Abrasive Blasting Tech Tips
Choosing the Right Sandblasting Media for Your Job

Choosing the Right Sandblasting Media for Your Job (Guide) | GMA Garnet

  • January 24, 2024 |
How to Select the Best Sandblasting Media for Your Application

A common method for preparing steel substrates prior to the application of protective coatings is abrasive blast cleaning. To achieve the required standard of preparation, it is important to select the best sandblasting media for the job at hand.

Surface Quality

1. Determine the Quality of Finish You Need

Factors that influence your choice of abrasive include the specified surface profile and quality of finish. Various types of abrasive offer the ability to produce a range of profiles, but not all will guarantee high standards of surface cleanliness. In comparison to relatively soft slags, tougher abrasives that don't easily break down in use will reduce the risk of embedment within the profile  and facilitate a cleaner surface.


2. Consider Safety and Proper Disposal

In addition, the health and safety of blast cleaning operatives should be high on the list of priorities during abrasive selection. Tougher abrasives that don't easily break down produce lower dust levels, giving the operator better visibility and producing a safer working environment. Abrasives containing high levels of free silica or traces of heavy metals such as beryllium may be hazardous to health. (Consult material safety data sheets and be aware of disposal regulations governing any abrasive you consider.

Evaluate Site Conditions

3. Evaluate Site Conditions

When selecting your abrasive, evaluate site conditions. For instance, abrasives that produce high dust levels may not be the best sandblasting media when working within confined spaces.

Also, in cases where there is limited access for removal of spent abrasive, a product offering low consumption rates would be most appropriate.


4. Consider Abrasive Recycling

For abrasive recycling and reuse, you need to be able to contain the material at the work site and store it at a dry location prior to reprocessing. The project needs to be able to justify the initial expense of installing an appropriate recycling unit. If these conditions are satisfied, you might consider an abrasive suitable for multiple uses. In summary, when choosing sandblasting media, you should always consider health and safety matters as well as customer requirements. If in doubt, consult the abrasive manufacturer.

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Maximize your abrasive blasting with GMA Garnet™. Contact us to learn more about selecting the right abrasive for your next job and see your productivity soar.