Tag Archives: friability

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.