Blast Media Types: A Media Blasting Guide

Abrasive blasting is the term used to describe a finishing process that involves the high-pressure propulsion of abrasive materials onto a surface.

 This process is used for many surface finishing projects, including roughening or smoothing a surface, altering the shape of a surface, or removing prior coatings and contaminants.

You will find several blast media types to use during the abrasive blasting process. Learn about some of the most common here.

Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide is one of the most common materials used for media blasting. It has a sharp texture, and you can recycle it several times.

Its top uses include stripping and polishing the surfaces of hard constructed metals, thanks to the sharp consistency. The grit range of this material ranges from super fine to extra coarse.

Glass Beads

This blasting media is made from a soda lime-type, lead-free glass that contains free silica. The material is manufactured into ball shapes.

If you want a brighter and smoother finish than what is provided by angular abrasives, this is a smart option.

You can also recycle the material around 30 times.


A plastic abrasive is a type of dry thermoset cleaning media that is made from crushed acrylic, polyester, and urea.

You can find each option in several different particle sizes and hardness levels.

Plastic is the best option for blasting plastic parts if removing the substrate material or cleaning mold isn’t allowed. Some of the most common industries that use this blasting media include electronics, industrial applications, boating, aviation, and automotive.

Silicone Carbide

This material offers a blockier grain texture. It is also the hardest media that is available.

Unlike some of the other materials, it does not produce any static electricity.

Silicon carbide is the material of choice for shorter blasting projects. It is also suited for the fast-cutting speeds needed for stone and glass materials.

Pumice Grit

A lighter, natural material, pumice grit is considered a mild abrasive. It is also best for less aggressive operations where you need to protect the surface of the material you are working on.

Walnut Shells

Walnut shell material is a hard and naturally occurring material that is made from crushed walnut shells. It is the hardest option of all soft abrasives and can be found in several sizes for polishing and blast cleaning softer surfaces that harsher materials may damage.

Know You Know the Most Common Blast Media Types

When it comes to blast media types, you have a lot of options. It is smart to choose a material that will work well with the surface you are working on.

Take some time to review the options, which will help ensure you get the desired results for your project.

Are you looking for more helpful resources about various home projects and processes? If so, it is a good idea to read some of the other blogs that are published on our site.