The cost of sandblasting with garnet abrasive

When it comes to rust and effectively eliminating it while preparing a surface for paint or sealant, using the correct abrasive material will have a large impact on your final results, but how expensive of a process can this be? Some of the most popular types of abrasive blast media that are used today are glass beads, garnet and superoxalloy blast abrasives.

All of these abrasives offer a true number of advantages over other mediums like corn cob or walnut shells, but they are distinctly different from one another. 

Glass Bead Media

Glass blasting beads are growing in popularity for use with industrial sandblasting equipment for a number of reasons today. Glass bead media is an option that can be used for steel, stone, wood, fiberglass, aluminum and concrete.

It is a media that is fairly aggressive and leaves behind less than 2% embedment and no dust. Crushed glass media used for blasting can also be cost effective, usually made from recycled bottles, and can generally be reused several times before replacing.

Glass beads are also silica free and inert, so they are environmentally friendly and will not leave any residue that is unwanted in your substrate. It is rated around a 6 on the Mohs Hardness scale, making it hard enough to cut through rust and leave an anchor surface that is perfect for coating applications.

Glass beads are daily easy to find from suppliers and can be a less expensive alternative to other blast media like garnet. 

Garnet Blasting Media

Blasting with garnet is another alternative that is more environmentally-friendly than coal slag and other blasting media. Garnet comes in a variety of sizes and is made from crushed Almandite or Andradite deposits. It can either come with rough edges or can be tumbled for more edges that are rounded. It rates a 7 to 8 on the Mohs scale.

Similar to glass, it is a low-dust option that is silica-free and  is safe for use around water. It is perfect for aluminum and fiberglass, enclosed tanks, dry docks and more.

Depending on the garnet blast media sizes being used, it can leave behind a profile anywhere from 1 to 4 mils. It is also recyclable and, with each use, the beads become more rounded which makes garnet for waterjet cutting another option that is cost-friendly.

Garnet sand abrasive can be used to prepare for industrial powder coating or painting without a problem. Many users report that garnet saves them a ton of time as well since it cuts deeper and more precisely than other media choices that are common. 

Garnet blasting can be a little more expensive than glass media therefore driving the cost of your project up significantly. 


An engineered alloy of oxide minerals created through highly controlled formulation and tempering (high heat + rapid cooling). The process creates non-crystalline (amorphous) particles that resist breakage under stress of high-speed mechanical impact.

Superoxalloy abrasives resist breakage and can be reused many times.

Unlike crystalline particles (like those in slags, garnet and aluminum oxide), amorphous particles do not have any fracture planes. Amorphous particles are equally strong in all directions and resist breakage up to 120 PSI or higher.

Superoxalloy abrasives create a low-dust work environment. The clear view helps operators deliver higher-quality results in less time.

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.