3.3 Metallic abrasives

In case of stationary blasting metallic abrasives like steel shot are very important because they can be processed and the operational costs can be therefore kept at a low level. The abrasive is made by granulating molten metal with a water or vapour jet. Metallic abrasives can also be supplied at different levels of hardness. Hard cast iron shows the biggest hardness and abrasivity, but it is also the brashest abrasive with a respectively short durability.

Metallic abrasive can be used about 100 up to 200 times at compressed-air blasting before it will decompose into particulate matter. The fact that the kinetic energy is focussed on one point during the impact leads to high blasting performances. The application of ball-shaped abrasive is necessary when used in shot-blasting wheels because of high degree of wear and tear.

Wire cuts can also be used as an alternative to steel shot and white cast iron granular material. This is cut wire having a cylindrical grain shape. Steel wire has got a very long durability. But as it is considerably more expensive and it does not round off as quickly as cast steel it has not yet gained acceptance. The market share amounts to about 15%.