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Blast Media Chart

Grainger Editorial Staff

With some surfaces, a simple cleaning solution just won't do. Media blasting has a variety of uses, from removing a layer of paint to deodorizing a countertop to eliminating fire damage. With a high-pressured system and the right abrasive, this process can produce both a cleaning and finishing action for your surfaces. It's important to understand the different advantages and disadvantages of abrasive types. Check out our blast media chart to find the right one for the task at hand.

Media Type Description Best/Use Grit Size Range Hardness Shape Surface Profile Speed Recyclability
Aluminum oxide Extremely sharp and long-lasting, best used for etching and profiling Very coarse to extra fine 8-9 Mohs Angular High etch Fast High
Crushed glass grit Aggressive grit, best used for surface profiling and removal of coatings and surface contamination Coarse to extra fine 5-6 Mohs Angular Medium- high etch Fast None, consumable
Glass beads Lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no free silica best used to produce a smooth and bright finish Coarse to super fine 5-6 Mohs Round No etch, satin finish Medium-fast High
Garnet Industrial gemstone mineral best used for coating adhesion or where grit transfer is needed Very Coarse to Fine 7-8 Mohs Varies High etch Fast Medium
Silicone Carbide Hard, aggressive cutting media, best used on hard surfaces Very coarse to extra fine 9-9.5 Mohs Angular Very high etch Very fast High
Plastic Abrasive Soft media, best used for coatings and paint, ideal for automotive and aerospace applications Very coarse 3-4 Mohs Angular No etch, stripping Medium High
Pumice Light, natural mineral used as a mild abrasive where surface protection is necessary Super coarse to super fine 6-7 Mohs Various Low etch Medium-slow Low
Steel Shot Carbon steel best for polishing and smoothing surfaces Medium to ultra-fine 40-51 HRC Sphere No etch Medium Very high
Steel Grit Carbon steel best for aggressive cleaning and fast stripping Super coarse to medium 40-65 HRC Angular High etch Medium-fast Very high
Corn Cob Organic, soft media best used on soft surfaces like wood for non-damaging cleaning and stripping Extra Coarse to Extra Fine 4.5-5 Mohs Angular None Slow Low
Walnut Shell Organic, durable grit best used for mildly aggressive stripping without damage Extra Coarse to Extra Fine 4.5-5 Mohs Angular Low etch Medium-slow Low


The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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