Improve abrasive safety without compromising productivity

3M™ Cubitron™ II hand-held abrasives, featuring legendary 3M Precision-Shaped Grain bring efficiency and hazard mitigation together to improve the safety of metal fabricators.

 Metal fabrication factories can be dangerous places to work

Like all industrial processes, the use of abrasives involves certain risks, both for operators and personnel nearby. A grinding wheel or abrasive disc will typically operate at 80 m/s, its edge travelling at speeds of up to 180 mph.

Risks may include the potential for injury from accidental contact with moving components or flying debris and burns from sparks or hot workpieces. Over the long-term, they may include debilitating health issues from exposure to dust, noise and vibration hazards over time.

Minimising and managing short and long-term risks are the responsibility of every company that use abrasives tools and equipment.

3M™ Cubitron™ II engineered abrasives can help mitigate risks from hand-arm vibration, airborne particles, and noise hazards

Abrasives are not considered as a control method against typical hazards faced every day in metalworking. Nevertheless, engineered abrasives by 3M can make a considerable step change to worker safety across metalworking and transportation industries and have a significant impact on minimising exposure to long-term hazards.

3M commissioned an independent study with the Fraunhofer Institute and Vito NV (Flemish Institute for Technological Research). These studies confirmed the potential safety benefits of 3M™ Cubitron™ II hand-held abrasives featuring 3M Precision-Shaped Grain.

According to the independent testing, 3M™ Cubitron™ II Fibre Disc 982C demonstrated significant potential to mitigate risk against long-term abrasive hazards when compared to a traditional grinding wheel:

  • Up to 71%[2] less airborne particles thanks to the innovative slicing action that means the disc creates larger, longer and heavier metal chips (swarf) that stay airborne for less time.
  • Up to 91%[3] reduction in vibration exposure – Fixed tasks can be completed faster, significantly reducing operator’s trigger time and less applied force helps minimise operator fatigue.
  • Up to 75%3 reduction in noise energy – 3M™ Cubitron™ II Fibre Discs 982C offer a 6dB noise reduction compared to conventional grinding wheels.

 3M coated and bonded abrasives are oSa certified for safety

The oSa was founded on 16 March 2000 by 17 abrasive manufacturers, amongst them 3M, with the aim to enable users, dealers and purchasers to distinguish abrasives with an assured safety level from those with unknown safety. 3M cutting & grinding products are oSa certified – oSa tests our abrasives to ensure they are safe to use and will have positive impact on preventing accidental injuries during their use. So you can be sure the 3M oSa marked products will fulfil their intended function safely. 

3M Precision-Shaped Grain is the technology behind risk mitigation & productivity

3M™ Cubitron™ II abrasives feature 3M Precision-Shaped Grain which acts like a cutting tool, slicing through metal like a knife, grinding faster and with less friction, minimising heat build-up in the workpiece and lasting longer than conventional grains.

Delivering considerable safety benefits to the operator by significantly reducing exposure to hand-arm vibration, airborne particles and noise hazards, whilst also offering fast cut rates to deliver better efficiency and productivity, ideal for those who work under tight production deadlines. Choosing the correct product for your application and ensuring the correct operating parameters will guarantee that you take maximum value from the safety features of 3M abrasives.

3M Abrasives and Personal Protective Equipment – A broad solution for improving safety and productivity from one manufacturer

Take control of your future safety strategy with the 3M combined solutions of 3M™ Cubitron™ II engineered abrasives and personal protective equipment (PPE), that will assist you in achieving your safety goals without compromising productivity and comfort. Combined expertise in both areas, is what makes 3M a trusted partner in providing quality products for you to manage both safety and productivity in challenging work environments.

Learn more about how 3M abrasives can mitigate abrasive risks

In 3M we support companies across the Metalworking and Transportation industries by optimising processes and building the confidence of workers and managers with solutions that help to improve both safety and productiveness.

Visit the 3M Abrasive Safety website or download 3M’s Abrasive Safety Assessment Guide for more information on how 3M engineered abrasives can improve your safety without compromising your productivity.


[1] According to Independent Market Research by 2Europe, commissioned by 3M.

[2] Airborne particles compared 3M™ Cubitron™ II 982C fibre disc to 3M™ High Performance Grinding Wheel – according to independent abrasive tests conducted by Vito NV Institute.

