Sandblasting is a surface finishing method that cleans the surface of metals, what is sandblasted metal and what does sandblasting do? Let’s get into some basics of metal sandblasting.


What is Sandblasted Metal?

Sandblasted metal refers to a type of metal surface treatment that involves blasting the metal surface with a high-pressure stream of abrasive material, typically sand, to create a textured or frosted appearance. The abrasive particles remove a fine layer of material from the surface, leaving behind a rougher texture that can be used for decorative or functional purposes. Sandblasting can be used on a variety of metals, including steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and others. The process can be controlled to create different textures, ranging from a fine sand-like texture to a more aggressive, pitted surface. Sandblasting can be used to create a uniform finish across an entire surface, or it can be used to selectively remove material to create patterns or designs.


Sandblasted metal can be used in a variety of applications, including architectural design, industrial machinery, automotive parts, and more. The textured surface can be useful for providing a better grip or reducing glare, and can also be used to hide scratches or other imperfections in the metal surface.

Does Sandblasting Remove Rust?

Yes, sandblasting is an effective method for removing rust from metal surfaces. When rust forms on a metal surface, it creates a layer of oxide that is weaker than the underlying metal. Sandblasting can remove this layer of oxide and any loose or flaking rust, leaving behind a clean and smooth surface.


To remove rust with sandblasting, an abrasive material, such as sand or grit, is propelled at high speed onto the rusted surface using compressed air or a blasting machine. The abrasive particles work to chip away the rust, leaving behind a clean surface that is free of rust and other contaminants.


However, it is important to note that sandblasting can also remove a thin layer of the metal surface along with the rust. This can be problematic if the metal is already thin or weak. Additionally, sandblasting can create small pits or scratches on the surface, which can lead to future rust formation. Therefore, it is important to consider the condition of the metal before sandblasting and to take appropriate measures to prevent rust formation after sandblasting.

Does Sandblasting Use Sand?

Although sandblasting was originally named for the use of sand as the abrasive material, many modern sandblasting methods do not use actual sand. The reason for this is that sand contains silica, which can be harmful if inhaled, potentially causing lung damage and other health issues. Now, sandblasting uses a variety of different abrasive materials, depending on the desired surface finish and the material being treated. Some common abrasive materials include steel grit, aluminum oxide, glass beads, crushed walnut shells, and plastic beads. These materials are safer to use than sand and can provide similar or even better results.


In addition to the type of abrasive material used, other factors such as the pressure of the air or water used to propel the abrasive particles and the size and shape of the nozzle used can also affect the effectiveness of sandblasting and the resulting surface finish.

What is an Alternative to Sandblasting?

There are several alternatives to sandblasting, depending on the specific application and the material being treated. Here are some common alternatives to sandblasting:

– Soda blasting: This method uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as the abrasive material. It is a gentler method than sandblasting and is often used to clean delicate surfaces, such as those made of glass or wood.

– Water blasting: Also known as pressure washing, this method uses a high-pressure stream of water to remove contaminants from a surface. It can be effective for removing dirt, grime, and some types of coatings, but may not be as effective as sandblasting for removing heavy rust or paint.

– Abrasive blasting with other materials: As mentioned earlier, there are several types of abrasive materials that can be used for blasting, such as steel grit, aluminum oxide, glass beads, crushed walnut shells, and plastic beads. Each of these materials has different properties that can make them more or less effective for a particular application.

– Chemical stripping: This method uses chemicals to dissolve or soften the coating on a surface, allowing it to be removed more easily. It is often used for removing paint or other coatings from metal surfaces.

– Mechanical methods: In some cases, mechanical methods such as grinding or sanding may be effective for removing surface contaminants or coatings. These methods are often slower and more labor-intensive than blasting methods but can be useful for certain applications.