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What is Abrasive Blasting?

Abrasive blasting, Sandblasting, bead blasting, shot blasting… are they all the same? The quick response is yes! For decades the term “sandblasting” was used by everyone, as it was the most used choice of material when blasting. However, today with advancements in blasting technologies and increased awareness of health risks, sand is NOT recommended.

The simple idea to explain abrasive blasting, is when a combination of high pressure compressed air and a fine or crushed abrasive material is forced out of a powered nozzle. The forceful contact of the abrasive particles effectively remove rust, paint, dirt and other types of corrosion. There are many abrasive material options that are suitable based on certain requirements, constraints and the type of substrates.

What is the Right Abrasive Material to Use?

This will depend on the project and results required. When evaluating each type of abrasive material the following come in to play:

Size of ParticlesAvailability/Cost of MaterialsHardness of ParticlesVolume WeightRate of Break DownEase of Clean Up

Common Types of Media & Advantages

Coal SlagQuickly removes paint, scale from steel and rustHighly abrasive and does not accumulate moistureLow cost materialsSteel Grit Quickly removes paint, scale from steel and rustVery effective (sharp)Gives a smooth finish Silicone CarbideEasily removes paint and rustStays sharper longerRecommended choice for glass etchingUsually used in blast cabinets and reclaim booths Glass BeadUsed for general cleaningVery fine in particle sizeLeaves a satin or matte finish Aluminum OxideUsed for general cleaning and paint removalIs sharper than glass bead and stays sharper longerIs generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinetsUsed in glass etching Walnut ShellsUsed in cleaning and paint removal on delicate surfaces such as woodGreat for removing carbon or paint from aluminumLeaves a very smooth finishIs generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets Plastic GritUsed for removing paint without damaging soft surfaces such as fiberglassVery low dustUsed on aircraft parts and boat partsIs generally used in a reclaim system or blast cabinet Corn CobUsed in cleaning delicate surfacesPopular with the wood crafterUsed in cleaning stone and glass

Contact us today for a free site inspection and estimate by one of our abrasive blasting experts. We will provide an economical solution that will provide the best results for years to come on your asset protection plan. We also recommend review our Floor Coatings page for review.