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  Product Overview

  Abrasive Media Products

One of the key initial steps for surface preparation is selecting the correct blast media to achieve the desired results while still maintaining effective cost control.

Deciding on the right media for your project is not always straightforward. Factors to consider include the effects the media will have on a surface and the actual cost, not just the initial price. For example, if one media option costs three times as much as another, but has an attrition rate that’s twenty times less, it will be the more economical option to use.


DuPont recommends aluminum oxide use for surface preparation with our industrial coatings. There are many other blast media options such as steel grit, steel shot, silicon carbide, ceramic beads, plastic media, and walnut shells.


The table below offers some guidelines on commonly used recoverable media and their applications. 


  Glass Beads Media Fine Angular Abrasive Aluminum Oxide Metallic Abrasive Steel Iron Shot or Grit Plastic Abrasive Ceramic Bead Organic Abrasive Nut Shells
Applications Cleaning
Lt. to med. peening
Anchor pattern
Heavy cleaning
High intensity peening
Coating removal
Light deflashing
Minimal substrate abrasion
Light deburring
Cleaning of fragile items
US Mesh Range 20-325 8-325 6-80 8-80 16-140 60-325
Hardness (Mohs) 5.5 9.0 7.5 3.-4.0 7.0 1.0
Specific Gravity 2.45-2.50 2.40-4.0 7.60-7.80 1.15-1.52 3.8 1.30-1.40
Configuration Spherical Angular Spherical/Mixed Angular Spherical Mixed
Free Silica None Less than 1% None None None None
Free Iron Less than 1% Less than 1% 95%-100% None None None
Toxicity None Low None None None None to low
Contamination None Moderate Moderate/heavy None None Moderate/heavy
Color Clear White to brown Gray Multi-color White Light brown
Dry Blasting Usage Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Wet Blasting Usage Excellent Poor Poor Poor Excellent Poor
Cleaning Speed Moderate/high High Moderate/high Moderate/high Moderate/high Low
Metal Removal None/low High Medium/high None None/low None
Surface Finish Diverse matte Diverse matte Shot=peened
Grit=rough anchor
Smooth Diverse matte Smooth
Peening Capability Excellent None Excellent None Excellent None
Depletion Rate Low Medium Low High Very low High
Price Comparison Average Average/high Low High High Average/high


Aluminum Oxide is widely used as an excellent material for cleaning and providing a uniform surface or anchor pattern. It is a tough recoverable media for quick paint, rust, and scale removal and has also been specified for pre-paint adhesion.

Aluminum Oxide has a blocky shape with multiple sharp cutting edges that penetrate work pieces, dig out microchips, and leave exceptionally clean etched surfaces. It is effective on metals, glass, ceramic, marble, granite and other stone and has an MOHS hardness of 9, which means it is a very tough and durable material. Because it fractures during blasting, it does not put out large quantities of dust into the atmosphere when used. 

FLEX-O-Lite Glass Beads are spheres of uniform size and hardness formulated of chemically inert soda-lime glass. The impact of the beads removes foreign substances from the base surface without contamination and dimensional change. Applications range from cleaning, cosmetic, deburring, and light peening. It is one of the most versatile blast finishing materials available.

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