The right abrasive for blasting wheels

Is garnet abrasive the right media for wheels?

There are many reasons you may want to sandblast your wheels. Some of you may want to remove the factory paint or primer. Perhaps you wish to remove corrosion or grime. Maybe you are going to re-paint or powder coat the wheels. You may even want to get down to the plain metal surface and polish up the wheels. But how do you go about sandblasting your wheels and what abrasive blasting material do you use? There are almost an unlimited number of choices including glass beads, walnut shells, garnet and more. At 10X Engineered Materials we want to help you make the right choice for your next project.

Wheel blasting methodology

At 10X we take a lot of time researching various projects whether large or small and we realize that sandblasting wheels is something that is important to hobbyists and professionals alike, so we aim to give the best advice possible.

The traditional method for blasting aluminum surfaces is to dry blast, and then polish the surface. After this, the surface can be painted or coated. This works for larger surfaces like an automobile, or a boat hull. Outdoor blasting is generally done with a pressure pot sandblaster. Jobs just like these are part of the reason that we offer our full line of 10X superoxalloy abrasives.

Wet Blasting Aluminum vs Dry Blasting Aluminum: One of the biggest advantages of wet blasting aluminum wheels and surfaces is that the preparation time is much less than with dry blasting. On the flip side, one of the biggest disadvantages with wet blasting is that you’ll have to coat the blasted surface more quickly than with dry blasting. Wet blasting eliminates a lot of the embedded media particles that you find with dry blasting, but painting or coating should be done quickly to eliminate any chances of oxidation. Dry blasting with dry materials such as garnet or 10X superoxalloy abrasives will help you achieve a smooth, ready-to-refinish surface in a reduced amount of time.

Wheel blasting project cost: Whether you’re a hobbyist, DIY’er or a professional finisher, the EpiX and KinetiX lines of superoxalloy abrasive blast media from 10X Engineered materials can provide you with significant savings on the cost of your next wheel blasting project. 10X superoxalloy abrasives are less dense than other abrasives like garnet, aluminum oxide, staurolite or silicon carbide allowing you to use a smaller amount of abrasive on your refinishing project which allows you to lower your overall budget and project completion time.

Choosing the Right Blast Media If you are blasting aluminum surfaces, some top choices for abrasive media are glass beads, sodium bicarbonate, garnet or walnut shells. Steel shot or steel grit should be avoided as steel is harder than aluminum, and can create a surface profile, which will, in time lead to corrosion.

If you are stripping aluminum wheels, for example, to add paint or powder coating, aluminum oxide, EpiX and KinetiX lines of superoxalloy abrasives or crushed glass are all great choices. These will leave a good smooth profile, which will allow the new coating to grip to the aluminum substrate.

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.