Choosing a sandblasting abrasive for wood

When choosing a sandblasting media, one of the most important aspects to consider is the hardness of the surface being blasted. When blasting on a soft structure that’s more likely to be altered or etched into by the blasting, like wood, it’s best to use a soft abrasive. The stronger the underlying material is, the harder the abrasive can get before becoming an issue for the surface. 

What You Should Use for Blasting on Wood

Compared to the surfaces often being blasted on, wood is one that should be handled more carefully. While rougher abrasives—like aluminum oxide or garnet—will eliminate the layer(s) of paint or other coating that you’re trying to remove rather efficiently, this means that they are also likely to quickly cut down to the soft wood surface below. This could lead to texture in the surface, blown out pieces of the wood, or unevenness. 

By gently blasting a softer abrasive, this is less likely to happen. The process may not go as quickly depending on the thickness of the coating, but chances are, the wood itself will be in much better shape. For this, softer abrasives like crushed walnut shells are decent options, but more commonly, soda blasting is the primary media used for blasting wood. 

When used for blasting purposes, sodium bicarbonate (or, baking soda) is typically one of the softest options. It can be used to remove dirt, paint, rust, or other coatings from a surface and is regarded for being one of the best options used for cleaning a surface. However, while a more gentle abrasive, it won’t remove layers as efficiently or cover larger areas as quick as other options. 

What’s a Good Alternative Blast Media for Wood? 

With the EpiX and KinetiX superoxalloy abrasives from 10X Engineered Materials, however, there’s less to worry about. 

While they are harder abrasives, these superoxalloys are still usable when blasted at a lower PSI. They may not work as quickly or efficiently as they do when used to their full potential when blasted at a lower pressure, but some projects—like wood projects—require a gentler approach to achieve the desired outcome, and the superoxalloy abrasives should still achieve the desired effect. 

Additionally, these abrasives are durable and can be reused many times, so they can be used for future wood projects or even other industrial abrasive blasting projects. 

These abrasives are made up of polymorphous particles, meaning that they can perform more than one job in a blasting job in just one step, so they get the job done faster than the alternatives. They’re also safer for both blasters and the environment with no free silica, no beryllium, no heavy metals, and no crystalline structures. 

Currently, KinetiX and EpiX are available from abrasive distributors around the US. If you don’t see a distributor near you, contact 10X and we will work with you to get you what you need. EpiX abrasive, which is best for precision applications such as powder coating and medical applications, is also available to purchase directly from the 10X Engineered Materials website.