Frequently Asked Questions
What is the shelf life of fused aluminum oxide manufactured by Washington Mills?
Washington Mills’ fused aluminum oxide products do not have a known shelf life. As long as the product is maintained in the original sealed container and stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area, our product will last indefinitely.
What is the shelf life of silicon carbide manufactured by Washington Mills?
Washington Mills’ silicon carbide products do not have a known shelf life. As long as the product is maintained in the original sealed container and stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area, our product will last indefinitely.
What is a mesh vs. grit size?
Washington Mills is frequently asked, "What's the difference between mesh and grit size?" If you take a (1) inch space and add wires to it, the number of openings within the 1" space is defined as mesh. For example, if the 1" space has ten openings for particles to fall through, then that sieve would be called a 10 mesh sieve. Typical sieve sizes are 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100, 120, 140, 170, 200, 230, 270, and 325.
A grit is defined as a particle size similar to mesh, but a grit is actually a distribution of various particle sizes that meet a standard. For example, 36 grit is defined by 5 sieves; 20, 30, 35, 40, and 45 mesh. These sieves are nested together on a machine and shaken. The sieves are removed one at a time and the amount of material resting on each sieve is weighed, recorded, and normalized to add up to 100%. Washington Mills then compares the percentage of each sieve to published standards such as; ANSI, FEPA, or custom specifications. Very fine particle sizes such as powders cannot be tested using a RoTap machine and sieves but rather on devices such as a Coulter Counter or a Micotrac to measure particle size distribution.
Washington Mills manufactures and sells standard sands in order to calibrate sieves.
What is melting vs. sintering?
When processing minerals in a furnace, materials can either be melted or sintered. When materials are melted during the production process the minerals go from a solid state, to a liquid state, then is re-solidified during the cooling process creating uniformity in the chemistry throughout the entire batch. The sinerting process heats the minerals in the furnace to two-thirds the melting point creating a spongy state. In the spongy state, materials can "stick" to each other and re-harden as a bonded pair. Sintered materials are not as uniformed, strong or pure compared to materials that are melted.
Is Brown Aluminum Oxide a possible substitute for high crystalline silica containing abrasive materials?
Yes. According to NIOSH, Brown Aluminum Oxide could be a viable substitute for consumers looking for safer alternative materials to high crystalline silica content abrasive products.