Blasting with Steel Grit is an efficient and cost effective method to creating a etched profile on many surfaces. The hardness of the media and the re-usability allow for excellent reproducible results even after hundreds of uses. Since Steel Grit is mild steel and subject to oxidation, surfaces that must maintain a non-rusting character (i.e, stainless or aluminum) may require an alternative. The Steel Grit can leave a very fine ‘coating’ of mild steel on the surface being blasted and over time can cause surface rust, staining and discoloration.
The simple solution to this problem is to blast with a non-ferrous media such as Aluminum Oxide or Silicon Carbide. Both of these media are harder than steel and can actually result in shorter blast times. As they do not contain anything that will cause rust, concern for long-term surface contamination is eliminated.
Myth buster alert: Aluminum Oxide does not leave aluminum metal contamination on parts. And Silicon Carbide is completely different from silica sand even though it is sometimes called ‘black sand’.