Sandblasting Nozzle Sizing Chart

Use The Chart Below To Find Your Nozzle Bore Size:

  • #2 Nozzle has a 1/8″ orifice (3.2mm)
  • #3 Nozzle has a 3/16″ orifice (4.8mm)
  • #4 Nozzle has a 1/4″ orifice (6.35mm)
  • #5 Nozzle has a 5/16″ orifice (8mm)
  • #6 Nozzle has a 3/8″ orifice (9.5mm)
  • #7 Nozzle has a 7/16″ orifice (11.1mm)
  • #8 Nozzle has a 1/2″ orifice (12.7mm)
  • #10 Nozzle has a 5/8″ orifice (16mm)
  • #12 Nozzle has a 3/4″ orifice (19mm)



Sandblasting Profiles: What abrasive should I use?

Anchor patterns are extremely difficult to approximate due to the many variables at play.  Use this information with Caution!  This is only an approximation.

The type of metal use in this example was hot rolled steel with tightly adhering mil scale.  The type and hardness of your substrate, how thick the scale is, the degree of cleaning you are attempting to achieve, experience and skill of the person performing the sandblasting, etc will all factor into your end result.  In this example, the pressure blasting was done using a 90-100 psi nozzle pressure.  The depth of the anchor profiles listed below are approximations only, and are on average.

1 Mil Profile:

1.5 Mil Profile:

2 Mil Profile:

2.5 Mil Profile:

3 Mil Profile



What Is Friability?

What Is Friablity?  Short Answer:  How easily/quicky a media shatters on impact and breaks down.  Think of Friability as durability.  This is different from Hardness Rating.  Sandblasting medias may have the same Hardness rating, but completely different Friability Ratings.   One will break down fast, the other will remain intact and can be recycled multiple times.

Brown Fused Aluminum Oxides have a LOW friability, so it will break down slowly, and coarser sizes can be recycled multiple times.

White Fused Aluminum Oxides have a HIGH friabilty, but the SAME HARDNESS rating of Brown Fused Aluminum Oxides.  Even though it is just as hard as Brown Fused AO, it will shatter on impact and break down quickly, without doing as much damage/impact to the substrate.  This is one reason why it is often used for delicate glass etching, and why it makes a nice final polish for rock tumbling.  Its high hardness rating however, makes it appropriate for anti skid flooring applications, traction, etc.

Sinterblast, or Sintered Aluminum Oxide has a MEDIUM friability.  Think of it as the middle ground between Brown Fused and White Fused.  It can be recycled in coarse sizes, but will not have the long life (durability) of a Brown Fused Aluminum Oxide.  It is often preferred by Powdercoating companies due to its lower cost.  If you are just taking off mil scale prior to coating, this is a great media to try out.  It is a lower purity aluminum oxide, and cheaper in cost to manufacture due to the sintering process being less expensive than the fusing process.  THE MEDIUM FRIABILITY OF THIS TYPE OF ALUMINUM OXIDE IS WHY YOU BLAST AT A 60 PSI, AND NOT THE USUAL 80-90 PSI OF BROWN FUSED ALUMINUM OXIDE.  ANYTHING HIGHER AND YOU WILL NOT ACHIEVE GOOD RESULTS BECAUSE THE MEDIA WILL SHATTER UPON ITSELF IN THE AIR STREAM BEFORE GETTING TO YOUR SUBSTRATE.

When choosing an abrasive to use, make sure you take into consideration its friability, not just hardness rating.  Our product descriptions of our sandblasting abrasives include both hardness ratings and friability ratings.



Number One Cause Of Premature Coatings Failure

The most common cause of premature coatings failure is improper ANCHOR PATTERN.

What is anchor pattern?  It is a term used to describe the roughness (etch, or profile) that is created on a surface when sandblasted.  The Anchor Pattern is measured in 1/1000th of an inch, which is called a MIL.  Paint coatings are also measured in MILS as well, making it a term that is easy to remember.

