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Raw emery in a mining area on Naxos, Greece
A piece of raw emery from Naxos, Greece

Emery is an abrasive made from a fine-grain mineral mixture of corundum , with magnetite , hematite and quartz as natural rock deposits, especially on the island of Naxos .


In the grinding technology as abrasive as well as for drilling and sawing hard rocks Emery has been used for a long time. Depending on the intended use, the powdered raw material was slurried in water or oil. This made it possible to separate different grain sizes from each other, which made it possible to work with the emery in different ways. Johann Reinhard Blum reported in 1840 that in the East Indies by Tamil were made artisans discs of a varnish-like resin melted in emery (corundum), which were used to stone grinding. When more emery bearings were discovered in Asia Minor , mining on Naxos faced additional competition. In the past, however, glass cutting continued to use emery from the island. The trade name for emery was Emeril and Emery , which refers to a regional name and the name of the mine on Naxos. In the Geological Museum of Aperathos on Naxos, exhibits from the mining of emery are on display.

For a long time the world's leading company for the raw material emery was Naxos-Union . The production took place on the Greek Cyclades island of Naxos. In Greek, the fine-grain mixture is called: smyris ; Italian smeriglio , hence the name: emery.

application areas

As abrasives for machining and polishing of steel , cast iron and wood . There are also polishing machines in which the emery is glued to the fire discs. In its loose form, it is still used to polish optical glasses.

As a synonym for sandpaper , the term emery paper is widely used, even if it does not contain emery.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. J. Reinhard Blum : Lithurgics or minerals and types of rock according to their application in economic, artistic and technical terms, dealt with systematically . Swiss beard, Stuttgart 1840, p.  104 .
  2. ^ GA Buchheister , Georg Ottersbach : Handbuch der Drogisten-Praxis . First part. 11th edition. Published by Julius Springer , Berlin 1914, p.  805-806 .
  3. Geological Museum of Apeiranthos. In: www.naxos.gr. Naxos & Small Cyclades, accessed July 27, 2020 (Greek, English).