Best sandblasting material: how to choose?

Print anything with Printful

Choosing the right blasting material depends on the purpose of the blasting. Sand, aluminum oxide, and glass beads are some options. Sand is cheap but disposable, while aluminum oxide lasts longer. Silicon carbide is the best choice for a wide range of blasting needs. Safety concerns include silica dust from sandblasting.

When trying to choose the best blasting material, you need to identify the purpose of your blasting. Different blasting media work best for different types of blasting, and there’s a wide range of costs to consider when choosing materials as well. Some of the types of blasting material to choose from include sand, aluminum oxide, and glass beads. A sandblasting material is typically chosen based on the reason for the sandblasting, such as removing rust or paint versus cleaning and decorating or engraving stone or granite. Other areas you might consider are a material’s ability to be reused and environmental safety issues.

Sandblasting is the process of using a blast of compressed air to drive an abrasive against a surface, thereby removing material or altering the surface finish of the material. There are several types of sandblasting material that can be used to achieve a desired result, each with a particular trait. Sand, or silica sand in particular, is one of the least expensive materials that performs well when paint stripping is required. Sand can be used to remove paint from buildings, vehicles, and other equipment, and is also useful for removing rust from metal. One disadvantage of using sand is that it is a disposable material which involves trapping sand to clean up the blast site.

Another safety concern with silica sand is seen in silica dust which is a by-product of sand blasting. Special breathing apparatus must be worn when using this type of blasting material. Aluminum Oxide (AO) is a good choice for most general sandblasting jobs and offers 30 to 40 times longer life than sand, but at a slightly higher cost. Silicon carbide is a blasting material that cuts much faster than AO and is an excellent choice for a long-life material, typically lasting nearly 50 times longer than AO.

Many other materials can be used for sandblasting, from walnut shells and baking soda to steel and glass spheres or beads. Some of the materials are known for having an extremely light touch on fragile surfaces, while others are famous for their ability to carve solid granite. You can choose any sandblasting material for a specific job and get great results. Ideally, you should choose a single blasting material to work across a wide range of blasting needs and that would typically be a silicon carbide. Silicon Carbide will allow you to get long-lasting use from the material, faster removal times than plain sand, and the power to score the hardest surfaces while maintaining the delicate touch to work on more fragile surfaces by reducing air pressure.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content