Coatings require specific mils of anchor pattern in order to properly adhere to the surface it is applied to.  Each coating will have different requirements.  Therefore, you cannot simply sandblast a surface clean and then apply paint to it without technical information on what mils profile that particular coating requires (among other factors).  If you simply guess at what profile you need, you risk premature coatings failure.

If you have no access at all to the coating manufacture’s technical data and need to make an educated guess, you will want to consider the following rule of thumb:

The mils of anchor pattern you create on the surface to be coated, should be 25 to 30% of the DRY film thickness of the total coatings system BUT NEVER greater than the dry film thickness of the primer coat unless additional coats are to be applied immediately.

Also key to understand is that the wet mils of a coating will be different than the dry mils of a coating.  Many coatings shrink tremendously, depending on the percentage of solids contained within them.  Make sure that the anchor pattern you create when sandblasting is much shallower than the total coatings when dry.

Other factors that impact the development of anchor pattern include the type of steel you are blasting (including hardness and chemical composition), how the steel was formed, prior use of the steel, the type of abrasive you use to create the anchor pattern (including size, shape, hardness, and velocity), as well as what type of blast nozzle you choose to use and how you use it (such as angle and distance to the work surface).

The chart below is a crude approximation of abrasive size to anchor pattern, and should thus be used only as a starting point only for both centrifugal wheel and pressure blasting.

  • 1 Mil Profile = G80 Steel Grit, 100 Mesh Garnet, S110 Steel Shot, 3060 Coal Slag
  • 1.5 Mil Profile = G50 Steel Grit, 100 Mesh Garnet, S170 Steel Shot, 3060 Coal Slag
  • 2.0 Mil Profile = G40 Steel Grit, 3060 possibly also 80 Mesh Garnet, 36 Grit Aluminum Oxide, 3060 Coal Slag, 3060 Copper Slag
  • 2.5 Mil Profile = G40 Steel Grit, 3060 Mesh Garnet, 24 Grit Aluminum Oxide, 2040 Coal Slag, 2050 Copper Slag
  • 3 – 4 Mil Profiles = G25 Steel Grit, 36 possibly also 3060 Mesh Garnet, 16 Grit Aluminum Oxide, 2050 or 1230 Copper Slag, 1240 Coal Slag





Using Crushed Glass To Clean Precast Concrete

Crushed Glass Used To Clean Precast Concrete

Armani Restoration Job SiteCrushed Bottle Glass Abrasive is used to clean and restore the exterior of this 27 story concrete building.  Using  a proprietary wet and dry blasting system, the contractor dramatically changed the surface color of the building, as you can see in the photo.  The concrete surface of this building was not smooth – it did have a texture to it, so a medium grade was chosen.

Crushed glass sandblasting abrasive is the perfect choice for either light cleaning of precast concrete, or by using coarser grades, exposing the aggregate in the concrete.  A medium grade was used for this job, as the customer did not want to damage the surface of the concrete.

Crushed bottle glass abrasive is a 100% recycled product, and is shipped from a variety of locations.  It contains no free silica, no heavy metals, is inert, and it blasts fast and clean.  Many times people will just leave it on the ground rather than clean it up (unless you are blasting off something toxic like lead paint or have local laws requiring cleanup).  Because this type of abrasive is shipped from all multiple points of origin, we will always try to find the closest location to your end job site when quoting.


Abrasive Grade Silicon Carbide – Uses Of

Silicon Carbide Grit

Silicon Carbide Grit & Powder

The main uses for abrasive grade Silicon Carbides (Carborundum) are:

  • anti-slip abrasives
  • sandblasting abrasives
  • bonded abrasives
  • coated abrasives
  • polishing/lapping compounds
  • tumbling media (including lapidary or rock tumbling uses)
  • wire-sawing abrasives
  • sintering
  • filling up ceramic parts

Today, there are many high tech uses for varying grades of Silicon Carbide such as electronics, brake pads, ceramics, LED’s, diodes, transistors, semiconductive research, heating elements, even jewelry.  Gone are the days when Silicon Carbide was known only as an abrasive.


