The choice of abrasive blast medias for sandblasting adapted to different applications is essential. The choice might seem difficult considering the large number of available products. These indications should help you to select appropriate abrasives for sandblasting.

  • The choice of the abrasive must be made taking into consideration all parameters that have an influence, in order to obtain optimum output.
  • We are at your disposal to advise you for your application, and eventually to carry out tests on your parts in our workshops.

There are 3 families of abrasive blast medias :

There are 3 families of abrasive blast medias :

  1. Angular products (sandblasting sand / corundum / metal shot…)
    • to strip, remove rust, engrave or debur
    • to create a rough surface
    • they tear material away from the surface of the part,
    • to be avoided on precision mechanical parts (they change the measurements)
  2. Spherical products (glass, ceramic or metal beads)
    • To clean, renovate or give metal a satin finish,
    • For shot-peening
    • To finish welds (stainless steel, aluminium, etc.)
    • They hammer the surface of the part.
  3. Soft products (plastic or natural blast media)
    • To clean or strip without damaging the support,
    • To process fragile parts

A few basic rules on the use of abrasive blast medias :

  • The strength of the impact of each grain of abrasive on the part is proportional to its size (grain size), and to the compressed air pressure
  • The distance from the nozzle to the part can also vary the power of the impact,
  • The more solid the abrasive, the more it can withstand high air pressure, and therefore hard impacts,
  • A strong abrasive can be recycled several times before being eliminated by the machine as dust. On the other hand, a weaker abrasive will be consumed quicker,
  • At a constant flow rate at the exit from the nozzle, the finer grains will come out in greater numbers and will generate more impacts than bigger grains,
  • The roughness obtained when using angular abrasives is relative to the abrasive grain size, it is as if the grain shape was being recopied onto the part,
  • It is easier to create a rough surface on soft metal than on hard metal,
  • The harder and more brittle the superficial layer to be removed, the easier it is to eliminate. On the other hard, the abrasive will tend to bounce off a flexible material such as rubber or adhesive.
  • 2 successive treatments with 2 different abrasives are sometimes required: the first to strip and the second to give a satin finish,
  • Glass micro-beads used at too high air pressure burst on impact and are changed into angular grains, thus gradually modifying the final surface condition. The impact energy should be limited to avoid this effect, or the abrasive changed more often.
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