Cyclone | What is Sandblasting Safety | What is a Abrasive Sandblaster Used For

Abrasive Blast Cabinet Articles and Information

What is a Sandblaster?

Presented by: Cyclone Manufacturing

Published by Cyclone Manufacturing

Modified On: July 30, 2018

cyclone model dws-6035 abrasive sandblasting cabinet

The name comes 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). Usually there is a metal box, or cabinet, that contains the sandblaster gun and parts. An air supply usually from an air compressor is used to provide the energy to propel the abrasive media out of the gun toward the parts. The concept itself is simple and it is known by many names:

  • Shot Blasting
  • Media Blasting
  • Bead Blasting

Never use sand in your abrasive blaster. The presence of silica in the sand has been proven to lead to harmful lung injury and death. Always use an abrasive free of silica and use appropriate protection and adhere to all manuals and above all else - common sense.

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

Siphon Feed Systems

A siphon feed 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.

Siphon feed blasting systems are sufficiently adequate for most users providing abrasive media is available and pressure is constant. Siphon feed blasting systems work well with almost any media except steel shot. This is a very heavy abrasive and Siphon Feed 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 siphon feed 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. We also offer a direct pressure blasting cabinet, our DP-38.

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 siphonunits.

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

Abrasive Sandblasting Safety

Presented by: Cyclone Manufacturing

Modified On: July 30, 2018

cyclone model bt-20 benchtop abrasive sandblasting cabinet

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.

What are Sandblasters Used For?

Presented by: Cyclone Manufacturing

Published by Cyclone Manufacturing

Modified On: July 30, 2018

cyclone model dp-38 direct pressure abrasive sandblasting cabinet

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.

What are the hazzards of blasting with sand?

Sandblasting is a familiar term, but is also an outdated term. The "sand" in the name is what was once used in blasting equipment. The abrasive nature of the sand was used in equipment to perform the work. IMPORTANT: It was found that silica, a mineral, was discovered in sand used by many to sandblast. You may see the terms sandblaster, sandblast cabinet, or sand blast cabinet on our site - but Cyclone absolutely DOES NOT RECOMMEND the use of any silica based product (sand) in any abrasive cabinet. Call us today: 269-782-9670 to talk about what abrasives can be used. We supply a wide range for almost any abrasive blast need.

Exposure to this mineral causes severe or fatal damage to lung tissue. DO NOT use sand in abrasive blast equipment. Some may argue it is safe - Cyclone does not endorse/recommend and has never endorsed or recommended sand. The risk is too high.

Abrasive Blasting - A Better Name

Better known as abrasive blasting, the process is also known by many other names. Some people refer to these blast cabinets as glass bead blasters or garnet blasters. You can see the confusion. We can help. Cyclone Manufacturing has been around a long time and we have experience in all areas and applications of abrasive blasting. Abrasive blast cabinets are known as bead blasting cabinets, abrasive blast cabinets and is often spelled in various ways: media blasting, sandblast, sand blast, abrasive blasting, the list goes on. However you refer to it, we can help you with an application that suits your purpose. Just remember, be careful, read the instructions on any equipment, and contact us if you have questions! Your safety is important to us, but your safety is ultimately up to you! There are various types of abrasive blasters, abrasive blast cabinets, pressure pot blaster, and stand-alone siphonsandblast guns.

Abrasive Blast Hazards | Sandblast Safety

Combining pressure and projectiles is inherently dangerous and users should always refer to their instruction manual and use all necessary safety measures. It is always up to the end user to understand the dangers and take responsibility when using any abrasive blaster.

The Cyclone Abrasive Blast Cabinet Difference

We manufacture and stand behind our media blasting equipment and supplies and want our customers to be happy. Be wary with cheaper units which are more prone to leaks and are unstable because of poor construction. Cyclone Manufacturing's media blast cabinets and dust collectors, are constructed from steel and welded and sealed. Lesser models succumb easier to leaking and expose the work environment to dust and debris.
Trust Cyclone with your project and you won't be disappointed. We are a company based in the USA, employ local families, and warranty our work.