Abrasive Blasting: Is It Similar to Sandblasting?

Man using abrasive blastingBead blasting, abrasive blasting and sandblasting are the same process. For several years, industry experts call it sandblasting mainly because sand was the abrasive of choice.

Sandblasting specialists operate on the standard of using compressed air to compel a mixture of fine abrasive and air through a nozzle. These abrasive elements will swiftly get rid of discolouration, dirt, corrosion, paint and rust from several types of surfaces.

Abrasives Used

Sandblasting is a surface treatment method generally used in an array of industries with several different functions. The abrasive used depends on the surface treatment needed. The following are some of the typical abrasives used:

  • steel grit
  • copper slag
  • corn cob
  • walnut shell
  • aluminium oxide
  • glass bead
  • crushed glass
  • silicon carbide
  • plastic
  • steel shot
  • baking soda
  • ceramic grit

In abrasive blasting methods, media selection is a critical process. The various media types have varied density, shape and hardness, and each comes in a wide range of particle sizes. Most of the time, they would require sample processing to hold the final media size and type.

The equipment used to complete the abrasive blasting method is different throughout the industry. For instance, there are entirely robotic systems that have closed loop process controls, dedicated automatic high production models and hand cabinets. On the other hand, the type of machine used depends on the applied surface treatment, as well as the component’s purpose.

Decades before, people saw sandblasting or abrasive blasting as a ‘low technology’ method. Today, abrasive blast cleaning is a critical method that professionals used to get rid of rust. They used it gets the surfaces ready for high-performance coatings. Moreover, it is the reason they are able to treat finished products to give it the surface texture and lustre requested by the client.