What Is Shot Blasting?

What Is Shot Blasting?

Updated: December 22, 2023

Many industries use abrasives to clean surfaces such as floors and equipment, and shot blasting is one of many abrasive blasting methods used for surface cleaning.

shotblastingShot blasting uses high-velocity pellets or beads — made of steel, copper, aluminum or another substance — as its abrasive material. Shot blasting machines concentrate these beads in one area at extremely high speeds to clear materials such as rust, paints or other coatings. Typically, this blasting method is used for metals and concrete, and it’s preferred for its surface preparation ability and environmental friendliness.

How Does It Work?

Shot blasting — sometimes referred to as wheel blasting — uses a centrifugal wheel inside a large machine to clean surfaces. During this process, a motor creates enough kinetic force to shoot or push the pellets at your desired surface. This method is efficient and ideal for large surfaces. For centrifugal shot blasting, multiple people may use several machines to cover more ground, but one person could easily handle the job.

This method is efficient as the centrifugal wheel needs very little power to run and it’s easy to use. Plus, it’s an aggressive technique, so it does a thorough cleaning job for every surface. Other benefits of this method include:

  • No harsh chemicals
  • Quick and easy cleanup
  • Durable surface coating

Are There Different Kinds of Shot Blasting?

People often believe there are different kinds of shot blasting, but this method exclusively uses the centrifugal wheel to create force. It’s common for people to use shot blasting and sandblasting interchangeably, even though they are different abrasion techniques.

Sandblasting uses compressed air instead of a centrifugal turbine, while shot blasting will always use a centrifugal wheel regardless of the blasting medium. During sandblasting, the sand or other abrasive material shoots through a tube by the force of compressed air, allowing the user to control the blast’s direction. This method is ideal for its flexibility and area focus, so it’s preferred for cleaning smaller areas. The air compression method works well for finishing weldments and steel frames, but compressed air also reduces efficiency and increases the cost compared to shot blasting.

Both techniques have a place in abrasion operations, but they’re definitively different. The main variety in shot blasting comes from the abrasion material. Steel beads are standard, but many types of metals work well. Beyond metal, shot blasting can use substances such as:

glass beads

Get in Touch With Finishing Systems for Abrasion Needs

Shot blasting can be an excellent abrasion technique for your industry or operation. It’s easy to do and effective while staying safe for those who use it. At Finishing Systems, we specialize in various abrasives as well as equipment and parts. Our shop also offers abrasion services if you have surfaces in need of cleaning, polishing or etching. If you’re interested in our products or services, contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

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