Can sandblasting remove rust?

Sandblasting is a common and effective cleaning method often used to remove rust and other corrosion from metal. With this method, an air compressor is used to propel blast abrasive grains through a nozzle at high velocity onto your project surface. The rust is then broken down and removed. 

While this is certainly an effective way of removing rust, there are some problems with using sand as a form of abrasive blast media. For example, sand can contain high amounts of silica, which can cause health issues when breathed in, such as lung inflammation and silicosis – which can be fatal.

This danger has led to the increased use of substitutes for sand, such as garnet, but those methods are still not quite ideal.

Using these materials to remove rust can also be harmful to the underlying material and may leave embedded particles on the surface, which may then trigger a rust bloom. They also result in high dust levels which can be difficult to clean up from a workspace. 

What’s the best blast abrasive alternative to sand?

The EpiX and KinetiX line of superoxalloy blast abrasive from 10X Engineered Materials is a clean abrasive that will not only get rid of the rust, but also leave a clean substrate, free of embedded particles which may result in rust bloom. This superoxalloy abrasive is an engineered alloy of oxide minerals that creates non-crystalline particles that resist breakage under high-speed mechanical impact. 

Superoxalloy abrasives also remove heavy rust at speeds from 30 to 60 percent faster than other abrasives, are reusable, and result in a cleaner workspace with less dust. According to blasters, it works better than garnet, slags, steel grit, steel shot, staurolite, crushed glass and glass beads when used to remove rust from a surface. 

Additionally, superoxalloy abrasives are safer than alternatives with no free silica, no heavy metals, no crystalline structures, and no beryllium.

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.