A Brief Intro to Steel Abrasives

Steel abrasives are a type of media used in blasting equipment. They are available in two forms: shot and grit. Steel shot consists of spherically shaped particles, while sheet grit consists of irregularly shaped particles. They can be used to remove unwanted materials (e.g., rust, paint, and scale) from the surface of a workpiece, to produce a certain texture on the surface of a workpiece, and/or work harden the surface of the workpiece.

Below, we highlight the advantages of using steel abrasives and the typical applications in which they are used.

Advantages of Steel Abrasives

There are many advantages to using steel abrasives for surface preparation. For example:


  • It is inexpensive. Abrasive media is available at a relatively low price point, which makes abrasive blasting a cost-effective surface preparation method.
  • It is eco-friendly. Abrasive media can be reused over and over, making abrasive blasting more eco-friendly compared to other surface preparation methods.
  • It is efficient. Abrasive blasting removes unwanted materials from surfaces at faster speeds than traditional methods.

Steel shot abrasives are often used due to its:

  • Effectiveness at removing surface contamination, which produces a completely smooth and clean surface
  • Durability and recyclability, which allows it to be used and reused across multiple operations
  • Versatility, which enables it to be utilized by wheel blast systems and air-powered blasting machines

Common Applications of Steel Abrasives

Many industrial operations rely on steel abrasives, such as:

  • Surface preparation. Steel abrasives are used to prepare materials for subsequent operations, such as painting or coating.
  • Cleaning. Steel shot and grit are used to remove unwanted materials, such as rust and paint, from metal surfaces. Typical components that undergo this process include cylinder heads, motor blocks, and railways coaches.
  • Stone cutting. Steel grit abrasive is integrated into multi-blade frames to cut large blocks of hard stone materials into smaller pieces.
  • Shot peening. Steel shot is used to repeatedly strike the surface of the workpiece. The impact of the shot against the workpiece causes deformation and improves the durability of the surface.

Some of the industries that regularly perform these operations include:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Foundry
  • Mining
  • Office Machines
  • Petrochemical
  • Shipyards

Surface Preparation Solutions From Dawson-Macdonald Co., Inc.

Steel abrasives play a vital role in a wide range of industries, from aerospace and automotive to mining and marine. They are used in a variety of manufacturing operations, including surface preparation, surface cleaning, stone cutting, and shot peening, to improve the quality of parts and products to ensure they are ready for the next manufacturing step or use.

To learn more about these materials, ask the experts at Dawson-Macdonald. As the oldest and largest surface preparation equipment distributor in the northeast, we have the knowledge to answer virtually any question you may have about blasting media and machines.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a reliable supplier of steel grit and shot, we’ve got you covered. We offer a broad selection of abrasives to suit different customer needs. Request a quote for specific product and pricing details.

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