersection of the second straight lateral edge 732 and the first distal flat 728.

In one embodiment angle A and angle B are equal. In another embodiment angle A and angle B are not equal. In yet another embodiment angle A and angle B equal zero.

In one embodiment the first distal flat 728 has a finite length. In one embodiment the length of the distal flat 728 can be larger than 20 mm. In another embodiment the length of the distal flat 728 can be larger than 40 mm. In another embodiment the length of the distal flat 728 can be larger than 80 mm. In yet another embodiment the length of the distal flat 728 can be larger than 100 mm.

In one embodiment the first proximal flat 726 has a finite length. In one embodiment the length of the proximal flat 726 can be larger than 20 mm. In another embodiment the length of the proximal flat 726 can be larger than 40 mm. In another embodiment the length of the proximal flat 726 can be larger than 80 mm. In yet another embodiment the length of the proximal flat 726 can be larger than 100 mm. In yet another embodiment the length of the first proximal flat is longer than 10% of the first distal flat length. In yet another embodiment the length of the first proximal flat is longer than 20% of the first distal flat length.

The flaps are formed by removing material from the edge of the coated abrasive. In one embodiment this material can be removed by a laser cutter. In one embodiment the amount of material removed 738 between the first flap 723 and a second flap 725 of the first plurality of flaps is greater than 10% of the first flap width. In another embodiment the amount of material removed 738 between the first flap 723 and a second flap 725 of the first plurality of flaps is greater than 20% of the first flap width.

FIG. 9 shows a coated abrasive product 810 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention which is a variation of FIG. 8. In FIG. 9 a second straight lateral edge 832 of flap 823 meets a first lateral edge 840 of flap 825. In the embodiment of FIG. 9 there is no proximal flat between the second straight lateral edge 832 of flap 823 and the first lateral edge 840 of flap 825.

FIG. 10 shows a coated abrasive product 910 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention which is a variation of FIG. 8. In FIG. 10 a first straight lateral edge 924 of flap 923 meets a second lateral edge 932 of flap 923. In the embodiment of FIG. 10 there is no distal flat between the first straight lateral edge 924 of flap 923 and the second lateral edge 932 of flap 923.

FIG. 11 shows a coated abrasive product 1010 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention which is a variation of FIG. 8. In FIG. 11 a first straight lateral edge 1024 of flap 1023 meets a second lateral edge 1032 of flap 1023. In the embodiment of FIG. 11 there is no distal flat between the first straight lateral edge 1024 of flap 1023 and the second lateral edge 1032 of flap 1023. FIG. 11 also shows the second straight lateral edge 1032 of flap 1023 meets a first lateral edge 1040 of flap 1025. In the embodiment of FIG. 11 there is no proximal flat between the second straight lateral edge 1032 of flap 1023 and the first lateral edge 1040 of flap 1025.

Referring back to FIG. 8 the coated abrasive 710 further includes a second edge 750, and a plurality of flaps 752 defining the second edge 750. A first flap 754 from the second plurality of flaps 752 has a first straight lateral edge 756 projecting from a first proximal flat 758 on the second edge to a first distal flat 760 on the second edge at an angle C relative to a third reference axis 762. The third reference axis 762 extends normal to the first distal flat 760 on the second edge at the intersection of the first straight lateral edge 756 and the first distal flat 760 on the second edge. A second straight lateral edge 764 projecting from the first distal flat 760 on the second edge to a second proximal flat 766 on the second edge at an angle D relative to a fourth reference axis 768. The fourth reference axis 768 extending normal to the first distal flat on the second edge at the intersection of the second straight lateral edge and the first distal flat of the second edge.

In one embodiment angles A, B, C and D are equal. In another embodiment angles A, B, C and D are not equal. In yet another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12 the coated abrasive 1110 has angles A, B, C and D equal zero because the first straight lateral edges 1156 and the second straight lateral edges 1164 of the flaps 1154 are oriented in a vertical orientation.

The flaps are formed by removing material from the edge of the coated abrasive. In one embodiment this material can be removed by a laser cutter. In FIG. 12 the amount of material removed 1138 between the first flap 1123 and a second flap 125 is greater than 10% of the first flap 1123 width. In another embodiment the amount of material removed 1138 between the first flap 1123 and a second flap 1125 is greater than 20% of the first flap 1123 width.

