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abrasive

abrasive, material used to grind, smooth, cut, or polish another substance. Natural abrasives include sand, pumice, corundum, and ground quartz. Carborundum (silicon carbide) and alumina (aluminum oxide) are important synthetically produced abrasives. The hardest abrasives are natural or synthetic diamonds, used in the form of dust or minuscule stones.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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