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How to Improve your Sandblasting Speed

With Sandblasting there are a few pertinent factors that contribute to the speed at which you can effectively achieve the surface profile you desire. We will discuss these factors and how they contribute to your overall sandblasting speed.

  1. Nozzle size – The size of the nozzle orifice dictates the amount of media that is released from the nozzle. With a small nozzle less media is blasted at the target in a given time, while a larger nozzle allows for more media to be blasted at a given time helping to increase production. However, there is a point where increasing nozzle size begins to no longer have an increase in production. Typically if production is your goal it is best to try different nozzle sizes until you find the one that production appears no different than the previous one and then utilize the previous nozzle, this will be the nozzle that any increase in size will not improve production further.
  2. Media type – Finer media allows for greater production than large media.  However large media is able to provide deeper surface profiles. If you need a deep surface profile a large body media may be necessary at the expense of production. Another factor that contributes to your production ability is the media’s hardness and shape. A hard media will cut more faster allowing for greater production, an angular media will also allow for more production. To learn more about media types feel free to check out the post on sandblast media How to choose a Sandblast Media.
  3. Abrasive supply control- A third variable that is important to consider is the ratio of abrasive to air. As a general rule of thumb a higher amount of abrasive in your air stream will provide increased production as long as the media is still moving at high speed. A lower amount of abrasive in the air stream will slow production down.
  4. Pressure of blasting – All things created equal having a higher blast pressure allows for increased production, which is why you often can triple production by adopting a pressure fed blast cabinet if you have been using a suction cabinet. One company found that a pressure drop of 1 psi resulted in production decrease of 1.5% (AB Williams Enterprises, 1991).  The important thing is that this was in relation to all other variables (media supply, nozzle size, ect being the same).
  5. Blast pattern – The pattern of your blast should match the target.  If it is a wide object a wide pattern is desirable. With a small sized object you would want a small blast stream. By properly controlling blast pattern you can increase production by not wasting media or not hitting your target.


A.B. Williams, Abrasive Blast Cleaning Handbook, 1st ed., updated 1991, A.B. Williams Enterprises.

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