The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 8-12 can be either belts, rolls or sheets. The coated abrasive products of FIGS. 8-12 can also be discs when there is only a first edge. The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 8-12 have improved conformability which will result in more complete abrasion of a workpiece

FIG. 13 shows a coated abrasive product 1210 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 1210 has a substrate 1212. The substrate 1212 has a first surface 1214 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 1216 are affixed to the first surface 1214 by at least one binder 1218. The substrate 1212 has a first edge 1220 and a first plurality of flaps 1222 defining the first edge 1220. The flaps of the first plurality of flaps 1222 are spaced apart from each other by varying, non-constant distance. In FIG. 13 the space between flap 1224 and flap 1226 is larger than the distance between flap 1226 and flap 1228.

In one embodiment laser cutting allows the distance between any pair of flaps to be set to any desired distance. Laser cutting can allow total flexibility in the location of the flaps in the coated abrasive 1210. The distance between the flaps can be adjusted to control the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece.

In one embodiment the distance between the flaps can be reduced to increase the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece. In one embodiment the increae in abrasion can be for the purpose of increasing the material removal rate. Increasing the removal rate might be a desired first abrasion operation performed on a workpiece.

In another embodiment the distance between the flaps can be increased to decrease the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece. In one embodiment the purpose of reducing the amount of abrasion may be for the purpose a fine finishing operation to improve the Ra of the worksurface. A fine finishing operation might be a desired second abrasion operation performed on a workpiece. Other desired abrasion operations include lapping, grinding or polishing.

In yet another embodiment the distance between the flaps in a coated abrasive can be set close together for a portion of the coated abrasive to increase the amount of abrasion applied to the workpiece and in a different portion of the same coated abrasive the flaps can be spaced further apart to decrease the amount of abrasion applied to the workpiece. The coated abrasive can be manufactured with different sections in the same coated abrasive product where the different sections alternate between multiple abrasion operations such as material removal and fine finishing. Other desired abrasion operations include lapping, grinding or polishing.

Referring back to FIG. 13 coated abrasive product 1210 can further include a second edge 1240. The flaps of the second plurality of flaps 1242 are spaced apart from each other by varying, non-constant distance. In FIG. 13 the space between flap 1244 and flap 1246 is larger than the distance between flap 1246 and flap 1248.

FIG. 14 shows a variation of coated abrasive product 1210 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. Coated abrasive 1310 has a first plurality of flaps 1322 and a second plurality of flaps 1342 where the varying non-constant distance between the first plurality of flaps 1322 and the second plurality of flaps is different.

The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 can be either belts, rolls or sheets. The coated abrasive products of FIGS. 13 and 14 can also be discs when there is only a first edge. The coated abrasive products shown in FIGS. 13 and 14 also have improved conformability which will result in approved abrasion of the workpiece.

FIG. 15 shows a coated abrasive product 1410 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, coated abrasive product 1410 has a substrate 1412. The substrate 1412 has a first surface 1414 and a second surface opposite the first surface. A plurality of particles 1416 are affixed to the first surface 1414 by at least one binder 1418. The substrate 1412 has a first edge 1420 and a first plurality of flaps made up of pyramid shaped 1422 and bulb shaped flaps 1423 defining the first edge 1420. The coated abrasive can be manufactured to have at least two different shaped flaps in the coated abrasive.

Coated abrasive product 1410 also has a second edge 1440 and a second plurality of flaps made up of pyramid shaped 1442 and bulb shaped flaps 1443 defining the second edge 1420.

FIG. 16 illustrates another exemplary coated abrasive product 1510 which is a variation of coated abrasive product 1440. In coated abrasive product 1510 there are three flap shapes, namely pyramid shaped flaps 1522, bulb shaped flaps 1523 and triangle shaped flaps 1524 making up a first edge 1520. The second edge 1540 is made up of pyramid shaped flaps 1542, bulb shaped flaps 1543 and triangle shaped flaps 1544. There can be at least three different shaped flaps on a coated abrasive product.

