What is The Difference Between Shot Blasting and Grit Blasting?
Blasting your metalwork the correct way is the difference between creating a masterpiece and ruining one. There are many different types of abrasive blasting available, and most people put them under the umbrella of sandblasting. This is confusing (especially since sandblasting is now illegal in the UK), and it can lead to some easy mistakes being made.
If you use the wrong blasting abrasive, then it ruins the quality of your product and hinders its durability. In our article, we’re going to break down the uses of both shot blasting and grit blasting while analysing the difference between the two to help you avoid making some costly mistakes.
What is Shot Blasting?
Shot blasting is a form of abrasive blasting which is used to clean metal surfaces. It does this by using compressed air to blast steel balls at a high velocity. Because this steel is an abrasive material, it breaks away dirt, grime, rust, or other tough stains from the surface of the metal. This is particularly useful in the automotive maritime, construction, and manufacturing industries, just to name a few.
Because shot blasting is a type of blasting abrasive, it can also be used to prepare metalwork for painting. This is particularly useful in the automotive industry, where cars can be stripped of their colour and repainted by abrasive blasting stainless steel shot to remove the old paint and leave the vehicle with a nice sheen surface.
What is Grit Blasting?
Abrasive grit blasting is mainly used as a protective treatment on metal, concrete and other hard surfaces. Grit shot blasting uses a combination of compressed air and pressurised fluids (like water or steam) to propel its contents at a high speed. Like steel shot blasting, shot blasting grit removes rust and other surface contaminants, leaving the metal underneath smooth and ready for paintwork.
Unlike shot blasting, which uses only uses stainless steel shot, abrasive grit blasting can use all manner of materials. One common example is iron grit, but less common materials, like walnut shells, can also be used.
Grit blasting is used to shape uneven surfaces, even rough surfaces, and in some cases, roughen even surfaces. Alongside its uses in patio cleaning, shot blasting grit is also perfect for cleaning metalwork and getting it ready for a new coat of paint. It can even sand down metal to remove cracks, which protects the integrity of the metal and gives it a longer lifespan.
Should I use Shot Blasting or Grit Blasting?
Shot blasting grit and shot blasting steel might sound similar. They both use compressed air, and they’re both a form of abrasive blasting. However, the answer to which one you should use lies in the material you’re using and the outcome that you’re hoping to achieve.
If you want to smoothen a surface or make it uneven so that you can remove cracks or get a piece of metal ready for painting, then shot blasting grit is your best option. This is especially true if you’re wanting to clean concrete surfaces. If you are removing tough surface contaminants like paint or rust from metal surfaces, then shot blasting is your best option, especially if you’re not trying to change the texture of a surface and are only wanting to remove what is already applied to the metal.
Abrasive Blasting- The Easy Option
Using an abrasive blast cabinet is an easy option, but outsourcing your abrasive blasting to a professional is even easier. We will take care of all your abrasive blasting needs, ensuring that the correct method is used, and your product is kept safe. At NSP Coatings we use shot blasting grit as this is the best media for getting SA2 and SA3 standards so that we can apply the right protective coatings.