[3] Noise and hand-arm vibration compared 3M™ Cubitron™ II 982C fibre disc to a competitive grinding wheel – according to independent abrasive tests conducted by Fraunhofer LBF Institute.






Google Pixel 6 phones launch with a distinctive design made from recycled aluminium 

Google has finally launched its flagship Pixel 6 smartphones as it aims to beat competitors on camera and performance while undercutting them on price.

Previewed by Google in August, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are the Android-maker’s attempt to compete with Apple and Samsung at the high end of the market after disappointing results with its previous mid-range entries.

Both phones have a distinctive design made from recycled aluminium with a large camera bar across the back reminiscent of Geordi La Forge’s visor from Star Trek.

Read more: Google phones


Initiation of Aluminium Road Wheels Transition Review

Anti-dumping duties on certain aluminium road wheels originating in the People’s Republic of China
Initiation of a Transition Review of Anti-Dumping Measures

Read more: TD0013 – ARW Transition Review – Notice of Initiation

Announcement of Suspension of FRP Anti-Dumping Duties

European aluminium producers oppose suspension of long-overdue anti-dumping duties

Brussels, 11 October 2021 – European Aluminium, the voice of the European aluminium value chain, welcomes the European Commission’s final confirmation of the definitive anti-dumping duties needed to counteract the impact of Chinese dumping of flat-rolled products (FRPs) on the EU market. Accordingly, European Aluminium strongly opposes the contradictory 9-month suspension of these duties officially announced by the European Commission today. European Aluminium is ready to pursue all available avenues to fight the unjustified suspension of the long-overdue trade defence measures.

The European Commission’s Definitive Findings in the anti-dumping investigation into certain aluminium flat-rolled products (FRP, case AD668) clearly confirmed that China practices injurious dumping of aluminium FRPs on the EU market, causing significant material injury to EU producers. Definitive anti-dumping duties are set at 14% to 25% to raise China’s dumped prices to market-conform prices. However, the duties, which were greenlighted by the EU Member States and set to be implemented on 12 October 2021, are now suspended for 9 months.

Setting a dangerous precedent for trade defence cases in other sectors, the suspension sends the wrong signal to both international trade partners and China regarding the EU’s commitment to fighting unfair trade practices.

“The definitive anti-dumping duties set by the Commission are justified, balanced and long-overdue. China has been dumping underpriced and high-carbon aluminium on our market for many years, jeopardising the viability of our industry in the long run while compromising the EU’s Green Deal ambitions. The decision to suspend the definitive duties is illogical and goes against the assertive trade defence policy announced by the Commission. We urge the European Commission to annul the duty suspension and effectively leverage its trade defence tools to level the playing field for European aluminium producers,” European Aluminium’s Director General Gerd Götz comments.
The suspension will have a devastating impact on the EU aluminium value chain, even beyond the suspension period. Tens of thousands of EU jobs and EU investments into decarbonisation and recycling are at risk. Besides the long-term economic blow, the suspension will give a carte blanche to China’s dumped high-carbon aluminium imports, while the European aluminium industry has proven to hold sufficient capacity to supply Europe’s aluminium demand with more sustainable aluminium.1

“The suspension is the result of an inadequate, rushed 30-day investigation and contradicts the findings of the European Commission’s initial anti-dumping investigation, which confirmed the existence of material injury. We cannot accept that the EU will allow the proven injury to European aluminium producers to continue based on an unjustified suspension, so we are exploring all available options to fight it,” Götz concluded.

1 The carbon footprint of European primary aluminium production is one of the lowest globally: approximately 7kg of CO2 per kg of aluminium compared to the Chinese average of 20kg of CO2 per kg of aluminium.


Note to editors:
The products subject to the provisional duties are aluminium products, flat rolled, whether or not alloyed, whether or not further worked than flat rolled, not backed, without internal layers of other material:
• in coils or in coiled strips, in cut-to-length sheets, or in the form of circles; of a thickness of 0,2 mm or more but not more than 6 mm;
• in plates, of a thickness of more than 6 mm;
• in coils or coiled strips of a thickness of not less than 0.03 mm but less than 0.2 mm.
Excluded are beverage canstock, bodypanels for the car industry and aluminium used in the manufacture of aircraft parts.
The main applications of the products concerned are the building and construction sector, foil sector, technical applications, transport sector and consumer durables.

