What is Shot Blasting – The Process and Uses

usage of shot blasting

Shot blasting is simply a process of using high-pressure air to forcefully propel a small steel shot against a surface in order to clean it.

The process generally works by propelling abrasive media material with high centrifugal or mechanical force.

The steel shot or steel grit (used for blasting) is usually spherical and made of hardened steel.

The surface that needs to be cleaned/blasted can be made of any material but is most commonly metal.

The shot blasting process can have a peening effect on the surface being blasted, which can actually increase the compressive strength of that surface.

Shot blasting usually takes place in an enclosed cabinet if high enough pressure is used or in a blast room or enclosure.

If you are interested in knowing more about shot blasting, how a shot blaster works, what blasting materials it uses, what are its benefits over other abrasive blasting methods, and other most frequently asked questions about shot blasting, let’s take a look…

What is Shot Blasting Used for?

Shot blasting is commonly used to clean metal surfaces in preparation for painting or other surface treatments, especially when the surface is very large and difficult to prepare.

These types of surfaces will ideally need a stronger application force (applied by a shot blaster) along with denser media materials for preparation.

The process of shot blasting centrifugal abrasion treatment is also sometimes required to create a particular finish on metal surfaces that need to be used in large-scale production.

For example, a rough, textured finish is often required on handrails or other objects that will be handled frequently as a smooth finish can become slippery when wet.

Another example of this might be creating a textured surface on a metal sheet that needs to be used for anti-slip flooring.

Shot blasting can also be used to remove rust or other rough surface contaminants from metal surfaces like car and truck frames that need to be restored or the steel containers that are being recycled.

When conducted properly, shot blasting is an efficient way to remove these types of contaminants without causing any damage to the metal surface beneath.

What Abrasive Media is Used in Shot Blasting?

The abrasive media material you choose is the key factor that decides the success of the abrasion blasting process.

These materials are available in different forms that range from mineral, organic, ceramic, and plastic to metal-based.

Depending on the application some of the most common media materials used in shot blasting include:

1- Steel shot and steel grit:

Steel shot is spherical while steel grit has an angular shape. These are the best media materials that are most commonly used for heavy-duty applications.

When deciding between shot and grit, keep in mind that round-shaped media particles are less abrasive compared to angular shapes.

2- Aluminum oxide: 

Aluminum oxide is a great media because it’s reusable and low-cost. Since it’s hard it’s also ideal for surfaces that need fine polishing.

3- Glass beads:

Glass beads are soft abrasive media that are made from soda lime. These are generally used for blasting soft surfaces.

Besides the above, there are a few more abrasive media that are being used in the blasting process. These are:

  • Plastic
  • Corn cobs
  • Black walnut shells
  • Staurolite (mineral-based media)
  • Silicon carbide (hardest abrasive blasting material)

When choosing the right material for the project, it’s important to look at the hardness of the surface to be blasted along with the density, shape, and size of the media used.

What’s the Difference between Shot blasting and Sandblasting?

The key difference between shot blasting and sandblasting lies in the aggressiveness of the techniques and the application process.

Since the shot blasting process uses high-pressure air and centrifugal force to blast abrasive particles it is relatively more aggressive.

Sandblasting, on the other hand, generally uses a lower-pressure stream of air to blast sand media at the surface for paint removal or preparation.

Unlike a sandblasting method, shot blasting also uses a different pressurizing system.

This equipment is similar to a spinning wheel and it centrifugally accelerates the shot materials to blast them against a surface.

What are the Other Types of Abrasive Blasting Methods Used for Surface Preparation?

Besides shot blasting and sandblasting, there are a few other types of abrasive blasting processes that can be used for cleaning and surface preparation depending on the application.

Not all of them are as common as the two methods mentioned above but they can be useful in specific cases.

These include:

  • Wet blasting
  • Bristle blasting
  • Dry-ice blasting
  • Vacuum blasting
  • Pencil blasting (also called micro-blasting)
  • Centrifugal blasting (also referred to as wheel blasting)

The Bottom Line

As you can see there are a wide variety of different abrasive blasting methods and media materials available choosing one that is best suited for your needs is crucial to the success of the project.

If you have any questions about exactly what system to choose or need help to choose the right surface preparation equipment, it’s good to get in touch with experts and professionals.

They will be able to help you out and guide you in making the best choices for your specific application needs.

7 Best Sander for Wood Trim Work – Must Have Tool Before Painting

From building furniture, and refurbishing existing furnishings, to touching up the doors, tables, and other wooden pieces in your home, Read more

The 5 Best Paint Edger Tools of 2022
Paint Edger

Getting the best paint job means more than using the right paint. This means in addition to having good brushes Read more

5 Best Sander for Removing Paint From Walls & Wood
sander for paint removal

Removing paint from walls can be quite tricky, but with the right equipment, the job can be done quickly and Read more

The 5 Best HVLP Spray Guns for Wood Furniture
HVLP Paint Spray Gun for Cabinets

I remember the early days when my father, as a painter, does not have many such options for spraying the Read more

About | Contact | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

error: Content is protected !!