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How to Choose the Best Abrasive Material for Sandblasting January 10, 2019

West End, Cincinnati
How to Choose the Best Abrasive Material for Sandblasting, Cincinnati, Ohio

Abrasive blasting is an industrial metal finishing process that effectively removes coatings or contaminants from metal. Although the process is often referred to as “sandblasting,” the medium used may not actually be sand. Some of the more popular materials to use include glass beads, aluminum oxide, and steel grit. Since there are so many options to choose from, it can be hard to pick the right one for any given job. Here are a few tips for getting started when it comes to sandblasting. 

Consider the Finished Product

What do you hope to achieve with industrial metal finishing? If you simply want to make stainless steel brighter, glass beads may be the best material to use because they are not as abrasive as other options. If, on the other hand, you want to facilitate the adhesion of a new coating, aluminum oxide or steel girt may be ideal. Both materials can effectively remove old coatings to create a more uniform surface profile for new coatings. 

Consider Hardness & Strength

industrial metal finishingThe finished product is not all that matters when it comes to sandblasting. You must also consider each part’s current state when selecting an abrasive medium. For example, aluminum oxide has considerable hardness and strength, making it ideal for removing stubborn coatings from virtually any surface, including glass, marble, granite, and steel. Steel grit can also remove coatings from most surfaces, but since it is not as hard as aluminum oxide, it does not do so as quickly. Steel grit can be reused over and over, though, making it more affordable than aluminum oxide per cycle. If you’re not sure what kind of hardness and strength any given project calls for — or you have a strict budget or tight deadline — the sandblasting technicians should recommend the best material for the job. 


If you’ve got metal parts that need sandblasting, turn to Porter-Guertin Co. in Cincinnati. These industrial metal finishing experts specialize in electroless nickel coating, hard chrome plating, polishing, and grinding. With an experienced team — 75% of their technicians have been with them for more than 15 years — they can tackle jobs of virtually any size. To discuss your industrial metal finishing needs, reach out online or call (513) 241-7663.

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