Aluminum Oxide: Properties and Benefits


Aluminum Oxide: Properties and Benefits

December 20, 2023

Many operations turn to aluminum oxide for various applications, from surface preparation to wear resistance and many applications in between. Aluminum oxide is regarded as a staple in the industry. While other materials are available for these applications, aluminum oxide blasting media offers several properties that make it ideal for these surface treatments.

Understanding aluminum oxide’s characteristics can help you decide when it’s the right abrasive for your applications.

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Aluminum Oxide Properties

There are many types of aluminum oxide, but brown-fused aluminum oxide is the standard. This media is made by fusing bauxite in an arc furnace. This type of aluminum oxide is often used on materials like wood, glass and metal, thanks to its aggressive nature. It has high hardness, toughness and an angular shape.

Aluminum oxide is available in various grains, like sandpaper. This blasting agent works for different applications, and you can keep using it until it begins to break down. How long aluminum oxide lasts will vary between manufacturers and the applications, and it is recyclable for multiple uses.

This material also offers strength and durability. Utilize it on a variety of different metals, like steel, stainless steel and titanium, as well as other items. Aluminum oxide has a great shelf life, too, so if you buy it in bulk and don’t use it all right away, it will be ready when you need it.

Aluminum oxide comes at a lower cost than other products like it. It suits any industrial budget so you can finish any project.

Use this blasting media in wet or dry applications. Aluminum oxide can help remove impurities, scale and rust from project surfaces. It’s also suitable for etching and for preparing surfaces to be painted or coated, as it helps with adhesion.

The material comes in three colors — pink, white and brown — which all have unique characteristics with aluminum oxide’s general properties. For example, brown aluminum oxide has the highest hardness of the three.

The Benefits of Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide blasting media offers unique benefits that make it stand out from other materials. Those advantages include:

  • Low-iron content: Aluminum oxide has low iron content, which prevents the abrasive from leaving rust on a part’s surface. Rust deposits lead to issues in future processes, like pitting or increased repair costs, making aluminum oxide a safe choice for stripping and finishing.
  • Recyclability: When using aluminum oxide in the blasting process, it’s durable enough to withstand multiple passes. Reclaiming this material for multiple uses allows you to maximize your investment and makes aluminum oxide highly cost-effective. Aluminum oxide can also be recycled back to some manufacturers for repurposing, which reduces disposal costs and environmental impact.
  • High toughness: Aluminum oxide has higher toughness than most other abrasives, especially brown varieties. This toughness leads to less particle shatter and results in lower dust levels. While personal protective equipment (PPE) is often required for abrasive blasting, aluminum oxide’s low dust production makes it optional.
  • Varying grit sizes: This blasting media offers project versatility with different grit sizes. Choose larger grits to create a consistent surface. Finer grits are suitable for detailed surface work, like removing irregularities and reaching into grooves and cracks. You can fine-tune your surface finish with hundreds of grit size and grain shape combinations.

Get in Touch With Finishing Systems for Aluminum Oxide Blasting

With the many beneficial properties of aluminum oxide, it is an excellent abrasive to add to your workflow. At Finishing Systems, we carry aluminum oxide abrasive in a range of grit sizes to work for your applications. We also offer various packaging options to suit your shipping and inventory demands.

Our team is happy to help you select the right grit size and packaging for your needs. Get in touch with us to discuss aluminum oxide and your applications.

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