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29 2013 Aug

Shot Blasting vs Sand Blasting

What is blasting?

Blasting is a surface treatment process using high velocity abrasives. It is a method used to clean, strengthen (peen) or polish metal. Used in almost every industry. In pneumatically operated machines, the media is accelerated by compressed air and is projected by nozzles/guns on the object to be blasted. Blasting can be dry or wet. The blasting task determines the choice of the abrasive media.

Difference between sand/abrasive blasting and shot blasting

Both sand and shot blasting are used for mechanical cleaning of surfaces. But, both vary in the working principle.
Sand Blasting uses compressed air to blast *sand/abrasive on the job. The mixture is propelled via nozzle or guns at high velocity. The blasting is done in cabins or chambers. However, portable machines have been developed to provide onsite blasting. Generally, it is applied to remove debris, mild stains, rust, old paints and job prior to painting/coating.
In shot blasting, centrifugal force is utilised to shot the media, which is generally spherical or rounded (steel shots). The media is usually harder than the surface of target job. Turbine is used for acceleration of the shots propelled to the job surface. The turbine is run at a very high speed and is housed in steel enclosures. After blasting, the job will have finishing effect and with a improved fatigue strength.
Shot blasting does not generate silicon dust and have less pollution as compared to sand blasting. Shot blasting has more efficiency as compared to sand blasting machines and also uses less energy consumption. For the same working piece, the energy consumption is one-tenth of sand blasting machine.
Sand blasting is however cheap, and the process is more flexible.
* We do not recommend any use of sand/silica sand. Conventionally it was used but as it contains silica, which causes Silicosis. Silicosis is an incurable lung disease caused inhalation of silica dust. Hence, we do not encourage any use of silica sand as an abrasive.