Restoring Equipment Condition and Performance with Non-Woven Abrasives

Keeping your equipment running at peak efficiency is essential for manufacturing and fabrication operations. However, repairing machinery fatigue can become costly and grind operations to a halt. Non-woven abrasives – cost-efficient surface cleaning alternatives with many different applications across a range of material surfaces – can help your machinery continue to perform in top condition.

When used regularly, non-woven abrasives boost equipment performance, extend the life of expensive investments, and efficiently handle the level of demand your operations require.

Advantages of Non-Woven Abrasives

Non-woven abrasives offer a number of benefits when used across diverse industries, including aerospace, transportation, energy, and related maintenance and repair operations (MRO), as well as in metal fabrication shops. Modern manufacturing processes frequently rely on non-woven abrasives to increase productivity, maximize overall efficiency, and keep operating costs down.

Waterproof and highly resilient, non-woven abrasives also offer:

  • Finish consistency and reliability – ensuring you always get the results you want
  • A high-precision cut with a low base stock removal
  • Increased safety in comparison to other grinding methods
  • Availability in a range of shapes and sizes, providing solutions for irregular surfaces and dimensions

Applications in Aerospace


In the aerospace sector, superior quality and finish of components is essential to operation. For example, airframes – the mechanical bodies of aircraft – are subject to a wide range of stresses and other factors that can contribute to damage and corrosion. Non-woven abrasives offer an opportunity for aerospace manufacturers to increase the durability and longevity of airframe components, and MRO professionals have seen the benefits of non-woven abrasives for addressing common maintenance issues in airframes.

MRO for airframes is expensive and the results are often short-lived, but using non-woven abrasives outperforms conventional surface conditioning products by as much as four times in terms of effectiveness. Using non-woven abrasives offers a demonstrably longer service life, cut rate consistency, and a superior ultimate finish when compared with competitive products. In addition, non-woven abrasives are more affordable, demonstrating a further positive impact on the bottom line.

PFERD offers a range of products suitable for airframe maintenance, such as COMBIDISC® and POLICLEAN® non-woven discs.

Applications in Transportation


The transportation industry has also realized the superiority of non-woven abrasives over traditional methods—for example, in piston-driven engines, such as those found in automotive and locomotive vehicles, scuffed pistons can lead to shortened service life and critical engine failure.

However, providing a proper surface finish on bores ensures that pistons will have a proper clearance, while simultaneously limiting bore distortion caused by exposure to heat. Providing this level of surface finish has traditionally been quite expensive, but using non-woven abrasives such as cross buffs enables manufacturers to control finishing costs while providing a superior product.

PFERD’s POLINOX® cross buffs are an ideal solution for this challenge, as they excel at ­interior deburring and providing superior surface finishes in non-ferrous metal bores.

Applications in Renewable Energy

As renewable energy becomes more prominent, the sector has also realized the benefits of cost-effective surface finishing via non-woven abrasives. Wind turbines offer a fine example of a long-term problem that can be virtually eliminated through proper surface conditioning.

The rotor blades of wind turbines are subject to constant exposure to temperature extremes and inclement weather, making them susceptible to a range of corrosion, damage, and stresses. Considering that blades make up approximately 1/5 of the total cost of a wind turbine, they are not easily replaced without incurring great expense. Yet, leaving unclean, rough, pitted, or damaged blades greatly decreases the efficiency of the blade—and subsequently, the entire turbine.

Conditioning wind turbine rotor blade surfaces with non-woven abrasive belts can restore functionality and drastically reduce service downtime and costs when compared to blade replacement or other service methods. This enables renewable energy producers to maintain steady power generation levels and meet tight quotas.

PFERD’s non-woven abrasive belts are an excellent solution for refinishing surfaces after repairing cracks or other damage in aluminum blades, and also for prepping blades for protective coatings.

Choosing the Right Non-Woven Abrasives

Applying a PFERD COMBIDISC® Non-Woven Disc

In the world of abrasives and cutting tools, PFERD’s expertise and knowledge are second to none. ISO 9001 certified and backed by more than 200 years in the business, you can rest assured knowing our PFERD staff is skilled at understanding the unique specifications associated with each surface conditioning project.

Trust in PFERD to provide outstanding, premium quality tools and abrasives for all your manufacturing or fabrication needs. PFERD has a large variety of non-woven abrasives to meet the needs of virtually all projects of varying dimensions and surfaces.

To find the right tool for your surface conditioning project, click here to view our full selection of multipurpose non-woven abrasives.