Many types of abrasive blast media can be re-used multiple times. The rate at which the media fractures during blasting will determine the recyclability. Media such as Steel Shot have an extremely high re-use rate while more consumable media such as Crushed Glass Grit can only be blasted once or twice. This chart details the recyclability of many common abrasive blast media.
Some factors to consider when selecting a media (as it relates to re-usability):
- Blasting system: Blasters that automatically collect the media (i.e., cabinets, blast rooms) make it much easier to use recyclable media.
- Cost: Typically, re-usable media are more expensive to purchase; however, the re-usability can make these media very economical.
- Surface finish: The hardness and aggressiveness of the media is not directly related to re-usability. Consider the surface finish required in combination with the recyclability.
- Cleanliness: Collected used media can also include contaminants that can reduce efficiency (i.e., dust particles), impact blasting performance (i.e., paint chips blocking the nozzle) or even damage the surface (i.e., concrete chips or small stones). Be sure to screen and clean the media as best as possible.