Backings or supports for grits can be either vulcanized fibre, which is ideal for disc and drum sanders where the loading is particularly severe; 'combination', comprising a heavyweight paper laminated with an open-weave fabric, and used with floor and drum sanding machines; close-woven pure cotton fabrics in various weights and degrees of flexibility for machine sanding; and tough raw paper of high-tensile strength in a variety of weights for both hand- and machine-sanding. Cloth backs last longer but are considerably more expensive, and paper is usually suitable for most normal purposes, although a very flexible cloth backing specially prepared for hand sanding is better for pronounced contour-work. In principle, orbital pad sanders require a fairly tough paper backing usually known as 'cabinet-papers' (C or D

weight), and these are also used for hand or 'touch' sanding with a cork block in preparatory levelling off using a fairly coarse grit; but for final finishing and delicate work a lighter weight (A) is used, commonly known as a 'finishing' paper. Glasspapers, flint-papers and corundum (aluminous oxide) are usually heavy C weight papers.

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