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The Best Sandblast Medias for Removing Powder Coating

As any powder coater can attest it can be a real pain to remove powder coating whether, from a job that you had an error in making or stripping an existing powder coated product to be recoated regardless of why you are removing powder coating, it is usually challenging work because powder tends to adhere very well and be thick. While the thick coats and adhesion of powder coating can be problematic, if you plan to sandblast your powder coating off you can drastically reduce the difficulty of removing it by choosing a blast media that is well suited for removing powder coating. Will cover a few of the best blast medias for removing powder coating so you can be more efficient in removing powder coating.

General Factors that Determine a Sandlblast Media’s Efficiency at Removing Contaminant (Including powder coating)

When it comes to blast media there are a variety of characteristics that determine how efficient a blast media will perform and the result you will typically achieve when it comes to the surface profile. While we have a thorough guide on choosing a sandblast media here, for the sake of this article will provide the highlights. First is the hardness of the media which is measured in mohs (harder will remove powder coating faster), second is the shape of the media (angular media will remove powder faster than most other types of blast media), third is the grit size. Fine grit medias will typically not leave as deep of a profile which in general you do not aim for a deep profile for powder coating.

The Best Sandblast Medias for Removing Powder Coating

Aluminum Oxide – Aluminum oxide is a great blast media for powder coating removal. It can often be one of the fastest medias to remove powder coating but is an expensive media to purchase which makes it most useful in a blast room where it can be recovered. Aluminum oxide works well with stainless steel which can make it a great option for removing powder coated stainless steel. Compared to steel grit though, aluminum oxide will not recycle as many times.

Steel Grit

Steel grit is one of the lowest cost blast medias when used in a blast recovery system as it breaks down less than about any other blast media allowing 60 – 100 uses before needing to be replaced. Steel grit will work about as fast as aluminum oxide for powder coating removal which between its speed and cost makes it a great option.

 Crushed Glass

While the first two blast medias are primarily designed for blast media recovery systems or blast cabinets, if you will not recover your blast media you may consider crushed glass. A fine to medium crushed glass will remove powder coating rapidly. In addition, crushed glass blast media will tend to not hit the surface as aggressively leaving a slightly smoother finish to the product surface.


Another blast media that can be used either in a recoverable way or expendable is garnet. Garnet tends to be fast and efficient but can be harder to get compared to crushed glass media depending on where you are located.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately the blast media you select will have a big impact on how fast you can remove powder coating. If you will be recovering your blast media aluminum oxide will be fastest while steel grit will be fast but a bit more cost effective.  If you will not be recovering the blast media then the crushed glass is a great blast media for removing powder coating.

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