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A Viable Alternative to Mineral Abrasive

Mineral abrasives such as glass bead and aluminum oxide have been traditionally used in the surface finishing industry. The general perception is that they offer acceptable cleaning at a low operating cost. Often dismissed is the potential of metallic alternatives that though seemingly higher in initial procurement cost, offer several differentiating advantages in terms of recyclability, consistency of finish, repeatable results and ultimately resulting in overall, reduced operating costs. 

Product Number: 51220-263-SG
Author: Joe McGreal
Publication Date: 2020
Industry: Coatings
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Mineral abrasives such as glass bead and aluminum oxide have been traditionally used in the surface finishing industry. The general perception is that they offer acceptable cleaning at a low operating cost. Often dismissed is the potential of metallic alternatives that though seemingly higher in initial procurement cost, offer several differentiating advantages in terms of recyclability, consistency of finish, repeatable results and ultimately resulting in overall, reduced operating costs. This case study compares the use of stainless steel grit in a grit blast installation that in the past used aluminum oxide. Having achieved success at this installation in terms of lower operating costs and increasing productivity, the case study extends to characterize material behavior over multiple cycles in a lab environment, in terms of surface roughness and transmitted energy.

Mineral abrasives such as glass bead and aluminum oxide have been traditionally used in the surface finishing industry. The general perception is that they offer acceptable cleaning at a low operating cost. Often dismissed is the potential of metallic alternatives that though seemingly higher in initial procurement cost, offer several differentiating advantages in terms of recyclability, consistency of finish, repeatable results and ultimately resulting in overall, reduced operating costs. This case study compares the use of stainless steel grit in a grit blast installation that in the past used aluminum oxide. Having achieved success at this installation in terms of lower operating costs and increasing productivity, the case study extends to characterize material behavior over multiple cycles in a lab environment, in terms of surface roughness and transmitted energy.

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