(From Cyclone Blasters)
What Media Should I Use?
A) Glass Beads - Available in a variety of sizes, glass beads are generally the most popular blast material. his All Purpose media is used for honing, polishing, peening, blending, finishing, removal of light surface burrs and imperfections, frosting glass and plastic and is best for use on softer metals like brass, bronz and aluminum. Glass beads will leave a matte finish on metals. Glass bead blasting generally will not change dimensional tolerances.
B) Aluminum Oxide - Also available in a wid variety of sizes, it is widely used as a cutting/cleaning material. It can produce an "anchor" pattern in preparation for recoating. It is excellent for removing heavy foreign matter, deburring, etching glass and ettering stone. It is fast cutting and can be reused several times.
C)Silicon Carbide - Extremely fast cutting. This sharp media is used for cleaning very hard surfaces such as stainless steel. Silicon carbide is also used in cutting and etching into stone and glass.
D) Plastic Media - A relatively dust free blast media. It has a high tensile, compressive and flexural strength combined with low hardness. Commonly used for deflashing plastic parts, cleaning molds, dies, electronic connections, circuit boards and car bodies. Plastic media is farily expensive and available in several sizes.
E) Silica Sand - Not suggested for use.
F) Play or Beach Sand - Very common and inexpensive blast media. Highly aggressive material that can be found at any hardware store or lumber yard. Blasting with sand creates a lot of dust and the repeat usage of sand is minimal.
G) Walnut Shells - This soft aggregate is used in removal of foreign matter and coatings without marring or scratching the surfaces. Good for use on delicate parts.
H) Garnet - Similar to aluminum oxides in uses. Very aggressive.
I) Steel Grit - Angular blast material. Products ideal surface preparation for adherence on new coatings. As with steel shot, this material should only be used in systems set up for metal blast medias.
J) Aluminum Oxide/Glass Bead Mix - A 3-1 mixture of glass beads and aluminum oxide. Provides a combination of both materials in one blast. Can be used in most blast systems.