Sandblasting media is a term often used to reference various types of blasting media that have actually replaced sand for finishing, shaping, or other surface modifications. It is now a broad term for abrasive blasting in general with harder materials such as steel-shot hard media, silicon carbide that cuts through very tough surfaces, or softer materials such as walnut shells. Regardless of the material used, abrasive media offered by blasting media suppliers can add surface finishes, remove fungus and mold, strip paint, and prepare surfaces for painting or coating, or enhance surface characteristics.
Abrasive media blasting is used for polishing, tumble deburring, and other surface finishing requirements. This media comes in various types, mesh and grit sizes, hardness, and abrasive degrees.
Types of Blasting Media
The various types of blasting media used as an abrasive element for surface modification include:
• Organic media for light abrasiveness and polishing
• Heavy abrasives for strong cutting
• Multiple mesh/grit sizes in various media types
• Soft media for protecting substrates during blasting
• Consumable blasting media that is affordable
• Reusable media with a long service life
Applications for Blasting Media
Some of the applications effectively handled by blasting media include:
• Stripping paint and coating
• Surface preparation for paint or coating
• Removing rust and/or scale
• Modifying surface finishes
• Removing machine marks
• Edge rounding
• Polishing in tumbling applications
• Creating desirable surface finishes
The types of media mentioned above which are offered by blasting media suppliers work on the concept of small particles impacting a surface at high speed and removing particles from the surface or peening or etching the surface. Various blast media differ significantly based on their intended purpose.
Originally sandblasting utilized silica particles mainly to affect a surface. However, research and experience have revealed health hazards connected with exposure to the dust produced by silica media blasting. Thus, other media blends were developed and produced to achieve the desired surface results, many of which perform better than silica media.
Selecting the right media for surface blasting is critical for proper surface preparation or modification. The blasting media you need will be based on the unique requirements of the industry application and desired result.