Essential Partner to the Power Industry

Electricity is a key component in the South African economy, it provides much needed power to homes, businesses, and essential appliances for daily life.


Despite being a necessity to many, bouts of load shedding have caused electricity to turn into a luxury commodity for many South Africans. Although abundant in natural form, like static, magnetic and lightning, suitable and usable electricity still needs to be generated by power generating plants, or power stations.

Different types of power plants or power stations include geothermal, nuclear, hydro, and coal fired. One thing that remains a constant regardless of the type, is the need for structures and equipment to generate the electricity.

Power stations are constructed by using a range of materials, varying from concrete used for flooring, cooling towers and dam walls, to special steel alloys for steam pipes and turbines. Fabrication of new parts and maintenance of existing infrastructure and machinery is critical to ensure a steady supply of electricity into the grid.
Grinding Techniques, a company of the Tyrolit Group, locally manufactures and supply a vast range of abrasive products tailored to the unique requirements of power generation and distribution. As a local OEM, with in-house research and development capabilities, Grinding Techniques have created an extensive range of abrasive products to increase productivity, decrease downtime and reduce overall costs on maintenance and repair work.

Abrasive cutting requirements are covered by a range of discs in sizes from 50mm up to 500mm for various applications. One of the many developments targeted at power generation is the 230×2.5×22.23mm Superflex XR cutting disc – specifically designed to cut various steam pipe and boiler tube materials. This cutting disc has been developed to cut cooler and faster, while also providing excellent longevity. The updated and improved structure of the product provides a stronger and safer disc, while also being thinner than normal conventional cutting discs.
Abrasive grinding discs are used for grinding crusher components, welds, and various other media. Superflex Heavy Duty, Zirconia and Ceramic angle grinding discs are available in various sizes for hard and heat sensitive metal grinding applications.

As normal cutting discs are not designed to take the side load of a grinding application, they should be used only for cutting applications. The specially designed Cut-Grind disc ranges in diameters from 115mm to 150mm, with a thickness ranging between 2.2mm and 3mm this allows for a thinner than conventional profile for reduced material loss in cuts.

For applications like grinding of weld roots or back grinding, as commonly referred to within the industry and for cleaning of weld spatter, to blending of welds and cutting out of certain imperfections, look no further than the Superflex Cut-Grind disc. The advanced formulation makes this product much safer than any of its counterparts in the market.

When it comes to precision hand machining of pipes, welds, and surfaces, where angle cutting and grinding products may prove to be too large for the application, Superflex Mounted Points and Tungsten Carbide Burrs are ideal. With new developments in Ceramic abrasive technology, stock removal rates are increased, while heat production is significantly minimised in turn, reducing application times.

Superflex Tungsten Carbide Burrs are manufactured with double cut flutes, which greatly improves chip extraction, material removal rates and surface smoothness. It’s special design not only reduces burr jumping compared to single cut or chip-breaker flute style burrs, but also ensure the swarf or ground particles are chopped off more effectively resulting in the swarf being less of a skin irritant.

Taking all of this into account, material contamination should be considered and avoided with every application. To ensure that the material welds properly after fabrication, surface preparation is critical.

Grinding Techniques offers a range of ancillary products suited for surface preparation ranging from Flap Discs manufactured from Zirconium or Ceramic grains to non-woven abrasives available in discs, belts, rolls, hand pads and more for when finer finishing and polishing is required.

Complimentary to this, we also manufacture and supply a range of precision grinding abrasives for surface, internal and external grinding applications, as well as diamond saw blades for concrete and asphalt cutting.

Being a local abrasive expert, we will provide a full basket, tailor-made solution to virtually any abrasive requirement on or around a power station.

For more information contact us: 011 271 6400 | |

We help keeping the lights on

We have all heard of the trials and tribulations our National Electricity Provider face when it comes to conducting day to day maintenance. Often, planned and unplanned maintenance outages are scheduled to support the country ensuring electricity availability as far as possible. Not many of us know the kind of work required behind the scenes to keep the lights on. At Grinding Techniques, we are fortunate to be a partner to the electricity industry. Very involved in their work, we can share a little insight into the cutting and grinding processes they go through when dealing with a maintenance outage.


One of the most common unplanned outages is referred to as a tube-leak. When a tube has an imperfection, or has worn so thin that pressure generated by the steam within causes a blow-out or explosion within the boiler, serious loss in efficiency is caused.

Working on boilers and steam systems come with its own challenges. When having to work at a height of 50m above the ground in a space no bigger than a bathroom cupboard with the task of cutting a piece of pipe 6m in length with a 9-inch angle grinder and virtually nothing supporting the pipe on either end, one can only imagine the complexity of such a task.

The vibrating piece of pipe from lack of clamping coupled with such a small working area providing only limited air circulation and low artificial lighting with the constraints of your protective gear providing but a lifeline at 50m above ground, poses the unplanned and unthinkable when having to race against a deadline of three to five days and dealing with failure of equipment that needs replacement.

Unsupported workpieces being cut in constrained space, at almost impossible angles, with arguably one of the most dangerous power-tools available to man, is a recipe for disaster if the artisan is not trained properly. We often criticize, but rarely understand the level of commitment, skill and patience these artisans possess. Much credit needs to go to these training schools where trainers spend hundreds of hours preparing artisans for the job at hand. They build simulators and conduct numerous tests, spend hours on theory and practical examinations. No effort is spared in the quest to prepare them for the challenges they are certain to face on the line.

These dedicated pipe fitters, welders and boilermakers are unsung heroes in a world forgotten in the electronic era.

It has been a privilege for Grinding Techniques to develop custom products for these hard-working people during the past decades. Our products provide easier, smoother cuts that are safer than ever before providing increased cuts per wheel to save thousands of Rands and man hours in the job at hand. As a result, less down time in tool changes amounts to a tremendous increase in productivity. A smoother cut in an environment where the job cannot be supported makes the operation safer, as there is a smaller likelihood of the wheel being gripped by the job ending in wheel failure – this and other big bore applications brought forth the development of the renowned Superflex 230×2, 5×22, 2 XR cutting disc.

A further development was the Superflex IPDS product range that successfully removes build-up in seconds. Once the pipe has been cut, mineral build-up on the inside of the tube needs to be removed. Our IPDS product removes this build up in seconds rather than minutes -adding to increased productivity on the line. Having proven themselves on this application, our IPDS points are available in more than one shape and size, to facilitate the different pipe sizes.

Grinding Techniques also introduced new innovative technology in cutting big-bore pipes with the latest abrasive product designs. Resulting in not only reducing cutting time significantly but also minimising the preparation time required prior to welding by several hours – all due to a reduction in change of the molecular structure of the material as we limit heat input during the cutting process.

The first “free-hand” 350mm cut off wheel was designed with these applications in mind. The Superflex 350x4x25, 4 ZA24P wheels work with an incredible rate of cut, and come with a very high safety rating. The machines used with this wheel have been available in other parts of the world for quite some time, but we have only been introduced to them fairly recently in South Africa. We believe that introduction of these machine will be seen more and more in the near future.

By introducing all of these innovations we as Grinding Techniques believe our contributions to a better productivity environment assist in the reduction of operator fatigue and improve concentration levels. Which in turn will assist all the key players in the electricity industry to keep the lights on.

For more information, please contact: 011 271 6400 | |