Abrasive Materials

Ever looked at the smooth, clean finishes in a shop, factory or even in someone’s homes and wondered how they managed to get the surface to look like that? The answer is abrasive blasting – using abrasive materials in a high-pressure stream onto the surface of any workpiece gives a smooth, polished finish.

But how do you know what the best type of abrasive material is to use for blasting your surfaces? Depending on whether you are removing contaminants or previous coatings, wanting to alter shapes, smooth out or even roughen up a surface, abrasive blasting is the way to go. Let’s take a quick look at some of the top materials used for blasting

Sand Blasting

One of the most commonly used terms for blasting, sand is not one of the best materials to use. It is a dry blasting process, and not recommended for most applications as it uses twice the amount of material and as such is not cost-effective for most businesses. 

Glass Beads

If you are looking for a softer, brighter finish, glass beads are a great choice when looking at abrasive materials. They are often used for stainless steel surfaces and can be recycled a number of times. 


Plastic is a great media for removing mould from surfaces, and often the material of choice when blasting in the automotive, aviation and electronics industries when removal of the substrate is not permitted.

Aluminum Oxide

Known for its superior strength and hardness, aluminum oxide is a great choice of abrasive material for anti-slip surfaces, industrial uses, and raw materials. It can be used on most types of substrate – glass, granite, marble, and steel, and often used when preparing surfaces for painting or coating.

Walnut Shells

A naturally occurring abrasive made from crushed walnut shells, this is often used on softer surfaces that could be damaged  by harsher abrasives such as polishing fiberglass and soft metals, wood, plastics, and some stones 

If you would like more information on the different types of abrasive material and what they are best for, contact Steelmor on 011 747 5700 for friendly and professional advice.