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The Berliner Postbahnhof project: Can GMA PremiumBlast™ perform better than slag abrasives ?

Built in 1907, the postal station in Berlin, Germany was once an important logistics hub for managing mail and parcels. Over 100 years
later, this fine industrial architecture is being refurbished and modernized while retaining its history and charm.

One of the structural refurbishment works was sandblasting 4000 m² of complicated steel construction, including the original rivets. In addition, the old coating on these structures was up to 800 μm thick. The cleaned surface was then treated with a fire-protection coating.

Blasting and Painting specialist – CDP has been using synthetic slag abrasives for their major surface preparation works, and this was the first time GMA PremiumBlast™ garnet was exclusively used for a project of this scale. Initially, Mr Udo Pohl, the owner of CDP, was skeptical of garnet abrasives outperforming slag. After reviewing the performance data, he is convinced.

The first distinct data that set GMA PremiumBlast™ apart was the consumption rate. CDP recorded a rate of 19.5 kg/m² of garnet used compared to 50 to 70 kg/m2 of conventional slags. In addition, numerous tests have recorded consumption rates that were lower than 12 kg/m² on less angled surfaces.

Secondly, the sandblasting work which commenced on 17 October 2022, was completed within 30 days. The four blasters allocated for the job completed the work two weeks ahead of schedule.

Moreover, a longer blasting time equates to spending less time refilling the blast pots. With slags, the blaster stops every 40 minutes to refill the blast pot, while he only needs to refill GMA PremiumBlast™ every 90 to 120 minutes. The lesser amount of used garnet abrasives - 78 tonnes of garnet compared to at least 250 tonnes of slag was also quicker to clean up and cheaper to dispose of.

According to Mr Pohl, the blasted surface had the required surface profile with high surface cleanliness, which was almost perfect, even around the rivets.

“From my professional point of view, the switch from slag abrasives to GMA PremiumBlast™ garnet was the right decision for us and our customers. The initial price per tonne may be higher, but the advantages on top of the economic benefits justify the initial investment,” Mr Pohl said.

“I would like to thank the GMA Team for the good cooperation and the great job done.”


Location:   Berlin, Germany 
Application:   Refurbishment of the Berlin Postal Station
Product:   GMA PremiumBlast™
Productivity:   Over 30 % faster than the pre-calculated blasting time.
The abrasive blasting project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule with a consumption rate of just 19 kg/m2 on a surface thickness of over 800 μm



Written by: Stephanie Cheong

GMA Europe