What is Abrasive Blasting or Sandblasting | CNCLATHING Metal Surface Finishing Services


Abrasive blasting is a common metal surface finishing process. In this guide, CNClathing.com introduces abrasive blasting or sandblasting with its definition, types, applications, and benefits.

What is Abrasive Blasting or Sandblasting?

Abrasive Blasting, also known as sandblasting and grit blasting, refer to the process or operation of propelling a stream of abrasive material composed of high-velocity sand-sizes particles against the metal surface under high pressure with blast equipment like air pressure system, to remove surface contaminants, clean metals or increase a texture, then change the smoothness or roughness of surface. The abrasive material or blasting media including glass beads or crushed glass, aluminum oxide, silica sand, steel shot, baking soda, walnut shells, corn cob, and plastics.

Types of Abrasive Blasting

– Air Abrasive Blasting: the air blasting process utilizes compressed air to accelerate the abrasive media through the nozzle to the surface.

– Wet Abrasive Blasting: a common blasting method, also known as vapor abrasive blasting, uses moistened blast media to remove coatings, contaminants, corrosion, and residues from hard surfaces.

– Dry Ice Blasting: similar to sand blasting and plastic bead blasting, dry ice plating is a form of carbon dioxide cleaning, dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive, non-conductive, non-flammable, and non-toxic. 

– Vacuum Abrasive Blasting: vacuum blasting also referred to as dustless blasting or dust-free blasting. It is characterized by a blasting tool that does abrasive blasting and collects both used blast media, and loosened particles from the surface to be treated, simultaneously.

– Centrifugal Wheel Blasting: centrifugal wheel blasting also referred to as airless abrasive blasting, using a wheel with centrifugal force to propel the abrasives against the parts. The advantage of centrifugal wheel blasting is its speed of cleaning, cost-effectiveness, and ability to blast large parts.  

– Bead Blasting: bead blasting removes the surface deposits by applying fine glass beads at high pressure, it can be used to remove embedded fungus and brighten grout color. Bead blasting is extremely suitable for panel-to-panel matching.


There is also a special blasting technique: hydroblasting, which entirely relies on the energy of water striking a surface to clean the surfaces. Abrasives are not used in hydroblasting systems.

Applications of Abrasive Blasting - What is Abrasive Blasting Used for

1. Sandblasting can be used to remove rust, paint, and other contaminants from cars, buildings, machinery, etc.

2. Clean household tools, like screwdrivers, wrenches, and other rusty or dirty metal tools.

3. Remove the small burs, tags, and extra material on the metal machining parts.

4. Create signs, marks, statues, and other things on metal, glass, or wood surfaces.

5. Clean streets, walkways, and other concrete surfaces with the accelerated abrasives.



Benefits of Abrasive Blasting

  • 1. Versatility. An efficient method to clean a broad range of surfaces instead of other tools.
  • 2. Economics. The materials used as abrasive media often not expensive and recyclable.
  • 3. Preparation before coating. Prepare the metal surface for effective coating applications.
  • 4. Thoroughness. Easier and more effective to clean the nooks and crannies.
  • 5. Efficiency. Clean the equipment fast with outstanding stripping abilities.
  • 6. Safety. The abrasive has inert nature and won’t react with other media.