Best Abrasive Grit for Blasting Wheels
There are many reasons you may want to sandblast your wheels. You may want to remove the factory coating or imperfections from normal use. Perhaps you wish to remove corrosion. Maybe you are going to change the color or powder coat the wheels with a totally new design scheme. You may even want to get down to the white metal surface and do a clear coat of powder for the ‘naked steel’ aesthetic.
Sandblasting is an effective way to scour this surface so it’s as good as new. While there are several different types of abrasive grit you can use for this kind of project, some options are better than others. Keep reading to learn about the best abrasive blast media available for aluminum wheels.
Types of Blast Abrasive for Wheels
There is almost an unlimited number of choices for blast abrasives, including glass beads, aluminum oxide, walnut shells, garnet, and more. If you are stripping aluminum wheels to apply new paint or powder coat, for example, you could use aluminum oxide, superoxalloy abrasives or crushed glass for great results.
These will leave a good surface profile, which will allow the new coating to adhere to the aluminum substrate. However, these abrasives also have some downsides — for example, garnet tends to break down quickly, so it has limited reuse.
What’s the Best Grit Size for Blast Media?
Before you begin a blasting project, stop to consider the grit size. A small grit number means the particles are very coarse and rough, and that’s perfect for thick coatings of paint and rust, but too aggressive on softer aluminum wheels.
Grit size has an inverse relationship with the particle size. For example, a blasting media with a grit number around 220 means the particles are extremely fine. This is best used when you don’t want to over profile your surfaces.
When blasting aluminum wheels, using a finer, less abrasive grit — like 80 or 100 — will be better for the wheels. If it were to be blasted with a rough, abrasive grit on the other end of the abrasive scale, the aluminum is more likely to become over-profiled or even misshaped.
What Is the Best Blast Media for Wheels?
A popular blast media is aluminum oxide, which is often used because of its general strength and effectiveness. It’s durable and stronger than a lot of other blast media, like glass beads or garnet, which are less abrasive.
For wheels, however, aluminum oxide is likely not the best choice — softer media like glass or plastic beads, corn cob, or walnut shells are more likely to avoid damaging or over profiling the wheel itself. However, superoxalloy abrasives are an even better choice.
Benefits of Superoxalloy Abrasives
Superoxalloy abrasives are made up of tempered polymorphous particles. They can complete multiple functions at one time, and in one pass, removing the layers quickly and efficiently in a single step. Additionally, these abrasives are gentle and will leave the underlying surface unharmed.
They can remove thick coats of paint, and they remove heavy rust at about 40% to 100% faster speeds than other abrasives. Blasters say that they work better than other abrasives such as garnet, glass beads and steel shot when removing rust.
Choose Superoxalloy Abrasives From 10X Engineered Materials
10X Engineered Materials has created a line of superoxalloy abrasives that go above and beyond other options and leave the surface of your wheels smooth and clean. Our products include EpiX for precision-grade applications like blasting aluminum wheels.
You can find both KinetiX and EpiX at blast media distributors near you. EpiX can also be ordered directly from our website. To find out more about these superoxalloy abrasives, call us at 260-253-2278 or fill out our online form.