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Abrasive Grits

The process of sandblasting was developed by Benjamin Tilghman at the twilight of the nineteenth century. In 1870, Tilghman produced a machine meant to easily strip away rust and paint from some surfaces.

The industrial world soon made this technique indispensible in 1893, using it to clean large industrial surfaces. Thomas Pangborn expanded on Tilghman’s ideas in 1904 to create a new machine that used compressed air, which it combined with an abrasive material like sand, in order to clean metal surfaces for further use.

This machine known now as the sandblasting machine has always been one that utilises a quantity of abrasive materials to clean the surface at hand. Characteristically these machines use these particles in combination with an air compressor and a nozzle held by hand from which the combination of air and particles are released.

Modern sandblasters are not only limited to cleaning industrial-type surfaces, but are also used for artistic purposes. Artists use these machines to craft unique designs upon a surface for aesthetic purposes.

As the sandblaster has evolved, sand is not even always used. In 1939, materials besides sand were used to clean metal surfaces. Particles derived from aluminium oxide, silicon carbide, quartz, glass beads, powdered abrasives, plastic abrasives, copper slag, steel grit, coconut shells, walnut shells and fruit stones were put into use.