a hand holding an angle grinder grinding with a vulcanised fibre disc

a drawing of an angle grinder held by someone a vulcanised fibre disc of maximum 230 millimeters diameter

Vulcanised fibre discs improperly used can be dangerous: they run at 80 m/s on angle grinders and can eject parts at a speed of 288 km/h (180 mph) in case of breakage. FEPA has designed this page to provide the essential safety recommendations for use of vulcanised fibre discs on angle grinders, with maximum diameter of 230mm.

Abrasive products

These recommendations focus on vulcanised fibre discs for grinding with angle grinders. They can be either plain bore (hole), or slotted. Their peripheries can be plain or shaped.

a vulcanised fibre disc with a plain bore hole
Plain bore (hole)

a vulcanised fibre disc with a slotted bore hole
Slotted bore (hole)

a vulcanised fibre disc with plain periphery
Plain periphery

3 little fibre discs, 1 in a round shape, 1 in an octagon shape and 1 in a flower shape
Shaped peripheries

Safety recommendations for the use of vulcanised fibre discs for grinding with angle grinders

80% of the accidents with abrasive products are due to their misuse or mishandling. This website has been created by FEPA's experts to spare the end-users from getting hurt while using abrasive products professionally or for home projects.

FEPA general safety principles

cover page of the safety recommendations leaflet for the use of abrasives products

Dos & Don’ts for these products

cover page of the safety leaflet for abrasive fibre discs

What is a safe product? What should I look for?

FEPA recommends that only vulcanised fibre discs conforming to EN 13743 and marked as such should be used.

Vulcanised fibre discs not bearing EN 13743 may not conform the highest safety standards.

The back-up pad should bear the mark “ISO 15636” to conform that it conforms to the requirements.

All discs and pack-up pads should be examined carefully for damage or defects before fitting on the machine.


How should I handle and store the wheels?

All vulcanised fibre discs are fragile. They should be handled with care.

Keep discs in their original packing on a flat, rigid surface until their immediate use. Avoid extreme temperature and damp.









How should I fit the wheel on the machine?

Follow carefully the instructions given in the machine handbook. 

Only use the special back-up pad and locking nut shown above.

Tighten only with the tool supplied with the machine.

Ensure the disc is properly gripped to prevent slippage, but do not tighten with excessive force. Never use a hammer. 

Keep flanges and screw threads clean and free of burrs and rust.

Replace distorted or damaged flanges before fitting the wheel.

Refer to the FEPA recommended mounting check list.

How should I protect myself?

FEPA recommends the use of following personal protective equipment (often written PPE) : 

Eye protection
Ear protection (ear sets)
Hand protection (gloves)
Lung protection (dust mask, also called respirator)

Never remove the protective machine guard and make sure it is properly adjusted to deflect debris away from you.

Ensure that no other person is at risk, especially near the machine while working.


How should I handle the wheel after use?

Before storing the machine or transporting it to another location, always remove the disc and store it as recommended. 

Always carefully examine the vulcanised fibre discs for damage or defects, and destroy and discard if damaged. 

When disposing of worn out or defective discs, it is recommended to damage them to prevent someone from removing them from waste and re-using them.



How can I get proper training?

It is a legal requirement for all employees involved in the use of abrasives discs to be properly trained and also re-trained on a regular basis. They should consult their employer if they have not received this training.

The disc manufacturer or supplier can advise you on suitable accredited training providers. 

As a private consumer, you should read carefully the safety information found in: 

 The grinding machine handbook
 The FEPA general safety principles leaflet (see above)
 The FEPA safety leaflet for the use of vulcanised fibre discs on angle grinders (see above)

an angle grinder grinding with a vulcanised fibre disc

This website is intended to give information on safe use of abrasives in compliance with European standards, and not to give advice on product selection.
You should read the information given on the product or its packaging to determine suitability. For any specific question, contact the retailor who supplied you the product.