FIG. 17 illustrates another exemplary coated abrasive product 1610 which is another variation of coated abrasive product 1440. In coated abrasive product 1610 there are four flap shapes, namely pyramid shaped flaps 1624, bulb shaped flaps 1623, triangle shaped flaps 1625 and rectangle shaped flaps 1622 making up a first edge 1620. The second edge 1640 is made up of pyramid shaped flaps 1644, bulb shaped flaps 1643, triangle shaped flaps 1645 and rectangle shaped flaps 1642. There can be at least four different shaped flaps on a coated abrasive product.

FIG. 18 illustrates another exemplary coated abrasive product 1710 which is another variation of coated abrasive product 1440. In coated abrasive product 1710 there a first plurality of rectangular shaped flaps 1722 making up a first edge 1720. The second edge 1740 is made up of bulb shaped flaps 1742. There can be different shaped flaps on each edge of the coated abrasive product.

In one embodiment laser cutting allows any desired shape flap to be cut into the coated abrasive. Laser cutting allows total flexibility in the shape of the flaps in the coated abrasive. The shape of the flaps can be adjusted to control the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece.

In one embodiment the shape of the flaps can manufactured to increase the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece. In one embodiment the increase in abrasion may be for the purpose of increasing the material removal rate. Increasing the removal rate might be a desired first abrasion operation performed on a workpiece.

In another embodiment the shape of the flaps can be manufactured to decrease the amount of abrasion applied to a workpiece. In one embodiment the purpose for the purpose a fine finishing operation to improve the Ra of the work surface. A fine finishing operation might be a desired second abrasion operation performed on a workpiece. Other desired abrasion operations may include lapping, grinding or polishing

In yet another embodiment the shape the flaps in a coated abrasive manufactured for a portion of the coated abrasive to increase the amount of abrasion applied to the workpiece and in a different portion of the same coated abrasive the shape of the flaps can manufactured to decrease the amount of abrasion applied to the workpiece. The coated abrasive can be manufactured with different sections in the same coated abrasive product where the different sections alternate between multiple abrasion operations such as material removal and fine finishing.

FIG. 19 shows a coated abrasive product 1810 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, a coated abrasive 1810 comprising a substrate 1812, the substrate having a first surface 1814 and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles 1816 affixed to the first surface by at least one binder 1818, the substrate further having a first edge 1820 and a plurality of flaps 1822 defining the first edge, wherein a distal end of the flaps 1824 is wider than the proximal end of the flaps 1826.

In another embodiment the width of the distal end of the flap is at least 10% wider than a width of the proximal end of the flap. In yet another embodiment the width of the distal end of the flap is at least 20% wider than a width of the proximal end of the flap

FIG. 20 shows a coated abrasive product 1910 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, a coated abrasive 1910 comprising a substrate 1912, the substrate having a first surface 1914 and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles 1916 affixed to the first surface by at least one binder 1918, the substrate further having a first edge 1920 and a plurality of flaps 1922 defining the first edge 1920, wherein a flap 1923 from the plurality of flaps comprises a distal width 1924, a proximal width 1926 and a median width 1928 where the median width 1928 is smaller than the distal width 1924 and the proximal width 1926.

FIG. 21 shows a coated abrasive product 2010 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, a coated abrasive 2010 comprising a substrate 2012, the substrate having a first surface 2014 and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles 2016 affixed to the first surface by at least one binder 2018, the substrate further having a first edge 2020 and a plurality of flaps 2022 defining the first edge 2020, wherein a first flap 2023 of the first plurality of flaps has a first and second opposing lateral sides (2024, 2026) having a respective first and second rectilinear portions (2028, 2030). In this embodiment the first and second rectilinear portions define the entirety of the lateral sides. In other embodiment the rectilinear portions define a portion of the lateral sides.

In some embodiments the rectilinear portions forming at least 20% of an outer periphery of the flap. In other embodiments the rectilinear portions form at least 30% of an outer periphery of the flap. In FIG. 21, the rectilinear portions form 100% of the outer periphery of the flap, the outer periphery being the distance along the flap extending from point X to point Y.

