A coated abrasive comprises an abrasive fixed to a backing material such
as paper, cloth, rubber, resin, polyester or even metal, many of which
are flexible. Sandpaper is a very common coated abrasive. Coated
abrasives are commonly the same minerals as are used for bonded
abrasives. A bonding agent (often some sort of adhesive or resin) is
applied to the backing to provide a flat surface to which the grit is
then subsequently adhered. A woven backing may also use a filler agent
(again, often a resin) to provide additional resilience.
Coated abrasives may be shaped for use in rotary and orbital sanders, for wrapping around sanding blocks, as handpads, as closed loops for use on belt grinders, as striking surfaces on matchboxes, on diamond plates and diamond steels. Diamond tools, though for cutting, are often abrasive in nature.