Choosing Between the Six Types of Abrasive Blasting Media

Abrasive blasting media is the material that is used when blasting surfaces to remove old finishes or rust. Dry ice blasting and mobile sandblasting services in Indianapolis, IN are two examples of abrasive blasting and are named for their media: dry ice and sand. However, you cannot choose just any media for your project. You have to choose what will work best without damaging surfaces. Here are six options for your blasting media and how to choose the correct one:

• Organic media: If you choose a medium that is too hard for your surface, you will likely damage it, so when in doubt, choose the softer medium. That often means going with an organic substance like walnut shells or corn cobs. These options work especially well for wood, and they are biodegradable. If a softer medium does not work, then slowly upgrade. You want to choose the softest option possible that still gets your job done.

• Glass beads: If you desire a shiny surface, try glass beads. Made from fine soda-lime glass, beads place minimum stress on the surface while removing just enough of it to show a fresh, bright finish. Glass beads are also recyclable and can be used for 100 applications before requiring replacement. This makes them a gentle and cost-effective option.

• Aluminum oxide: Paint removal and general surface cleaning work best with aluminum oxide. While it is harder and sharper than glass beads, it does not offer a sharp hardness that damages your surface. It is a common material for glass etching, which shows it can affect a surface without breaking it apart.

• Plastic: Fiberglass is a strong material with a soft surface. It’s easily damaged if you’re too aggressive with blasting. That’s why plastic is ideal for it, and common in automotive, aerospace and marine applications, where fiberglass is a common building material. Plastic cleans those surfaces without etching or stripping. It’s also safe in a manufacturing setting because it creates little dust.

• Silicon carbide: Silicon carbide allows for aggressive cutting action, which works well for removing rust or paint. It’s also an excellent choice for etching stone, glass or other hard surfaces. While not the most aggressive material, it is often considered the hardest option for any surface that is solid but not metal.

• Steel media: When you need a super hard and aggressive option, choose a medium made from carbon steel in shot or grit form. The shot version is round and often used for polishing and peening purposes. Grit is angular and sharp, and used to remove rust, paint or scale from steel surfaces. Unless you wish to obliterate a material, reserve carbon steel media for steel projects. For anything else, the strongest medium you wish to use is silicon carbide.

Knauss Property Services, LLC offers mobile sandblasting services in Indianapolis, IN. This service works best for cleaning, rust removal, paint stripping, surface profiling and more. Get in touch with us today to see if our mobile sandblasting services will work for you.