FIG. 22 shows a coated abrasive product 2110 that is employed in one embodiment of the invention. As shown in the figure, a coated abrasive 2110 comprising a substrate 2112, the substrate having a first surface 2114 and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of abrasive particles 2116 affixed to the first surface by at least one binder 2118, the substrate further having a first edge 2120 and a plurality of flaps 2122 defining the first edge 2120, wherein the first and second rectilinear portions (2128, 2130) extend along respective first and second lines (2132, 2134) that intersect each other at an angle E within a range of 30 degrees to 120 degrees. In FIG. 22, the first and second rectilinear portions (2128, 2130) form approximately 80% of the outer periphery of the flap, the outer periphery being the distance along the flap extending from point X to point Y.

Abrasive products that are employed in the invention can be in any form. In one embodiment the abrasive products can be a sheet or a disc. Preferably, abrasive products are in a roll or belt form. More preferably, the abrasive product is a coated abrasive roll, such as rolls of microfinishing film, lapping film or finishing cloth.

Examples of suitable coated abrasive products that can be employed in the invention generally include a substrate, an abrasive material and at least one binder to hold the abrasive material to the substrate. As used herein, the term “coated abrasive product” encompasses a woven abrasive tool and a nonwoven abrasive tool. In one example, the coated abrasive product includes a substrate, which is optionally treated with a backsize coat and/or a presize coat opposite the backsize coat, and a make coat overlaying the optional presize coat. The coated abrasive product can further include abrasive particles, or an agglomerate thereof is attached to the maker coat or the presize coat when it is employed. A size coat optionally can be applied over the abrasive particles or an agglomerate. A supersize coat optionally can also be included in coated abrasive product. The inclusion of a backsize coat, presize coat, size coat, and/or supersize coat is dependent upon the abrasive product's specific applications.

Any suitable substrate material known in the art can be employed to coat abrasive product 12. The substrate useful in the invention can be rigid, but generally is flexible. Examples include paper, cloth, film, fiber, polymeric materials, nonwoven materials, vulcanized rubber or fiber, etc., or a combination of one or more of these materials, or treated versions thereof. The choice of the substrate material generally depends on the intended application of the coated abrasive product to be formed. As used herein, “nonwoven” means a web of random or directional fibers held together mechanically, chemically, or physically, or any combination of these. Examples of nonwoven materials include fibers formed into a nonwoven web that provides a three-dimensional integrated network structure. Any fibers known to be useful in nonwoven abrasive tools can be employed in the invention. Such fibers generally are formed from various polymers, including polyamides, polyesters, polypropylene, polyethylene and various copolymers thereof. Cotton, wool, blast fibers and various animal hairs can also be used for forming nonwoven fibers. In some applications, the nonwoven substrate can include a collection of loose fibers, to which abrasive powders or agglomerates are added to provide an abrasive web having abrasive powders or agglomerates throughout.

Suitable abrasive materials for use in the invention include diamond, corundum, emery, garnet, chert, quartz, sandstone, chalcedony, flint, quartzite, silica, feldspar, pumice and talc, boron carbide, cubic boron nitride, fused alumina, ceramic aluminum oxide, heat treated aluminum oxide, alumina zirconia, glass, silicon carbide, iron oxides, tantalum carbide, cerium oxide, tin oxide, titanium carbide, synthetic diamond, manganese dioxide, zirconium oxide, and silicon nitride. The abrasive materials can be oriented, or can be applied to the substrate without orientation (i.e., randomly), depending upon the particular desired properties of the coated abrasive tools. In choosing an appropriate abrasive material, characteristics, such as size, hardness, compatibility with workpieces and heat conductivity, are generally considered. Abrasive materials useful in the invention typically have a particle size ranging from about 0.1 micrometer and about 1,500 micrometers, such as from about 10 micrometers to about 1000 micrometers.

According to embodiments of the present invention, improved conformability, design flexibility, and machining performance may be achieved, relative to state of the art coated abrasives including those with sinusoidal shaped lateral edges. In addition, embodiments herein are more efficient to manufacture and consistent edge cutting through laser patterning techniques ensures low flap to flap shape variance and improved precision, in contrast to state of the art techniques that rely on cutting with a die roll.

The above-disclosed subject matter is to be considered illustrative, and not restrictive, and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications, enhancements, and other embodiments, which fall within the true scope of the present invention. Thus, to the maximum extent allowed by law, the scope of the present invention is to be determined by the broadest permissible interpretation of the following claims and their equivalents, and shall not be restricted or limited by the foregoing detailed description.