The shape of abrasive particles is an important attribute that can strongly influence wear rate in abrasion and erosion. Particles exhibit great diversity of size and shape due to the complex processes involved during their creation. Moreover, particles are highly anisotropic in that their abrasive potential is dependent on their orientation relative to the wearing surface. In this work, the possibility of modelling abrasive particles using randomly generated polyhedrons is investigated. This approach is motivated by the observation that many industrial abrasive particles are manufactured by crushing or milling which involves cleavage of the bulk material to form smaller particles. The simulated particles are generated by cutting the primary solid with planes possessing random orientation and penetration-depth. Particles with different characteristics can be obtained by varying the statistical strategy used to generate the cutting planes. It has been found that the simulated particles possess attributes similar to those observed in natural particles. For example, the average 'sharpness'-as developed by the current authors in previous work, is notionally the same for both simulated and real particles. Further work is needed to understand how different statistical strategies influence simulated particle shape; however, it seems reasonable that the techniques developed provide a basis for realistic three-dimensional simulation of wear involving hard particles. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All fights reserved.