Avoid costly repairs by choosing the right blast medium for your stainless steel equipment


“There is a misconception that stainless steel doesn’t rust… but it can if the wrong medium is used during the blasting process.” Chris Hinks, Director at Wicked Coatings

Used prevalently across a wide range of sectors and particularly the food industry, stainless steel is a metal that comes in a variety of grades and finishes. When prepared and maintained correctly, stainless steel equipment should withstand the multitude of pressures placed upon it within a food manufacturing environment. However, simply choosing the right grade and assuming that it won’t rust is a costly misconception…

Expectations are high for this kind of equipment. Necessity dictates that it should be:

  • Easy to clean
  • Capable of withstanding extremes of heat and cold
  • Not susceptible to damage from repeat sterilisation
  • Compliant with specific food regulations

In order to meet these stringent demands –  firstly it is important that the correct grade of stainless steel is chosen for the equipment, but more critically, the optimum blast medium must also be used in order to eliminate the risk of corrosion.

At Wicked Coatings, we only use glass bead to blast stainless steel. This is because other options used in the industry such as steel or grit blast will leave fragments of the substrate behind on the surface of the component. When moisture reacts with this residue steel or grit, a process of corrosion will begin – first spot rust and then more invasive pitting rust that can result in costly repairs.

By using glass bead as a blasting medium, no fragments with the propensity to rust can possibly be left behind on the equipment – and therefore no chemical reaction will ever take place that can lead to corrosion.  Once a steel component has been glass bead blasted, our expert blasting team in Poole will then oil the surface to leave a matt finish. Our entire process is focused on prolonging the life of our customer’s stainless steel equipment by preventing the cross contamination of metals.

In larger blast projects, we will occasionally use an aluminium oxide grit which is non-ferrous and so doesn’t affect the stainless steel.

If you would like to know more about our expert blasting service in Poole, Dorset – or have a project that you would like to discuss, please call us on 01202 622258 or contact us here.