Metals Industry Liaison Group update

Metals Industry Liaison Group update


A new version of WM3 has been published, v.1.2.GB. This update will be reflected in WM3 1.2.GB across England, Wales and Scotland, and WM3 1.1.NI in Northern Ireland.

You will find the update in Appendix B (pg. 87 of the PDF). The reason we have updated Appendix B is to reflect the need to consider a specific form / physical state of a substance if it is included under the CLP Regulations as an entry in the Mandatory Classification List (MCL).

An example of a substance that will be effected by this change is the classification of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) which has been recently classified as hazardous (carcinogenic – HP7) if inhaled in powder form containing 1 % or more of particles with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm. This classification came into force on 01st October 2021.

The update has been welcomed by industry via initial communications through CIWM and ESA. To achieve the update we have worked closely with our Chemicals team and HSE colleagues.


You will be aware that in September we published new EALs for twelve substances, which included two new ones for carbon capture and storage following public consultation (Environmental assessment levels (EALs) used in air emissions risk assessments – GOV.UK ( These ‘Phase I’ EALs are now live on the air emissions risk assessment guidance on (Air emissions risk assessment for your environmental permit – GOV.UK (

We have now kicked off ‘Phase II’ which will update the EALs for a further ten substance. Background toxicological work has been conducted by Ian Martin and he is project managing work by Cambridge Environmental Assessment to produce reports and recommendations for the ten substances listed below. I have provided the sectors where emissions of these substances are greatest from recent pollution inventory data in brackets for information:

  • Butadiene (Chemicals, Cement & minerals, Refineries & fuel)
  • Carbon tetrachloride (Water Industry)
  • Chloromethane, also known as methyl chloride (Removed from PI after substance review of 2012, 2009-2011 data showed emissions from Chemicals and Landfill sectors)
  • Copper dust/mist (Metals, EfW, Chemicals, Combustion, Cement & minerals)
  • Dichloromethane (Chemicals)
  • Hydrogen cyanide (Chemicals, Metals)
  • Mercury (Combustion, Cement & minerals, EfW, Metals)
  • Selenium (Combustion, Metals)
  • 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene (Water Industry)
  • Zinc oxide (Metals, Combustion, Chemicals, Cement & minerals, Refineries & fuel)

The project is scheduled to run until 31/03/2022. We will then hold a public consultation on the new EALs on Citizen Space early in the next financial year. Therefore, at this time we do not know what the final EALs for these substances will be.

A New Frontier in Composite-to-Metal Joining

Composite materials such as fibre-reinforced polymers offer high strength and low weight benefits for applications in industries ranging from automotive and aerospace to medicine, oil and gas, and renewable energy. Despite this, the take-up of fibre reinforced plastic composites has been hindered by the challenges associated with joining these materials to metals.

The strength of the joints between composites and metals often informs how they are used in engineering, but poor mechanical performance, low fatigue resistance, and a distrust of the joint’s repeatability and integrity have, until now, often led designers into over-conservativism.

However, a new solution for joining composites to metals looks set to make these concerns a thing of the past and increase the potential for the weight-saving benefits to be realised in even more applications…

Make Sustainability More Than a Hashtag

With certain issues, it can become the done thing to advertise your commitment to the cause at every opportunity. There is often more hot air than action. Sadly, sustainability is one of those issues. But it’s critical to our survival, and to that of every other species on this planet, that we take it seriously.elumatec---Neil-Parton-MD

That’s not to say we can simply decide to adopt a few sustainable practices and we solve all our problems. It’s far more complex than that. But complicated or not, we all – and I stress ‘all’ – need to do what we can. We can’t leave it to organic agriculture and green energy providers.

Taking on the challenge

With every move made towards sustainability, it’s important to weigh up all the pros and cons. Some changes might seem like the obvious ‘easy decision,’ but in this global economy, we can’t, for example, look at things like replacing fossil fuels without considering the impact of biofuel production on food crop capacity.

With genuine ethical issues everywhere, it would be easy to retreat to a position of complying with current legislation and waiting for definitive guidance. The trouble is that our planet can’t afford to wait. We must do more than the minimum, we must shape the future we want to see.

Problem solvers

Despite the challenges, I believe we can make a real difference. In industry and particularly in engineering, we are good at solving problems. The ability to juggle multiple variables and get positive results is essential when tackling issues of sustainability. I’ll give you an example we’re using at elumatec. Around 90 per cent of the electricity used to compress air is converted into heat. Instead of wasting this energy, we use it to heat our water and storage heaters. To engineers, this kind of thinking isn’t revolutionary, but it often surprises those in other industries and sectors.

