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July 23 - July 29, 2012

What are the pros and cons of specifying sieve sizes for abrasives?


Selected Answers

From Scott Trom of Barton International on July 27, 2012:
The con is that not all abrasives suppliers use the same nest/stack of screens; consequently, there is no “standard” grading in the industry. Unless you’re a very significant user, it’s not likely you’ll get an abrasive supplier to re-configure screens for your order. The “work-around” for this situation is that if you specify a “range” of material retained on each screen, you’ll likely be more successful procuring an abrasive that meets your requirements for the given application.  The pro is, if you’ve used a certain particle size distribution in the past on a given application, specifying a range of retained material for each screen will help assure you get an abrasive that should provide the same performance you’ve experienced in the past. Keep in mind, however, different types of abrasives (say garnet vs. coal slag) will not offer equivalent performance across grade or even across source(s) or suppliers necessarily. For example, because garnet is harder and more dense than slags and staurolites, it imparts more “energy” to the work piece and therefore allows for the use of finer particle sizes which cut coatings, and scour rust, mill scale and pitted surfaces faster and can be metered down further, which reduces nuisance dust and overall abrasive consumption. Another pro is that screen size specifications go a long way toward eliminating rogue peaks and valleys in profile, which can contribute to premature coating failure. The more consistent the actual particle size distribution (PSD), the more consistent the finished surface.

From jonathan arguelles of megapaint and coating corp. on August 1, 2012:
     The pros are that you could attain desired anchor profile provided with standard blasting pressure. The cons are monetary issues, i.e., abrasives can't be recycled as it decreases its diameter when used. There also may be delays due to availability on site of required sieve sizes.

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