What different types of abrasive can be used for sandblasting?

What is sandblasting?

Abrasive blasting which is also commonly referred to as sandblasting is a process in which a medium is used to smoothen out or polish a rough surface. Rust and corrosion are a common problem and usually abrasive/sandblasting is a quick and efficient solution to restoring machinery, vessels and metal parts back to their former condition and looking their best. Abrasive blasting can also be used to prepare surfaces that may need repainting.

Abrasive blasting is a process where an abrasive material, known as a medium, is chosen to blast through a surface to restore its smoothness or remove impurities. The amount of pressure will determine how long the process will take and the quality of results.

The term “sandblasting” was used originally, as when the process began in the past, sand was the only medium being used. These days other types of mediums are now being utilised, depending on the surface, the type of metal and the job being undertaken.

There are various types of abrasive blasting including, silicon dioxide, soda, steel, bristle, glass bead and many more. All different abrasive sandblasting methods usually use a specific type of grit to achieve the desired results, so determining the best medium for the job is crucial to success.

Below is a more detailed list of some of the different types of sandblasting abrasive mediums that can be used:

Silica Sand or Silicon Dioxide Blasting

Silicon Dioxide refers to ordinary sand, which is also known as silica or quartz. Silica Sandblasting was a commonly used method of removing impurities from surfaces; this is because sand particles are almost the same size and the edges of the particles are sharp, hence making this type of grit efficient in abrasive blasting.

Glass Bead Blasting

For a matte and satin finish glass bead sandblasting can be used. This medium has very fine materials that polish the surface of the object being sandblasted. This type of abrasive blasting is often used on cabinets.

Steel Grit Blasting

In this process, steel grit is used as an abrasive in the removal of rust and paint from steel metals. The use of steel leaves a smooth finish. Steel grit is can often be preferred due to its fast cutting nature.

Bristle Blasting

In this type of abrasive blasting, no separate medium is used. Instead, steel wire bristles are rotated on a surface. This rotating action aids in the removal of impurities, hence leaving the surface smooth. This method is often used to clean metal surfaces with some form of corrosion.

Soda Blasting

Soda sandblasting refers to the use of baking soda or bicarbonate of soda in the blasting process. Soda is used as an abrasive to remove rust from metals without causing depression or damaging the metal beneath the rough surface. Soda is also a great grit to use on delicate materials that may be destroyed by tougher abrasives.

Not quite sure which method is best?

If you are unsure as to which of these methods would be right for your project or you have already made your choice give us a call at Sandblasting Solutions. We serve all over the Gold Coast and Brisbane. We will assist you in selecting a suitable sandblasting method and get the process underway in order to restore your asset back to its former glory.