These innovations are good for business – using less energy helps us control both costs and prices – but we would do the planet no favours by keeping quiet about what we’re doing. When we have made a positive change, it’s right to spread the word, using the hashtags of social media, not as empty sound bites, but to highlight what can be done.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

By looking at every resource we consume, and by being efficient in their use, we can have an immediate impact. The mantra ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ goes a long way to explaining the principles. Though it sounds simple, it can be very effective. To give you an idea of what’s possible, elumatec has reduced its annual electricity bill by around €20,000. That’s enough to supply thirty-five, four-bedroomed homes.

This isn’t a one-off. We implemented our energy review programme in 2011. For over a decade we have been making significant economies and cutting by around sixty-six tonnes our annual carbon emissions.

In addition to using less power at the initial stage, looking in detail at a process may reveal more opportunities to save. At elumatec, we use lots of compressed air. Producing it is expensive in terms of energy, so we’ve worked hard to eliminate compressed air leaks. If you’re wondering how significant that can be, it’s worth knowing that, in industry, leakage rates of between 15 and 70 per cent are not unusual. People think it’s just air, conveniently ignoring the energy cost of compressing it.

Making sustainability a reality

As manufacturers, indeed as a society, we need to get into the habit of considering the impact of all our activities because one solution won’t be enough. At elumatec, looking at what we can do is an ongoing process. We’ve put solar panels on the roof of our company headquarters. They’re producing the electricity we use there. We’ve also switched to using energy-efficient servers. It might be a supermarket slogan, but every little does help.

I said at the start that sustainability must become more than a hashtag. It needs to be running through our thinking like the letters in a stick of Blackpool rock. We need to design things better, look at the supply chain and every stage of a product’s life cycle. We need to favour durability and adaptability rather than fashion while keeping thoroughly up-to-date on the best sustainable practices.

We also need to share what we’re doing. To learn both what others have achieved and what is possible. We must move sustainability from an ideal we tweet about to being
a part our day-to-day reality.

I believe we can do that.

Neil Parton

Aluminium focused light metals vocational education and training

The European AluVET project was launched in September and covers the creation of a vocational training programme for the aluminium sector in the UK and Europe.

One of the main requirements of the AluVET Project is to have European trade body partners with relevant interests and experience. ALFED are delighted to announce they have joined this consortium of experts.

The programme will develop guidelines for the implementation of training to increase digital and vocational competences of participants and trainers. The project will run over the next two years and will consist of various on-line questionnaires, on-line focus group meetings, field research and virtual training of the modules below.

Moving forward we will ask anyone, who has registered their interest, to help put together a participant pool of 35 companies to fulfil its obligations with the project.

The training is provided free of charge, each module is approx. two hours and are aimed at individuals who require a basic understanding to confidently engage with the aluminium industry and its products. The modules are:

• Aluminium and aluminium alloys
• Aluminium metallurgy
• Casting
• Forging
• Extrusion
• Welding
• Heat treatment of aluminium
• Powder coating and protection
• Scientific research techniques and scientific ethics
• Professional development

If would like further information or to register your interest, please contact ALFED Training and Education Manager Kathy Romback:

We are pleased to welcome Integ Metals into membership of the Aluminium Federation

We are very pleased to welcome Integ Metals into membership of the Aluminium Federation. They supply metals and composites to businesses in industries such as aerospace, automotive, leisure, medical, construction, petrochemical, energy, manufacturing and marine.​

Their products are sent all over the world to companies that want the hassle and worry taken out of their material supply. They are a one-stop shop for almost any engineering applied metals and composites which you may require.

Upcoming TFI Network+ events

TFI Network+ events:

Realistic approaches to reducing CO2 emissions from cement and concrete – 27th October

Professor Karen Scrivener explores practical solutions for reducing CO2 emissions within cement and concrete sectors


Transforming Foundation Industries Conference: Sensors, Controls and Digitalisation – Monday 18th October


TFI Network+ has teamed up with the TransFIRe hub and KTN for a series of conferences exploring major themes in the Foundation Industries. On the 18th October, TFI Network+ will host a conference exploring sensors, controls and digitalisation within the Foundation Industries