Commonly referred to as "Sandblasting", abrasive blasting is the use of abrasive "Media" under high pressure air to erode the surface of a object down to its parent material. Over time, metals by nature oxidize (e.g.. rust, tarnish) and loose their luster and shine. Depending on the media used, dull metals can be made to look new again. Painted surfaces can be quickly cleaned away saving time and effort. Abrasive blasting is not limited in its use and has many applications to which it can be used with great effect. Below are images of each of the more commonly used media and a description of its intended application.
Aluminum oxide grit powder has a wide variety of applications, from cleaning engine heads, valves, pistons and turbine blades in the aircraft industry to lettering in monument and marker inscriptions. It is also commonly used for matte finishing, as well as cleaning and preparing parts for metalizing, plating and welding. Aluminum oxide abrasive grain is the best choice for an abrasive sand blasting and polishing grain as well as for preparing a surface for painting.
Corn cob blasting grit is a safe blasting media for delicate parts in addition to use as the preferred blasting grit for log homes and other wood surfaces. Corn cob grit abrasive will remove surface contamination, debris and coatings with little to no impact on the substrate.
The angular particles in crushed glass grit allow for aggressive surface profiling and removal of coatings such as epoxy, paint, alkyds, vinyl, polyurea, coal tar and elastomers. Since crushed glass grit is manufactured from recycled bottle glass, it is free of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, asbestos, beryllium, titanium, etc., all typically found in coal and mineral slag's.
Glass beads are manufactured from lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no free silica that is made into preformed ball shapes. Glass bead blasting produces a clean, bright, satin finish, without dimensional change of the parts. Available in a wide range of sizes, glass beads are primarily used in blasting cabinets for honing, polishing, peening, blending, finishing, removing light burrs and cleaning most light foreign matter.
Acrylic media is the longest lasting media on the market. It is very gentle on the substrate and engineered for stripping the most sensitive surfaces while providing an effective stripping rate. Melamine is engineered for stripping the most difficult surfaces while providing an effective stripping rate. Melamine is the most aggressive plastic abrasive. Urea is a plastic grain stripping abrasive used in sandblasting operations. It is the most widely used plastic media. Urea is environmentally friendly and recyclable
Pumice powder is used chiefly as an abrasive and is among the softest of all media. Use pumice powder for less aggressive operations where the protection of the surface is of supreme importance.
Silicon carbide is the hardest blasting media available. Silicon carbide grit is the ideal media for use on glass and stone in both suction or siphon and direct pressure blast systems. The ability to be recycled multiple times results in a cost-effective silicon carbide grit blast media with optimal etching results. Since silicon carbide grit is harder than aluminum oxide, it can be used efficiently for glass engraving and stone etching.
Steel grit blasting is ideal for aggressive cleaning applications. Steel grit will quickly strip many types of surface contaminants from steel and other foundry metals. Steel grit is softer than aluminum oxide and does not fracture as easily, making it ideal for aircraft and aero-space applications. The angular nature of steel grit produces an etched surface on metal for superior adhesion of paint, epoxy, enamel, rubber and other coatings.
Steel shot blasting is the most widely used process for cleaning, stripping and improving a metal surface. The round ball shape of the steel shot produces a clean, smooth and polished surface through a peening action created by the acceleration of the shot. Due to the hardness and density of steel shot, it can be recycled as much as 3000 times before replacement.
Walnut shell grit is the hard fibrous product made from ground or crushed walnut shells. When used as a blasting media, walnut shell grit is extremely durable, angular and multi-faceted, yet is considered a 'soft abrasive'. Cleaning by walnut shell blasting is particularly effective where the surface of the substrate under its coat of paint, dirt, grease, scale, carbon, etc. should remain unchanged or otherwise unimpaired. When used with the right walnut shell blasting equipment, applications include stripping auto and truck panels, cleaning delicate molds, jewelry polishing, armatures and electric motors prior to rewinding, deflashing plastics and watch polishing.
White aluminum oxide grit is a 99.5% ultra pure grade of blasting media. White aluminum oxide is increasingly being used in critical, high-performance microdermabrasion equipment. The purity of this media along with the variety of grit sizes available make it ideal for both traditional microdermabrasion processes as well as high-quality exfoliating creams. White aluminum oxide blasting media has a wide variety of applications, including cleaning engine heads, valves, pistons and turbine blades in the aircraft and automotive industries. White aluminum oxide is also an excellent choice for preparing a hard surface for painting.