Abrasive blasting, often referred to generically as sand blasting, is a process where a stream of abrasive material (enters air passing by and) is forcibly propelled against a surface under varying pressures to smooth, roughen, shape or remove surface contaminants from that surface. An abrasive media is most commonly used if a project has rust or if a particular profile is desired. In some cases we use extremely fine abrasive materials for restoration of stone and other delicate surfaces.
Most people associate sandblasting with abrasive blasting because silica sand, abundant, inexpensive and full of sharp, jagged edges, was the original media of choice for abrasive blasting. However, health concerns about ingesting free silica have minimized its use in recent times.
Therefore, for the vast majority of abrasive projects, we use either Garnet or Recycled Crushed Glass. (Note: we are also capable of using any media specified to a job as well.)
Garnet, composed of natural almandine garnet grains known for their natural hardness, durability and abrasive characteristics is our first choice for most situations. Equally important, Garnet meets all OSHA requirements and achieves the highest quality of processing standards with respect to mineral purity and the stringent requirements of ISO 11126-10:2000 for chloride and free silica content.
Blast cleaning using garnet provides significantly lower dust emissions due to its inherent material toughness and rapid settling (high specific gravity) which ensures minimum disruption and danger to adjoining operations, improves operator visibility and safety and the lower dust emissions reduce cleanup after blasting.
There is almost no embedment on the substrate as the scouring action of the natural garnet grains removes all salts, corrosion and contaminants from within deeply corroded and pitted areas. It meets all international specifications for chlorides and silica (ISO 11126-10:2000).
On the Mohs scale of hardness Garnet is a 6.7-7. The Mohs scale is based off a diamond being a 10 as the hardest and talc as 1, the softest.
Recycled Crushed Glass
Having similar hardness to garnet, recycled crushed glass is a good general purpose abrasive delivering a very low particle embedment.
Crushed glass on the Mohs scale is around a 6. The Mohs scale is based off a diamond being a 10 as the hardest and talc as 1, the softest.