Sandpaper (sometimes referred to as glasspaper) is a type of thick paper with abrasive materials on one or both sides. Although it is called sandpaper, the abrasive material is typically aluminium oxide or silicon carbide. Abrasive cloths have a similar construction, but the base material is cloth rather than paper.
Sandpaper is used to smooth surfaces such as wood or metal. The smoothing of surfaces might be a finishing touch or to prepare a surface before work takes place. Sandpaper and abrasive sheets can also be used to remove media such as paint or varnish from a surface.
Sandpaper normally has a grade. This helps to differentiate between how smooth or coarse the sandpaper is. The higher the grade is, the finer the sandpaper is. For example, sandpaper with a grade (sometimes called grit) from 350 to 600 is fine and should be used for small imperfections. Sandpaper with lower grades such as 40 to 60 is coarser. A coarser grit enables you to strip materials and carry out heavy sanding.
Some sandpaper can be used wet. The sandpaper is either sprayed with water or soaked prior to use. This has a number of benefits including reducing the dust generated and also improving the quality of the finish. Wet sanding is often used on vehicles to provide the smoothest possible surface before they are resprayed.
Sandpaper is available in a range of shapes and sizes. You can buy sandpaper in rolls, in larger sheets or smaller pre-cut pieces.