Silicon Carbide – Interesting Historical Facts

Black Silicon Carbide Abrasive

Silicon Carbide Sandblasting Abrasive

Silicon Carbide (SiC) was the first synthetic abrasive to be produced and also the first to be commercialized.  1891 was the year that silicon carbide production began, and thus revolutionized the abrasive industry as a whole.  Before 1891, almost all abrasives were naturally found such as rocks and minerals.

By 1900 SiC production was at 1,200 metric tons, carrying an estimated value of $263,000.  Mainly used in the lapidary industries, it was a replacement for diamond powder.  At that time, the only other manufactrued abrasive was crushed steel and as a contrast in volume, crushed steel production was only 320 tons, carrying a rather paultry value of ~$50,000.

With exception only given to diamond and garnet, by the year 2000, manufactured abrasives dominated the high end abrasive industries.  Unlike natural abrasives, manufactured abrasives could be tightly controlled, thus ensuring uniform properties like hardness and grit size.  A further benefit was the ability to customize the manufacturing process to meet exact specified needs, based on the end application.  While being more expensive that natural abrasives, their durablity and efficiency made them more cost effective overall.  They are therefore used heavily in the metal finishing, cutting, and polishing fields.

In short, manufactured abrasives are extensively used today in finishing numerous products.



Boron Carbide Blast Nozzles – When To Use One

Short Answer: Use a boron carbide blast nozzle anytime you are using aluminum oxide or silicon carbide as your abrasive blasting media.

When To Use Boron Carbide Blast Nozzles
When To Use Boron Carbide Blast Nozzles

Long Answer:   The three most popular materials used today for blast nozzles are Tungsten Carbide, Boron Carbide, and Silicon Carbide.  Boron Carbide nozzles are the hardest of the three, followed by Silicon Carbide, and then by Tungsten Carbide.  Hardness is necessary to order to withstand the wear and tear that the blast nozzle liner will be exposed to by the abrasive used.

However, the greater the hardness, the more brittle the material.  This is why Boron Carbide nozzles need to be handled with care.  When we ship B4C blast nozzles, we use a lot of packaging material to ensure safe transit.  Never drop, throw, pound, or abuse a boron carbide nozzle or you will destroy it.  (Just because boron carbide is the hardest material you can buy, does not mean it is not brittle.)



Cleaning Bronze with Glass Bead Blasting

Here is a great video and article on glass bead sandblasting.

This company is using a fine glass bead to remove bronze patina from outdoor monuments, which restores them to their original state.  I would have liked to see some before and after photos of the monuments, but the article does contain a video clip where you can see (from a distance) the cleaned and uncleaned areas.

Workers from Sterling-based Mercer Lettering and Monument Works have been  sandblasting and pressure-washing the granite stonework over the past few weeks.  The granite stones also have been treated with an organic acid designed to  preserve the grass below while removing fungi from cracks in the stone.

On Thursday, they aimed nozzles at the bronze plaques and sprayed them with  fine glass particles. That removes the patina, or green and brown film, that has  developed on the metalwork over time without damaging the metal below it, said  Graeme Everson,  the company’s owner and a National Guard veteran.

“It brings back the shine of the bronze as it was when they put it up,” he  said.

The article does not discuss the size of the glass bead used, nor the exact machine they used, but the video shows the actual operator blasting.  You can therefore see the blast pot and the operator’s protective head gear which is useful for those just starting out and not familiar with protective gear.

To see the full original article by By ALISON SHEA of The Bulletin: Jewett City monuments gleam like new – Norwich, CT – The Bulletin

© Copyright (c) ALISON SHEA The  Bulletin Originally Posted May 18, 2012