Abrasive Media

In the blast industry, whether it is air blast or wheel blast, the terms abrasive or media is interchangeable. The objective of abrasive blast applications will fall into these categories:

  • Finishing

  • Cleaning

  • Removing Surface

  • Profiling

  • Peening

  • Blending

Abrasive media is classified, or sized, based on mesh screens ranging from 8 up to 400. The higher the mesh size or grit numerical value, the smaller or finer the grain. The bulk density of blast media will range from 50/lbs. per cubic foot for plastic media and up to 300/lbs. per cubic foot for steel shot.   

Most abrasive media offer multiple turns or recyclability. Efficient recovery systems will help maximize the amount of turns and your investment in the blasting media. All blast media has a life cycle and eventually breaks down. Maintaining a “working mix”, by adding new abrasive media to the current batch, is very important to obtain consistent results.

The application will determine the type of blast media to be used: angular or spherical.  


Angular blast media is abrasive and possesses cutting ability. Angular media provides profiling, cleaning, finishing, deburring, and removal. Extended wear options are recommended for blast equipment when angular cutting media is being used.

Single-use, angular media is a popular choice for portable blasting operations where there is no recovery system. This type of angular media is useful for a single pass, or impact, then discarded.  


Spherical media will provide decorative finishes, peening, cleaning, and blending. "Peening" is a term used in the industry that can describe two different applications using spherical media:​

  1. The generic peening is the appearance achieved from the spherical shape of the media. It can also help reduce porosity or friction and provide the surface finish to improve lubricity.      

  2. The mechanical version of peening is a controlled blast procedure that will use the spherical media to strengthen, add fatigue resistance, and improve wear properties. Specification for mechanical peening dictate the psi or intensity of the blast media, duration of the blast, and the specific size of the media needed to obtain the desired results. 




S.O.T. Abrasives & Equipment stocks a full line of abrasive blast media at each of our locations:
Angular Media:

  • Aluminum Oxide

  • Steel Grit

  • Garnet

  • Silicon Carbide

  • Zir Grit

  • Stainless & Carbon Cut Wire

  • Plastic Grit

  • Jet Mag 

  • Zirconia

Single Pass Angular Media:

  • Baking Soda

  • Coal Slag

  • Crushed Glass

  • Walnut Shell

  • Corn Cob

Spherical Media:

  • Steel Shot

  • Glass Bead

  • Ceramic Bead

  • Aluminum and Zinc Shot

  • Stainless Shot

  • Ceramic Shot

The S.O.T. Job Shop and Demo Facility in Richardson, Texas has air blast cabinets and a blast room, as well as wheel blast machines available for:

  • demonstrations

  • process development or production

Send us some parts or bring them in yourself to see which type of blast equipment and abrasive media will achieve the type of finish you are looking for before you invest in the media or equipment.