Abrasive Blast Cabinet Articles and Information

The Basics of Bead Blasting

Published by Cyclone Manufacturing

The namecomes from the fact that "sand", just like sandpaper, is an excellent abrasive. Forcing an abrasive out a blast nozzle produces a high energy stream of virtual sandpaper at a surface which produces a variety of effects on the surface depending upon many factors (see below). The concept itself is simple and it is known by many names:

  • Shot Blasting
  • Media Blasting
  • Bead Blasting

No matter what you call it it comes in two basic varieties:

Suction Fed Systems

A suction fed blasting system uses something known as the "venturi effect/principle" to draw abrasive media up a tube and out the blast nozzle. High pressure flow from an air compressor passes through a constricted section of the blast gun and creates a difference in pressure where the media tube connects. It is this difference that draws the media up through the blast gun and out the blast nozzle.

Suction fed blasting systems are sufficiently adequate for most users providing abrasive media is available and pressure is constant. Suction blasting systems work well with almost any media except steel shot. This is a very heavy abrasive and suction fed systems do not provide sufficient "draw" to pull the media up from the cabinet hopper and out the blast gun.

Cyclone provides a complete line of suction fed bead blast systems to economically suit any size project. Click here to browse our lineup!

Direct Pressure Systems

These systems utilize a pressure vessel, or a "pot". Don't settle for any pressure vessel that does not carry an ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) approval. Abrasive media is poured into the pot and then the pot is pressurized. The user then opens a valve and the pressure flows out of the pot carrying the abrasive with it. Pressure pots can be connected to a cabinet or they can be stand alone units like our PT-100 and PT-100-SK.

Direct pressure units can reside on a blast cabinet or as with our units roll on heavy-duty wheels. Direct pressure units provide sufficient energy to push any type of abrasive, at a lower pressure than siphon fed units.

Cyclone provides an economical line of direct pressure blast systems to economically suit any size project. Click here to browse our line up!

Media Blast Cabinet Safety Considerations

Published by Cyclone Manufacturing

It was discovered decades ago, that silica in sand can be released during the blasting process and pose grave risks to the user. Cyclone has never and will never encourage or recommend the use of sand containing silica. We carry a full line of blast abrasives that are not known to contain harmful silica and work much better than sand. What you choose depends on what you want to blast and what finish you are trying to achieve.

Some other safety factors when bead blasting

  • Blast cabinet lids should have safety valves to stop the flow of air to prevent injury.
  • Blast cabinet windows should provide some protection against debris striking the glass during blasting.
  • Proper gloves should be installed in the cabinet at all times.

Cyclone Manufacturing bead blast cabinets utilize safety valves on the lids, come with safety glass and Mylar sheets for added protection, and come with unlined rubber gloves. It is always your responsibility to ensure a safe blasting experience and we are here to help answer any questions you may have. Contact us today if you need anything or have questions.

How Abrasives Impact a Surface

Published by Cyclone Manufacturing

Deburring Parts

Imagine drilling or cutting a piece of metal, or any material. Those little pieces that end up sticking to your work, on the cut edge, are burrs. Abrasive blasting easily removes these burrs from a work piece without doing damage to the surface of the piece.

Paint Removal

Depending upon the material, age of paint, and desired residual surface, a media bead blast cabinet can be used to remove paint from material. As with sandpaper rubbing against the surface, the abrasive is shot toward the material and removes the paint from the material. Care must be taken, however, not to overly blast the piece or undesired damage could occur.

Stone Engraving

Gravestone engraving is a popular use for media blasting. Although stone is hard, exposure to a media blast stream will allow the user to carve into the stone leaving behind a beautiful result.

Glass Engraving

The growing wine and craft beer market is an excellent opportunity to present the craft in an engraved glass vessel. Some will lasers or acid wash to engrave glass, nothing replaces the ultra-crisp edges that bead blasting can produce.

Surface Preparation

Sometimes applying paint, adhesive, or other compounds requires a properly prepped surface. In some cases, a rough surface is best to improve the application. Abrasives bounding off the surface from a bead blasting system can produce a magnificent surface on which to apply products/chemicals.


In many industries that "mold" plastics into shapes, the residual material that is in excess of the produced parts can be easily removed using a blast system. A gentle application of an abrasive blast cabinet toward the product flashing can quickly and easily remove the material without damaging the part.


During abrasive blast cabinet peening, the abrasive leaves the blast nozzle, impacts the part, and mostly strengthens the part. The type of abrasive used to perform this action will greatly determine if you end up peening the piece or deburring the piece.

Weld Splatter Removal

While welding, it is natural for "sparks to fly" and when they land on a part, they leave behind small pieces. This "splatter" can be removed with an abrasive blast cabinet/system without damaging the weld or the work piece.