Abrasive Media Options

If your operation is using a centrifugal blast machine for surface cleaning or shot peening, you owe it to yourself to consider using cut wire shot for surface prep applications. Based on the finish required from your shot blast operation, you can choose several different types of abrasive media to achieve your desired result.

The most common abrasive is cast steel shot due to its low initial cost. Alternatives to cast steel shot include cut wire shot and stainless steel cut wire shot.  Cut wire shot provides a longer cycle life and decreased breakdown rates which result in fewer replenishment orders, but the price is higher. Higher priced still is stainless steel cut wire shot, which provides an even longer cycle life and produces excellent results due to its strength and uniformity in cleaning. In applications where ferrous contamination is prohibited, stainless steel cut wire shot is your best choice.  Even though cast shot has a much lower price point than cut wire, cut wire will last significantly longer while providing additional benefits, and might be the best choice for your operation.

Advantages of Cut Wire for Blast Cleaning:

  • Longer Life
    Two to six times longer cycle life than cast steel shot.
  • Cleaner Environment
    Primarily dustless for cleaner blasting operations
  • Better Results:
    Uniformity and strength yield excellent results
  • Replace Less Often
    Longer lifespan means less inventory to truck in and maintain

Lifespan Gains

Cast steel shot, typically used as the abrasive media in pass through machines, tumble blast machines, spinner hanger machines, reduction descalers, and table blast machine lasts an average of 800 cycles before breaking down and having to be replenished. Cut wire shot, on the other hand, typically lasts 3,000 to 4,000 cycles – and stainless steel cut wire lasts even longer, up to 11,000 cycles – before needing to be replenished.

Productivity Gains

From the perspective of increasing productivity, cut wire shot flows through blast machines better and rounds off nicely over time. This efficiency of throughput can actually improve the operation of your machine over time. Extending the lifespan of capital equipment like tumble blast machines, spinner hanger machines, production descalers and table blast machines represents a real cost savings.

Replenishment Efficiencies

More cycles means less shot to order, ship and handle.  The final landed cost of your shot includes the man-hours spent ordering, shipping, off-loading, inventorying and refilling your blast equipment.  Abrasive cost per cycle combined with carry out loses is what ultimately allows you to determine if the switch from cast steel shot to cut wire is the right financial decision.

Maintenance Savings

There is also a gain to be realized in machine maintenance costs. Cut wire shot particles don’t fracture, producing less dust resulting in less filters to order, lowering your operations costs as well as a creating a cleaner work environment.

Explore the Options

More than just the initial cost should be considered when choosing your abrasive media.  While the initial cost per pound of cast steel shot is less than half the cost of cut wire, the increased volume needed to compensate for the shorter cycle life results in a leveling out effect of the total cost over time. Consider the extended cycle times, improved machine operation, decreased maintenance and lower shipping costs and you may realize that you could gain a lot by using shot with a higher initial cost.  Let us help you decide:  contact us online, or call 860-668-1050. We’ll give you a customized assessment of your operation’s unique needs.



Cut Stainless Wire – The Right Solution

Recently MetFin was contacted by one of our customers to help them meet a new quality standard for cleanliness on their heat exchanger equipment. They had been using a S170 cast steel shot for years to achieve the desired surface profile but meeting the new quality standard was proving to be difficult.  MetFin recommended a stainless steel cut wire. Switching from the cast steel to stainless cut wire proved to be a relatively easy transition. Once the old shot was removed and the new stainless steel cut wire loaded, the machine was started up with no other adjustments.  While the customer’s motivation had been reducing dust and improving cleanliness to meet the new specification, other benefits quickly became apparent.