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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 Particles
  • Availability/Cost of Materials
  • Hardness of Particles
  • Volume Weight
  • Rate of Break Down
  • Ease of Clean Up

Common Types of Media & Advantages

Coal Slag
  • Quickly removes paint, scale from steel and rust
  • Highly abrasive and does not accumulate moisture
  • Low cost materials

Steel Grit
  • Quickly removes paint, scale from steel and rust
  • Very effective (sharp)
  • Gives a smooth finish

Silicone Carbide
  • Easily removes paint and rust
  • Stays sharper longer
  • Recommended choice for glass etching
  • Usually used in blast cabinets and reclaim booths

Glass Bead
  • Used for general cleaning
  • Very fine in particle size
  • Leaves a satin or matte finish

Aluminum Oxide
  • Used for general cleaning and paint removal
  • Is sharper than glass bead and stays sharper longer
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets
  • Used in glass etching

Walnut Shells
  • Used in cleaning and paint removal on delicate surfaces such as wood
  • Great for removing carbon or paint from aluminum
  • Leaves a very smooth finish
  • Is generally used in reclaim systems or blast cabinets

Plastic Grit
  • Used for removing paint without damaging soft surfaces such as fiberglass
  • Very low dust
  • Used on aircraft parts and boat parts
  • Is generally used in a reclaim system or blast cabinet

Corn Cob
  • Used in cleaning delicate surfaces
  • Popular with the wood crafter
  • Used 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.