What is Sand Blasting Media and How Does It Work?

There used to be times when you needed to actually use sand in sand blasting media in order to accomplish certain objectives. Because sand was used in the past for blast media, the term sand blasting media stuck, even though most media today is not sand. Sand can enter a person’s lungs when blasted and has been deemed harmful. Learn what sand blasting media is, how it works, and why material alternatives are better for the applications below.

Sand Blasting Media: What Is It?

Blasting media involves using abrasive materials that are strongly propelled against a surface using high pressure to achieve one of several objectives. These objectives include removing old paint, contaminants, or rust; preparing a material’s surface for a type of substance coating; smoothing a material’s surface.

Various Types of Media

There are many types of materials used to make media today when “sand” blasting. Some of them include dry ice, walnut shells, crushed glass, glass beads, aluminum oxide, steel shot, steel grit, corn cob, staurolite, baking soda, and plastic.

Advantages of Using Sand Blasting

Virtually all of the aforementioned media have the advantages of cleaning and smoothing objects. They can easily remove rust, oil, and other harmful contaminants for various metals.

These media are quick and efficient to use, as only one person has to operate the sand blasting machine that forces the media onto the surface to clean it or prepare it for coating. Additionally, no harsh chemicals or extensive scrubbing is needed to complete these processes when you are sand blasting it. Plus, cleaning up after the process only involves cleaning up the sandblasting grit.

Sand blasting is cost-effective, as the media, protective materials, and booth are the only costs you will incur, and the media used is typically reusable. Media like plastic can even be recycled in some instances depending on how it was used. Sand blasting is also safe, being it is nontoxic and environmentally friendly, as the disposed material after usage does not cause harm to the surrounding ecosystem.