Media Blasting Abrasives

Abrasive blasting is the process of using pressurized air or water to blast abrasive materials at a surface to strip it of paint, rust and other contaminants, smooth or roughen the surface, or reshape a surface. There are many different abrasives you can use and, depending on what is being blasted, they are all useful for different applications. Plastic blast media, for example, is often used with aircrafts, automobiles, engines, electronics, and light transportation vehicles for cleaning and preparing their parts for painting, coating, or re-use.

Abrasive blasting is often known as sandblasting because sand used to be the most common abrasive used before sand in the lungs of people caused health concerns. Now, there are quite a few media blasting abrasives and material blends in regular use.

Some of the media blasting abrasives available are:
• Aluminum
• Iron
• Steel Shot
• Glass
• Metal
• Plastic
• Walnut Shell

All of the abrasive materials available come in a series of grit levels and will have specific applications. Some material blends and sizes in blast media are softer, which are better suited to more delicate surfaces and some are harder, for surfaces or parts that will require more force to clean. Using a media blasting abrasive that is too soft for an application will mean that you’ll expend a lot more energy and spend much more time stripping and cleaning a surface than is necessary. Some abrasives used in wet blasting can blast the material and clean it at the same time. Some media can embed in the surface of a part you are cleaning which can damage the part.

Overall, consulting with an expert media blast company is best to know what blast media abrasive you need for the cleaning, stripping, or surface preparation of your parts. It is also important to know where the media is made, if it is in stock when you need it, and if it can be reused and recycled.