If you are using a shot blaster to remove a coating, create a deeper surface profile or create a non-slip texture, there are three key factors that affect your performance:

  • Travel speed: how fast or slowly you’re moving forward with the blaster;
  • How much shot is released: If you have the valve wide open to release more shot at once, you’re going to get a more textured profile;
  • Shot size: All other things being equal, the larger the steel shot abrasive, the more aggressively textured your concrete will be.

To help you choose the best size shot for your next project, we’re taking a closer look at how the size of the media plays into the performance and what you can do to get the outcome you want.

Determining Your Goals

A shot blaster is typically used to either remove a coating, rust, adhesive, or some other material from concrete or metal, or to achieve a specific profile texture. The Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) is the rating system used to grade how smooth or rough a texture is by measuring the distance between the lowest part of the “valleys” and the highest part of the “peaks” on the concrete. The system goes from one to nine with one being a smoother surface while nine is heavily textured with deep valleys and higher peaks.

Shot blasting, depending on the size, speed, and amount you’re using, can typically allow you to achieve between a CSP of three to eight. Smaller shot is ideal for interior spaces where you’re looking to get a smoother finish, whereas loading dock areas, and places where you need heavy texture, you’d want to use larger media to get the more aggresive texture.

Types of Shot

Steel shot abrasive varies drastically in size, ranging from ultra fine to extra large. Let’s take a look at the common sizes of steel abrasive and what they’re used for:

  • S780 – Very large, used to remove thick coatings or to create a heavy texture (CSP 7/8)
  • S550 – Large shot that can quickly chip through a thick coating of paint or rust and or leave a heavy texture on concrete (CSP 6-8)
  • S460 – Remove glue, adhesive or thicker epoxy coatings
  • S390 – Remove thin coating, blast away ground in dirt and oil from concrete and create a medium CSP (4-5)
  • S330 – Fine shot to remove a urethane coating or create a slightly rough texture for applying a fresh coating of thin sealer.
  • S270 – Very fine shot to create a light surface profile.
  • S230 – Ultra fine media that can smooth out an interior surface without creating a polished look.

Get the Steel Shot Abrasive You Need

At Buy Manufacturers Direct, we have the shot blaster accessories you need to get the best performance from your shot blaster. From steel shot to heavy duty magnets that make cleaning up quick and easy, we are your partner in surface preparation. Reach out to us today at  (815) 324-8071 or by filling out our contact form to get started!