The Limits on Recycling Garnet Blast Abrasive

Can I re-use my garnet abrasive to blast multiple times?

It is a question the blasting experts at 10X Engineered Materials hear a lot when working with sandblasters and powder coaters utilizing garnet blast abrasive. And, we totally understand why it’s a hot topic: re-using abrasives can have a dramatic impact on the cost – and ultimately, profitability – of pretty much any blasting job. 

Limits on How Much You Can Reuse Garnet Abrasive

While the blasting pros at 10X would recommend a different abrasive for cost conscious abrasive blasting businesses (more on that later) we have no problem giving a bit of advice to blasters looking to reuse garnet.  How often you can recycle your garnet blast abrasives is determined by a number of factors.

Recycling Garnet – Factor #1: The quality of the garnet abrasive being recycled

GMA garnet is among the most common garnet abrasives. According to BlastOne, one of the largest garnet distributors in the US, that garnet can be reused up to 6 times. Lower quality garnet – which may contain more material mined outside the U.S. – may be even less re-usable, due to impurities. Higher quality / more advanced blast media (again, keep reading) may be more recyclable.

Recycling Garnet – Factor #2: Whether you are recycling garnet from a blast room/cabinet

When we are talking about recycling garnet or recycling other abrasive media, one important factor is impurities and contamination. Using a blast room/cabinet can help prevent contaminants in the environment from mixing with the abrasive you are looking to recycle. Recycled garnet abrasive that is more akin to its original composition can yield results more similar to the initial blast, when compared to reused abrasive that may be less pure. 

Recycling Garnet – Factor #3: The material being blasted with garnet abrasive

Another factor in determining how many times garnet abrasive can be recycled, is the material or substrate being blasted. The act of blasting creates many many tiny impacts on the surface of a material. Depending on the material in question, those impacts may dislodge material that can influence the composition of the recycled blast abrasive when it is gathered for reuse. Alternately, blasting can influence the geometry of the tiny individual bits of an abrasive. These alterations in geometry may influence blasting outcomes when an abrasive, such as garnet, is reused. 

Blast media to to consider if recycling abrasive is important

The EpiX and KinetiX lines of superoxalloy abrasive blast media from 10X Engineered materials already offer greater head to head performance when compared with garnet. However, the bottom-line-improving impact of superoxalloy goes beyond performance. EpiX superoxalloy customers have reported re-using EpiX up to 16 times. 

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.