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If the Steel Shot or Steel Grit you're using is too hard, it may disintegrate on impact or cause damage to the surface, while if it is too soft, it may disfigure in shape on impact and not to be much use at all. Both extremes are a waste of time, and of course, a waste of money. Somewhere between these extreems is the optimum hardness.
Hardness is a resistance of metal to plastic deformation - usually by indentation. This term may also refer to a metal's stiffness, resistance to scratching, abrasion or cutting etc. It is the property of a metal which gives it the ability to resist being permanently deformed, bent or broken when an external load is applied.
the most common hardness test applied is the Rockwell Hardness Test. This test is a hardness measurement based on the overall increase in depth of impression as a pre-described load is applied to the surface of the metal.
There are different grades, sizes and applications with Steel Grit and Steel Shot
Steel Shot - Spherical steel in the fully heat-treated condition. With a uniform structure it provides optimum resilience and resistance to fatigue. Used for the majority of Wheel Blast applications, its durability and resistance to impact fatigue gives maximum clearing efficiency at the most commercial cost. Suited to shot peening applications.
Chilled Iron Grit - used for manual air-blasting. It is made by quenching with cold water while red shot to produce a more brittle particle which will split on impact. The additional particles hit the steel surface thus the increasing blasting speed. They will always maintain their sharp edge providing a speed increase of 8-12% compared with standard steel grit. The angular shape gives a more consistent profile and superior coating adhesion.
GL Steel Grit - loses its sharp edges during shot blasting and is best suited to de-scaling and surface preparation applications.
GH Steel Grit - having maximum hardness, GH remains angular. Mainly used in blast-rooms where working requirements take precedence over cost price considerations(eg - with rolling mill cylinders or when a special finish is required). Mainly used with air abrasive blasting in blast-rooms.