Abrasive Blasting Tech Tips
Are You Using These Strategies to Boost Your Abrasive Blasting Productivity?

Are You Using These Strategies to Boost Your Abrasive Blasting Productivity?

Your Blasting and Surface Preparation Guide

During surface preparation, there’s always the need to increase speed without sacrificing quality. Unfortunately, striving for one often comes at the cost of the other, and that puts a blast operator in an awkward position. Do it fast, or do it well?

Thankfully, there’s a third option that results in faster (and better) surface preparation: boosting productivity.

When your blasting team is more productive, they complete more mill scale removal, more coating removal, and more surface prep in less time.

The Importance of Surface Prep

Surface preparation supports paint adhesion, durability and aesthetics. Take mill scale removal, for example. Leave a flaky iron oxide behind, and the next step — applying coating — is pointless.

Abrasive blasting is popular for two main reasons.

1. Blasting removes exterior impurities with efficiency and speed.

2. Blasting imprints an ideal anchoring profile for coating adhesion.

Finishing surface prep quickly and with quality is the foundation for project success.

Strategies for Better Blasting Productivity

When it comes to blasting, these abrasive blasting techniques will raise quality and have you moving onto the next job in record time.


Help blast operators work faster.

Choose the finest abrasive possible that gets the job done.

Small particles increase productivity. Imagine throwing a handful of abrasive; which scenario will remove more paint — tossing two or three big chunks or throwing an entire fistful of tiny (but tough) garnet?

You guessed it, the handful of garnet. The more impacts per volume, the faster the job gets done.

Improve worksite visibility.

Select an abrasive that doesn’t shatter.

Tough, dense abrasives reduce downtime, whether you’re blasting away mill scale, paint or contaminants. When abrasive blasting media shatter, they create dust; some more than others. Too much dust impairs visibility, slowing down the operator and potentially shutting down other trades on the job site.

Abrasives such as garnet are hard without being brittle, which means less dust, fewer workplace hazards and faster cleanup.

Plan ahead to eliminate rework.

Avoid abrasives that leave a film of embedment on the surface.

Abrasive blasting media that create additional work destroys productivity, whereas high-quality abrasives save time and money.

Case in point — a tough, abrasive particle, such as GMA Garnet™, leaves an exceptionally clean surface. With no film of embedment left behind, there’s no need to waste time on air-blasting or brushing manually.

Adjust to the surface preparation needs.


Pick a trusted abrasive mix tailored to your project.

When it comes to abrasive blasting media, one size doesn’t fit all. Your project will be finished faster and with better quality if you select the right abrasive mix.

Size and shape affect how an abrasive cleans. Large, angular particles cut deeper, and small, subangular particles clean better.

The most productive abrasives are always a custom mix of size and shapes.

  • Need to remove a sturdy coating? GMA ToughBlast™️ is a multidimensional blend of garnet for resilient industrial coatings.
  • Want to strip a thin coating? GMA NewSteelTM offers an unrivaled speed for mill scale removal.
GMA Garnet™ vs. Other Blasting Abrasives


You have plenty of choices when it comes to blasting abrasives. Here’s how GMA Garnet™ stacks up.

Metallic Abrasives

No matter how fast an operator blasts with metallic abrasives, the project eventually falls behind — not necessarily in productivity, but in profitability.

Steel, iron and aluminum oxides are expensive. And when you can’t capture, clean or recycle a metallic abrasive, it’s even more difficult to justify the cost.

GMA Garnet™ balances affordability and quality, making your project more profitable overall.

Slag Abrasives

On the opposite end of the cost-spectrum from metals are slags, such as coal, copper and nickel. These blasting abrasives are dirty and cheap, but you pay for them in many other ways. Look at the percentages.

  • Coal and nickel slags are three times softer than garnet, and copper is about 80% softer.
  • GMA is up to 80% harder than copper slags and nearly 3 times harder than coal slags.
  • Finishing a blasting job with slag requires about 65% more material than GMA Garnet™.
  • Slag abrasive embedment can be as high as 75%. Embedment is contamination on the surface, which increases the costs of rework and creates the risk of potential coating failures.
  • Slags are friable; in other words, they shatter. This leaves behind a film of surface embedment that ruins coating adhesion. GMA Garnet™ produces four times less embedment compared to the average slag.
  • Slags are dirty and associated with health and environmental risks. Independent HSE consultants have confirmed that using waste slags incurs a 150% higher health risk than GMA Garnet.
GMA Garnet™ vs. Common Garnets

Not all garnets are equal. GMA has been a global leader in industrial garnet for more than 35 years. We control our supply chain from mine to customer, allowing us to provide garnet of unmatched quality.

Compared to our almandine garnet, other garnets are weaker as they have inherent fracture plains and impurities. Using GMA Garnet™, projects can be finished up to 75% faster than with other garnets.

Our products achieve the best results, in the fastest time, and at the lowest cost. When speed and quality matter, choose GMA Garnet™, the abrasive that leaves no doubt.