Alternatives To Sandblasting

2 March 2015
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog


Often, the term abrasive blasting is often interchanged with sandblasting. Sandblasting is a form of abrasive blasting, but it is not the only form. In fact, many companies are steering away from sandblasting in favor of other materials that aren't a lung irritant and don't damage the equipment as sand does. Continue reading to learn about alternative blasting materials and their benefits.

Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum Oxide is a great material for general cleaning and paint removal. It is also used to etch glass. Glass beads are also used for the same purposes, but aluminum oxide is favored for some jobs because it is sharper and stays sharp longer than glass beads.

Walnut Shells

Walnut shells are used to clean and remove paint on wood surfaces and other surfaces that are easily damaged. It is used to remove paint and carbon from aluminum to create a smooth finish as well. It is even used on transmissions and engines.

The walnut shells are not whole or in pieces as you generally think of walnut shells. Instead, they are ground up into a fine powder that is ideal for blasting.

Corn Cob

Dried and ground corn cob is used to blast wood, stone, and glass surfaces. It is especially powerful on delicate surfaces like glass because it can clean it without scratching the surface.

Corn cob blasting is popular with log homes and it does a good job. It can sometimes texture the surface, so if you want a smooth finish to your logs you will need to do some light sanding or apply a solid stain.

Steel Grit

Steel grit is generally only used on steel surfaces because it is powerful. It is used to remove scale buildup, paint, and rust from steel to create a smooth, clean finish. It works quickly and effectively.

Coal Slag

Coal slag is an alumina-silicate that is formed when pulverized coal is burned. The molten ashes generated from the burning coal is mixed with water to vitrify it and create the glass-like slag that is used in blasting. It is eco-friendly and safe.

Coal slag works quickly and doesn't collect moisture. It is a very economical material so it is used often on jobs that are appropriate such as blasting rust, scale, and paint from steel.

These are just some of the popular abrasive blasting materials that are becoming more and more common as companies move from sandblasting. Talk to experts like Steel Coatings Inc for more information.