Industry
Fact-checked

At AboutMechanics, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What are the Different Types of Sandblasting Grit?

Sandblasting grit comes in various materials, each tailored for specific tasks. Common types include glass beads for a smooth finish, aluminum oxide for aggressive cutting, silicon carbide for tough surfaces, and steel grit for heavy-duty work. Each grit has its unique properties, shaping the outcome of your project. Wondering which grit best suits your needs? Let's explore the possibilities together.
Christian Petersen
Christian Petersen

Sandblasting is a process by which compressed air is used to propel an abrasive grit at very high speeds at an object in order to remove paint, corrosion or other debris from a surface. The grit is sometimes mixed with water, which helps control dust and keep down the dispersion of the grit and cleaned material. Silica, which is common sand is the most common type of sandblasting grit, but many other types are sometimes employed.

Silica sand is common sand. Its chemical name is silicon dioxide. Also known as quartz, silica is one of the most common minerals in the world. Silica sand is weathered quartz rock which is the main component of granite, and is the type of sand, found on most beaches and dunes all over the world. It is good for sand blasting because the particles are fairly uniform in size and the nearly microscopic sharp edges of the individual grains make it very effective for removing material from the object to be sandblasted.

Depending on the project, silica sand used as sandblasting grit may be coarse or very fine. Coarse sand is better at removing the surface detritus from the object being blasted, but fine sand is less destructive and leaves a smoother finish.

A person sandblasting.
A person sandblasting.

Almost any small-grained particle of uniform size can be used in abrasive blasting, as sandblasting is sometimes called. Depending on the desired amount of abrasiveness or the material being blasted, abrasives have varying degrees of hardness. Wood projects are often blasted with a material like crushed walnut shells or ground corn cobs which will remove paint and refresh the surface without damaging the underlying wood.

Sandblasting can be used to remove old paint.
Sandblasting can be used to remove old paint.

Soda is a type of sandblasting grit most commonly used in removing rust from metals. Soda used in abrasive blasting is actually bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda. It is abrasive enough to remove the rust without damaging or pitting the metal beneath. Soda blasting leaves a fairly smooth, even surface. It is also good for other types of materials that are too delicate for more destructive abrasives.

Baking soda, which is sometimes used as a sandblasting abrasive.
Baking soda, which is sometimes used as a sandblasting abrasive.

Sandblasting grit, which is also called blast media, comes in many other forms, including glass beads, aluminum oxide grit, ground glass, steel shot, bits of cut wire, copper and coal slag, silicon carbide grit and ground industrial gems. All of these types of blasting media are available in several sizes.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A person sandblasting.
      A person sandblasting.
    • Sandblasting can be used to remove old paint.
      By: PaulPaladin
      Sandblasting can be used to remove old paint.
    • Baking soda, which is sometimes used as a sandblasting abrasive.
      By: Vidady
      Baking soda, which is sometimes used as a sandblasting abrasive.
    • Silica sand for sandblasting.
      By: Khorzhevska
      Silica sand for sandblasting.
    • Walnuts shells are often used in sandblasting.
      By: dinostock
      Walnuts shells are often used in sandblasting.
    • Most sand silica is made from broken down quartz, which is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth.
      By: siimsepp
      Most sand silica is made from broken down quartz, which is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth.