Abrasive Blasting In Houston – Media Blasting Versus Sand Blasting


Sand blasting is a general term used by those inexperienced with surface preparation to encompass all methods of blast cleaning.  However, the more appropriate phrase should be ‘abrasive media blasting’ as not all methods use sand. In fact, sand is one of the worst medias to blast with and is dangerous to the health of those who use it. During the blasting process, the speed and intensity of the sand’s impact on the metal will cause its particles to break down into a fine silica dust which can infiltrate workers’ lungs (causing health problems such as silicosis and kidney damage). 

Houston Powder Coaters uses steel grit for its abrasive media blasting in Houston, as it does not break down the way other blast media does. Blasting with steel grit is much safer for the environment and the workers that use it. In fact, steel grit is the safest method of abrasive blasting when compared to sand, coal slag, or nickel slag. It is important to mention again that Houston Powder Coaters does not, will not, and has never used sand for any of its blast medias.

Documented in hundreds of articles, powder coating is well known for its environmental friendliness. As steel grit’s reusability means less waste and higher levels of recyclability, this blasting media coincides nicely with the ecological responsibility that the rest of the powder application process employs. While steel grit may cost more upfront than other methods of abrasive media blasting in Houston, TX, the true cost is far less than sand or slag. Sand and slag are single-use medias and must be continually replaced. This translates to additional trucking delivery and removal as well as increased man-hours moving new inventories into place. On the other hand, steel grit can be recycled, filtered, and reused time and time again. Steel grit purchases are significantly less often which eliminates the constant replacement of inventories.

Finally, steel-grit abrasive media blasting in Houston is more efficient and effective when compared to sand blasting.  With its angular edges and course surface, steel grit makes the removal of rust and paint quick and easy. Furthermore, the anchor profile achieved is deeper and more robust (which will aid in the adhesion of the powder).

In summation, Abrasive Media Blasting is the phrase that should be synonymous with a strong, safe, and environmentally responsible surface preparation. So, let us use the proper term and keep the sand for our beaches.

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