An abrasive wheel is a wheel, cylinder, disc or cone which, whether or not any other material is comprised in it, consists of abrasive particles held together by mineral, metallic or organic bonds, whether natural or artificial. The device is used in conjunction with a grinding tool.
The role of the abrasive wheel is to make a cut on a particular surface of the material or work piece through the process known as shear deformation. The abrasive grains are extremely hard substances such as aluminium oxide, zirconia alumina, and silicon carbide that are embedded in a matrix called the bond. The bond not only holds the abrasive grains together but also allows the mixture to be shaped to the desired wheel form and, after suitable treatment, to take on the necessary mechanical strength for its intended work. Inorganic bonds include clay, glass, porcelain, sodium, silicate, magnesium oxychloride, and metal. Organic bonds include shellac, rubber, synthetic resin, or resinoid. Resinoid bonds are commonly used to make wheels for metalworking applications.