Can Garnet Blast Abrasive Remove Chrome?

Abrasive blasting—which can be done with garnet—is a method used to remove chrome by blasting a surface with particles of abrasive media propelled through a nozzle, which then smooth the exterior, getting rid of the chrome coating. 

Abrasive blasting isn’t the only way to remove chrome, but it is one of the best options. Other methods, like using chemicals, reverse electroplating, or using other specialized equipment, can be both time-consuming and complicated, or potentially even dangerous. 

For example, reverse electroplating involves a live electric current and involves hazardous chemicals. Other chemical methods may be difficult to execute or damage the underlying substrate, making it difficult to re-chrome. 

Abrasive blasting is able to be done with multiple types of blast media including sand, glass beads, crushed walnut shells, and aluminum oxide. Garnet is a common form as well, and will certainly get the job done when removing chrome. But, it isn’t the best option. 

Compared to some of its alternatives, garnet isn’t the strongest or most durable type of blast media—it’s between six and 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Compared to aluminum oxide which is at 9, for example. Additionally, garnet may produce high amounts of dust in the workspace, making it messy or difficult to work in, or even leave embedded particles in the surface. 

What’s the best alternative to garnet? 

10X Engineered Materials has developed a line of superoxalloy blast abrasives that are clean, strong, and durable. The EpiX and KinetiX abrasives will remove chrome in one quick step, without damaging the underlying material. The surface will be virtually clean of embedded particles so that the next coating can adhere effectively. 

10X abrasives can also get the job faster and safer than garnet. Superoxalloy abrasives outperformed garnet in a head to head testing. Plus, they can be safer than mined abrasives like garnet. EpiX and KinetiX contain zero beryllium, free silica or heavy metals. It’s even reusable, and results in an extremely low dust work environment.

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.