In recent years, the term “media blasting” has become very popular, primarily due to television shows and magazine articles. But what does it really mean?
The term “media” refers to any abrasive blasting material. The term “media blasting” refers to forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive blasting material, under pressure, against a surface in order to clean it in some manner. Both of these terms are very generic, and can mean many different things. There is no single “media”. There are many different types of media, each with specific properties, and specific pros and cons, depending on the application.
Some popular types of “media” include soda blast media, aluminum oxide, glass bead, crushed glass, walnut shell, corn cob, black beauty (coal slag), silicon carbide, plastic bead, steel shot, and others. Using any of these medias through an abrasive blaster is “media blasting”.
The term “sandblasting” has also been used in a similar manner, to encompass blasting a wide variety of various medias. (The use of actual silica sand as a blasting media is highly discouraged, due to the risk of developing silicosis, a serious lung disease.)