How to select appropriate abrasive media

25th Jul 2023

Choosing the proper abrasive media for your job is a technical process and is essential for achieving the right finish. Adversely, selecting the wrong abrasive media can cause damage to the substrate you're working on or result in a heavily pitted surface profile.

Most abrasives form Airblast are available in several grades and can be used for different purposes. At Airblast we sell both recyclable and single use abrasive. How friable an abrasive is determines whether or not is can be reused. For instance, Aluminium oxide has a extremely high friability while stainless steel abrasive has a low friability.

Expendable, friable abrasives are normally utilised for blasting in an open environment. Characteristically, expendable abrasives are angular, and suitable for removing rust, paint, and other contaminants. They're also used for cleaning and restoration work if the correct size and pressure are used.

The following is a list of expendable abrasives we retail at Airblast Eurospray.

Iron Silicate

  • Iron Silicate is a slag grit produced as a by-product of industrial forging.
  • It's an affordable and versatile media, often used for removing coatings on logistics vehicles, ships, offshore installations, and steel.
  • It produces low dust due to its low shatter index and has sharp cutting edges, which results in a rapid cleaning action.

Copper Slag

  • Copper slag is a highly-cost effective synthetic material abrasive.
  • Like Iron Silicate, copper slag can be used to remove rust and paint from metal, stone, and concrete.
  • You might consider copper slag if you were looking for environmentally friendly media with fast blast rates.

Glassia Grit

  • Glassia grit is made form 100% recycled glass and is a safe alternate to silica sand.
  • It's often used as an abrasive to clean brick, stone, concrete, wood stainless steel and soft alloys.
  • As its a non-metallic abrasive, glassia grit is suitable for use on stainless steel surfaces.
  • If you have intricate stone work to clean, choose glassia in a finer grade.


  • Airblast Olivine is a naturally occurring silica-free media.
  • We sell Olivine in four sizes from extra fine to coarse.
  • This is the abrasive to choose if you're wet blasting or cleaning a building where darker media would cause a nuisance.


  • Garnet is a dense, tough abrasive favoured by the petrochemical industry for its ability to produce cold sparks, which do not ignite in combustible environments.
  • It is often used for coating removal removal and for fast cleaning of soft wood, aluminium or fibreglass. Garnet generally works 30%-50% faster than slag grits due to its higher density.