Advantages of Shot Blasting in Manufacturing Processes

Shot blasting has become among the more effective and possibly the most cost-effective method used for preparing surfaces before operations that include rubberizing, enameling, glass coating, electroplating, welding, and galvanizing. In this article, we describe shot blasting and its advantages briefly.

What is Shot Blasting?

Shot Blasting in Processes
Shot Blasting in Processes

Shotblasting is a technique used to clean, strengthen (peen), or polish metal. Shot blasting entails the forceful direction of abrasive particles against the surfaces of metal parts to eliminate contaminants or condition the surface for subsequent finishing.

Shot blasting is beneficial for several industries, which include the construction, shipbuilding, steel, aerospace, and forging industries since it offers a uniformly and consistent rough, matt, or fine surface, which will depend on the tools and techniques used along with the surface type required.

There are two technologies used in manufacturing:

  1. Mechanical Blasting (Wheelblasting), in which abrasive is propelled by means of a power-driven rapid rotating bladed wheel. Mechanical Blasting is the most widely used method in engineering.
  2. Air Blasting, in which the abrasive is propelled through a nozzle by compressed air. Air blasting is mainly carried out in cabinet machines which can be manual, semi-automatic, or completely automated.

The Advantages of Shot Blasting on Metal

The Advantages of Shot Blasting on Metal
The Advantages of Shot Blasting on Metal, Image Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Now that you know shot blasting, we would like to tell you more about shot blasting benefits in addition to other methods frequently used to condition surfaces. We will also tell you more about the shot types that are commonly used and indicate the scenarios whereby these applications work best.

Here are the primary advantages linked to using shot blasting for surface preparation and conditioning:

  • Shot blasting does away with using harsh and non-eco-friendly chemicals.
  • Shot blasting offers improved production rates, more choices when it comes to abrasives, and improved accuracy for blast patterns.
  • The completed surface is free from dust, scales, and chemical deposits. Shot blasting will not remove the virgin metal in the process of removing scales.
  • Shot blasting promotes permanent bond formations between a shot-blasted surface and protective coatings such as epoxy, paint, or zinc. It can also assist with detecting surface defects or faults.
  • Shot blasting enhances the durability and longevity of surface protective coats as they adhere a lot better to shot blasted scale-free and clean surfaces.

These are only a few of the reasons why many industries in manufacturing sectors prefer shot blasting methods to accommodate their surface-preparation needs. Manufacturing sectors can use Shot Blasting Services to fine-tune and condition their products prior to further processing.

Shot Blasting: Shot Types Used

While shot blasting mainly involves blasting a surface with shots or small pellets made from steel, there are other shot-blast materials frequently used. Here is a list of other shots that are commonly used:

#1 Sheet Shots

With this method, steel balls with a diameter of 1 to 6mm will be fired at high speeds against a surface that requires preparation. The ball size will determine the type of finished achieved. The small shots will be used for surfaces that are more polished and refined, while larger shots achieve rougher finishes.

#2 Chilled Iron Grit

These are abrasive, angular materials used for blast cleanings such as removing paint and oxides from carbon steel and ferrous castings. This method is somewhat aggressive which means it should not be used on softer metals such as aluminum.

#3 Steel Grit

Steel grit blasting is dedicated to the tasks that require aggressive cleaning. It is commonly used to remove one or more contaminants from either metal or steel.


Shot Blasting is used for surface protection and also prior-preparation of surfaces prior to further processing, such as welding, coloring, and so on. The final result of a cleaned surface depends on several factors: the mass of the abrasive particle, particle speed, the impactor angle of the particle, the particle shape, density, and coverage of the strokes kg/m2.

Aimal Khan is the founder & CEO of Engineering Passion. He is an engineer and has obtained his bachelor's degree in energy engineering from Kandahar University.