How to choose sand/media for your project?

How to choose sand/media for your project? Discover what types of sand are used in the process and which will work best on various surfaces.

When considering a sandblasting project, the first thing you need to do is select the right abrasive. If you're new to sandblasting, the array of abrasives available on the market can be overwhelming.  Each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. We'll discuss some of the most common types of abrasives and their applications. Let's get started!


  1. Aluminum Oxide:

* Widely used

* Used for various materials- metal, glass, granite, marble, steel.

* Surface preparation & paint stripping.

Mesh sizes: 12-325  

Hardness: 9 MOHS  

Shape: Angular/ Sub angular


  1. Soda:

* Remove contaminants without damaging the underlying substrate.

* Used for material: plastics, wood, Chrome, Mold.


  1. Coal Slag / Aluminum Silicate:

* "Green" abrasive.

* Low-dust

* Removal of rust, paint, weathered coatings, and scale from steel and concrete.

Mesh sizes: 12-80

Hardness: 6-7.5 MOHS

Shape: Angular


  1. Crushed Glass:

* Used in profiling and removal of coatings and surface contamination.

* Clean steel, aluminum, wood, concrete, stone, and fiberglass substrates.

* Can be used to open air blast around navigable water.

Mesh sizes: 30-325   

Hardness: 5-6 MOHS   

Shape: Angular


  1. Staurolite:

* Low dust

* Ideal for removing scale and corrosion from steel surfaces.

* Used in storage tank & tower construction, structural & plate steel blasting, and steel fabrication.

Mesh sizes: 12 -120  

Hardness: 7.0-7.5 MOHS 

Shape: Sub rounded


  1. Glass Beads

* Removal of burrs, rust, paint, dirt, grease, scale and carbon build-up.

* Used in the process to polish soft metals. Such as cast iron, stainless steel,  aluminum, brass, plastic, wood, and fiberglass.

* Excellent choice for applications that require a softer, brighter finish.

Mesh sizes: 60-120

Hardness: 5.0 – 6.0 Average MOHS

Shape: ball shapes


  1. Steel Shot

* Rubber build-up removal

* Expoxy and adhesive removal

* Cleaning and polishing metal surfaces and parts in automotive, aerospace, construction, foundry, shipbuilding, rail, and more.

* The larger the number of the steel shot, the larger the steel shot is.

Mesh sizes: 7-120 

Hardness: 40-51 MOHS   

Shape: Spherical shape


  1. Steel Grit

* The larger the size number for steel grit, the smaller the particle is.

* Removing mill scale

* Removing coating or coatings from a product surface.

Mesh sizes: 10-120 

Hardness: 40-65 MOHS 

Shape: Angular, random shape


  1. Corn Cob Grit

* Soft abrasive, won't cause anchor patterns.

* Ideal for cleaning, deburring burnishing and de-flashing applications.

* Common industries: jewelry, cutlery, engine parts, fiberglass, and the removal of graffiti or debris from wood, brick or stone.

Mesh sizes: 8-40  

Hardness: 4-4.5 MOHS 

Shape: Sub angular


  1. Walnut Shell Grit

* Soft abrasive, won't cause anchor patterns.

* Suitable for stripping and cleaning delicate surfaces and parts,

* Cleaning aircraft engines, dies and molds, polishing watches ad jewelry and restoring antique surfaces.

* Cleaning dirt, grease, oil, carbon, scale, burrs and paint

Mesh sizes: 6-100

Hardness: 3-4 MOHS

Shape: Subangular


  1. Copper Slag (Iron Silicate)

* Aggressive abrasive

* Used for new steel manufacturing or in maintenance blasting. 

* Manufacturing of storage tanks and ships

* Cleaning of hard steels

* Oil fields and off-shore platforms.

Mesh sizes: 12-80  

Hardness: 6.0-7.0 MOHS 

Shape: Angular


  1. Garnet

* Low-dust

* Used for wet or dry sandblasting

* Excellent for removing tough coatings, paint, rust and mill scale from steel.

Mesh sizes: 30-120

Hardness: 7-7.5 MOHS

Shape: Subangular


  1. Mineral sands

* Low-dust

* Removal of rust, paint, weathered coatings and mill scale.

Mesh sizes: 20-120

Hardness: 6.5-7.5 MOHS

Shape: Angular to subangular (olivine), subangular to rounded (staurolite)


  1. Plastic

* Soft, light abrasive, leaves no anchor pattern.

* Suitable stripping paint from sensitive surfaces.

* Mold cleaning

* Won’t work well on hard metals or for finishing applications.

Mesh sizes: 12-80

Hardness: 3-4 MOHS

Shape: Angular


Grit Size

Mesh USS

Microns (Avg)

Inches (Avg)














































So, what abrasive should you buy for your sandblasting project? It depends on the type of surface you’re working with and the results you want to achieve. If you need help selecting the right abrasive for your needs, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide on choosing an abrasive. And don’t forget – if you buy a suitable media, then you’ll also need the perfect sandblasting gun! Thanks for reading and happy blasting.

Now you know how to choose the best media for sandblasting, but how about sandblaster? It's obsessively the Lematec made sandblasting guns are the best air sandblasting tools you can trust. Support to use of any kind of sand/media for muti applications. Contact us to get Lematec sand blaster guns NOW!

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