Abrasive Testing

Abrasive blast cleaning is often regarded as the most common and productive method of surface preparation of steel prior to installation of protective coatings. While there are many factors that can impact quality and productivity during blast cleaning operations, the abrasive is at the heart of it all. But abrasives are not all created equal. The cleaning and consumption rates, recyclability, surface profile yield and peak density, the degree of embedment, and dust generation can vary widely, even within a given generic abrasive type. The cleanliness of the abrasive itself along with any toxic materials that may be released into the air as the abrasive fractures upon impact can impact quality, worker safety, and the environment.

KTA’s physical laboratory independently tests abrasives for physical, chemical and performance properties using our  climate-controlled shop that includes a walk-in blast room equipped with a dust collection system. Airborne metals, total dust, and respirable dust can be sampled during abrasive blast cleaning and analyzed by an AIHA-accredited laboratory, and the effectiveness of dust suppressants can be evaluated.  Since we are independent of abrasive manufacturers, the data we generate is without bias. And since we also have coating application facilities and accelerated weathering chambers on-site, we can evaluate the comparative performance of coatings over steel surfaces prepared using the abrasives. Let us help you design a test regime that focuses on the parameters that matter the most. We offer the following tests:

  • Conformance to SSPC Abrasive Specifications No. 1, 2 and 3 (SSPC-AB 1, SSPC-AB 2, and SSPC-AB 3)
  • Cleaning and Consumption Rates
  • Recyclability and Dust Generation
  • Embedment Quantification
  • Optimum Blast Nozzle Pressure Evaluation
  • Airborne Respirable Fraction
  • Surface Profile Depth and Peak Density
  • Particle Size Distribution (Sieve Analysis)
  • Abrasive Conductivity (ASTM D4940) and Oil Content (ASTM D7393)
  • Abrasive Hardness
  • Abrasive Specific Gravity
  • Coating Performance on Prepared Steel Surfaces