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How to choose the right Abrasives?

Abrasive blasting is simply the process of propelling a high pressure stream of abrasive material with great force against a surface for getting a smooth surface. This process is extensively used for smoothing a rough surface, roughening a smooth surface, providing shape for a surface and also for the effective removal of surface contaminants. The sand blasting machine supplier in UAE  is well known for providing solutions for surface preparation equipment. 

The operation of abrasive blasting is used not only for surface smoothing, but also for other purposes such as-

  • Removing contaminants
  • Removing previous coatings
  • Shape alteration
  • Roughening the surface

Sandblasting and abrasive blasting come hand in hand as both are widely used across the globe for commercial and industrial applications. Abrasive blasting may occur in different forms such as bead blasting, soda blasting and shot blasting. This process uses high pressure propulsion of a steam of abrasive material with great force onto the surface of a material. Each application of abrasive blasting requires a blasting media which is the accumulated use of different types of blasting materials. The market is being driven by the increasing demand for sandblasting materials and sand blasting machine manufacturer as the hype for corrosion as well as surface paint removal are gaining high attention on a global scale. There is a significant level of silica in sand which on breakage and further inhalation can result in serious disorders of the respiratory system. 

Blast media recycling?

The blast media can be recycled by cleaning it with a blast recovery system before the time of its reuse which can be extremely beneficial. Steel grit like abrasive media can be used a hundred times which can effectively reduce the overall cost of the expenses, thus resulting in reduced consumable expenses.

Would you like to take a look at the different types of abrasive materials used extensively in sandblasting? Well, here are some of the most widely used abrasive materials regarding the operation of sandblasting are-

Aluminium oxide-

It is sharp, angular and long lasting media for fast profiling which results in the anchor pattern which is available in black, white and brown. It has high recyclability and is also effective in surface removal.

Glass beads-

It is round, silica free and soda lime glass spheres in order to produce a bright and soft finish with minimal stress on the material. It has high recyclability and is also slightly effective in surface removal.

Crushed glass-

It is made from 100% recycled glass product and is silica free which is used for economically efficient stripping applications and is also economically efficient. Its working speed is quiet fast and is slightly effective in surface removal.

Plastic abrasive-

This is a soft abrasive which provides hard and aggressive properties and is widely used in aerospace and automotive applications. It is slightly effective in surface removal and has high recyclability.

Silicon carbide-

It is a highly hard and aggressive abrasive used cutting applications in high speed which is used extensively for cutting glass and other hard materials. It has high recyclability and is very effective in surface removal.


There are different types of plastics in the world depending on their size, shape, hardness and density due to which plastic grits have a wide range of uses in the sandblasting field.

Walnut shells- 

It is naturally occurring and an excellent abrasive media which makes it a great choice for aggressive applications as well as delicate applications. Polishing of soft metals, fiberglass, wood and plastic are the categorical applications of walnut shells.

What about the reuse of sandblasting media?

Abrasive media can be used again and again in the case where abrasive blast cabinets. You need to be completely aware of two things while checking how often times can the abrasive media be used- nozzle flow and the volume inside the cabinet. The rate at which the direct pressure reaches the maximum abrasive impact velocity inside the cabinet which gives an accumulated idea about how many times the abrasive can be reused. The concept of reusing sandblasting media came to light in an overall effort to reduce costs and expenses. There are two types of blasting media used which are simply categorized as single-pass media and multiuse media. The single-pass media, as the name suggests can only be used once; whereas the multiuse media can be used many a times resulting in higher hardness scale.

The lifespan of the blasting media depends on various factors and also on the application of the blasting media. The ones that can be reused for a longer time are the ones which are large and hard abrasives. The nozzle flow and volume inside the cabinet provides a proper idea about how many times the abrasive can be reused. The use of a separator with a blasting cabinet prevents the contamination of the recycled abrasive.

When it comes to vacuum sandblasting recovery systems in which the blasting and the use of a vacuum attachment happens simultaneously results in more media recovery. This is believed to be one of the fastest recovery methods and also the best for portable media recovery. There is another method which utilizes vacuum recovery along with suction media which is actually a slower method, but it effectively prevents the spillage of media.

Have you heard about mechanical and pneumatic recovery systems? 

The mechanical recovery system is the most commonly used which makes it able to deliver the heavy media to a blast pot in an easy manner. The pneumatic recovery system is known for transferring the sandblast media to a reclaimer along with air movement.

Hopefully you might have gotten a good understanding regarding the types of abrasive media and strategies of choosing the best abrasives. Always keep in mind that blast media recycling works best when the media is cleaned with a blast recovery system. This not only reduces the overall cost, but also promises fast recovery at an optimum result scale.

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