Aluminum Oxide and When to Use It


Aluminum Oxide and When to Use It

Updated: December 20, 2023

All abrasives have unique qualities that make them ideal for some applications and less suitable for others. Aluminum oxide is a widely used abrasive for many use cases. Knowing when to use it can empower your operation to maximize your investments.

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When to Use Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide is a durable, cost-effective and versatile abrasive that is suitable for many applications. This abrasive is ideal for wet and dry abrasive blasting for surface preparation and paint stripping. Aluminum oxide is also the preferred abrasive for imparting anchor patterns and deep etching for coating and paint adhesion.

Aluminum oxide’s strength also makes it an excellent abrasive for stripping and removing rust, mill scale, failing paint and other contaminants on a substrate’s surface. While these are the common applications for aluminum oxide, it can also be used for:

  • Lapping
  • Non-skid surfaces
  • Refractory coatings
  • Decorative applications

As a durable and hardwearing abrasive, aluminum oxide offers an impressively long cutting life. Unlike other abrasives, aluminum oxide can be used repeatedly without losing efficacy. This long-lasting wear makes the abrasive highly cost-effective and is ideal for operations working with tight budgets.

What to Consider When Choosing Aluminum Oxide

While aluminum oxide applications are wide-reaching, there are factors to consider to choose the right aluminum oxide abrasive for your goals.


Aluminum oxide comes in three colors — white, pink and brown — and each color has a set of qualities that are better for some applications than others. White and pink work best for creating a smoother finish. White works best for lacquers and woods for its precision performance and lower heat generation. Pink is ideal for sharpening, grinding and soft wood.

Brown has a stronger grain that takes longer to deteriorate than its pink and white counterparts. This higher durability makes it better suited to hard materials.

Grit Size

While the aluminum oxide color affects the abrasive’s capabilities, you’ll also want to consider grit size. A finer grit size will be more effective for reaching grooves, cracks and surface irregularities. Larger grits are better for consistent surfaces or less detailed surface work.

Get in Touch With Finishing Systems for Aluminum Oxide Blasting

Finishing Systems carries aluminum oxide abrasive for your industrial applications. We carry this abrasive in many grit sizes to help you create your ideal finish or strip unwanted surface contaminants. Contact our team to learn more about this product and select the right size for your applications.

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