Jonathan Wyner is the President of Abrasive Engineering Society (AES). He is a Chief Engineer at M Works Mastering, Technologist, Education Director for iZotope in Cambridge, MA, Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Mankind has known about abrasives for millennia using stones and sand to shape and finish knives, spear and arrow points, and fishhooks. The first sharpening stones were made from natural sandstone, which has small grains of silica sand embedded in a stone matrix. Abrasives became important following the discovery of metals, because abrasives were the only ways to shape and finish the new hard materials. Generally abrasives are very hard minerals found at the top end of the Mohs hardness scale –from quartz to diamond. Soft materials can be abrasives, too, depending upon the applications. Materials such as sponges, baking soda, and fruit pits can rightfully be called abrasives for use in blast cleaning.
He combines a focus on production, engineering and education with experience as a product design consulting background. Work includes leveraging machine learning and other product innovations to create effective and insightful experiences to creative and technical specialties.
With their many uses, abrasives are an essential part of modern day manufacturing being used directly or indirectly in every manufactured product made today. Knowledge about how they work has grown from an art understood by a few experienced artisans to a science that can be applied in tightly controlled processes using computers and advanced machine tools. Disguised in today’s lowly grinding wheel or sandpaper are advancements based on research using the greatest minds that academia could offer and the highest levels of knowledge in material science, polymer science, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering. Companies manufacturing abrasives grains, grinding wheels, and coated abrasives use theoretical knowledge drawn from many fields including refractory and ceramics, chemistry, physics, and metallurgy. Abrasives will always be useful because like the past, they are key enabling technologies for manufacturing.