The operator of the sand blasting machine is ready to go.

The Difference Between Sand Blasting And Shot Abrasion

Sand blasting is the process of propelling abrasive material using compressed air onto a surface. It is commonly used in order to smooth rough surfaces in preparation for coating effectively. It is generally inexpensive and efficiently cleans surfaces better and faster than traditional techniques. It can also be used to remove rust on metal surfaces. It can also be used to clean the surface of grease, dirt and oil.

Sand blasting is a technique which has been used for many years now, and is an effective pre-finishing technique.

It has evolved from an older practice which was much more crude. This involved spraying uncontained free-spraying streams of abrasive material, which often created clouds of dust which are harmful, to a sophisticated practice involving high-tech equipment which enhance the precision and spraying of the abrasion stream. Sand blasting in Sydney commonly uses different abrasion media which is much more user-friendly.


Regardless of its changes, sand blasting is the most commonly preferred and subsequently used technique for abrasive cleaning. It commonly suits surfaces which are made from soft and sensitive materials, in preparation for its finishes.

Sand blasting is considered economical in terms of purchasing, as well as being easy to operate and can create very high-quality results.

Shot abrasion refers to propelling abrasive material using mechanical or centrifugal force. Sand blasting and shot abrasion have two different types of propulsion through its pressurization system.

This system uses a spinning wheel to propel the abrasive material against a surface.

Shot abrasion is generally considered more aggressive than sand blasting, and is used for larger projects that are more difficult to prepare. These projects usually have surfaces that need more force to clean and prepare the surface.

Due to its aggressive nature, shot abrasion requires a much more strict form of containment. If the process isn’t contained properly, it can cause serious issues in the form of collateral damage.

This form of treatment will usually be found in large scale operations.

These operations would involve situations such as car frames are being shot with abrasive material, in order for them to be recycled.


So is sand blasting or shot abrasion better?

Worker makes sand blasting on metal detail

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, and generally it depends on the situation.

Sand blasting is usually a less invasive, safer and smoother process. However, this is dependent on the air pressure being used and the abrasive material chosen to do the task.

This technique is also much less aggressive than shot abrasion, and as a result, is much more forgiving. Because of this, it is used for very sensitive surfaces and will cause less damage in the event of an accident.

Shot abrasion is commonly used when a situation arises that requires deep penetrating abrasion on denser surfaces and materials.


In cases where sand blasting would be too weak for the job, shot abrasion would be used to effectively prepare heavy and thick surfaces such as car frames, truck hubs and other metal hulls.

This technique suits well with heavy-duty materials such as steel grit or steel shot. These materials are good at cleaning a surface with rust or caked-on pollution.

The difference between the two methods is in the materials used, the way the material is propelled and in which situations they would be used in.

Sand blasting lends itself to situations that involve more delicate surfaces in preparation for finishes, and uses compressed air as its propulsion method.

Shot abrasion is used for heavy-duty cleaning and works well for tougher cleaning surfaces such as metal frames.

Both have their place in certain differing situations.