Around the world, the metal refining process produces tons of alloys that are used in the construction industry to produce byproducts, avoiding those mixtures go to waste. One of those byproducts is slag, an industrial mixture of silicon dioxide and metal oxides used to produce slag abrasives that range from medium grade to military specification grade. Black Beauty products are some of the most used abrasives for maintenance blasting, surface cleaning and for general purpose repairs; although “black beauty” is also a term used in construction in reference to any black slag abrasive regardless the brand label.
Coal slag abrasives have been using for years in rust removal and light paint, but the quality of copper slag is quickly gaining popularity for cleaning surfaces that require a sleek finish, although it can be also used with advantages in concrete and stone surfaces for blast cleaning and mill scale removal. Although, Black Beauty abrasive products such as Black Diamond sand are often used to remove rust from steel a flaky or very deteriorated surface, copper slag is more suitable for this cleaning process than slag coal. Copper slag is a byproduct resulting from smelting iron silicates, which results in a more refined abrasive product.
Sometimes abrasive sand blasting media is used to substitute black beauty slag in applications for new structural steel or special maintenance blasting, paint and rust removal and repair, copper slag works as an extra fine grade product that cleans most surfaces with low dusting and in with the industry standards when it comes to choosing a low free silica product. Aggregate exposure of coal slag sometimes reduce the blending capabilities of the product when fine tuning blasting is the goal in a cleaning process, so anyone using a black beauty abrasive may require two different products to obtain the finest finish, a thing that does not occur when copper slag is used instead.
Black beauty sand is better to obtain fine rust removal, but even then, the quality of a copper slag abrasive will always produce finer results with less effort. Along with this, copper slag will meet environmental standards and industry abrasives specifications. Another advantage of copper slag is that it can be used to replace sand when working in concrete constructions, because it is a better binding agent than sand, keeping concrete gravel particles together while improving the properties of this material. Copper slag has little impact on the environment; thus it is often considered a first choice when recycling is part of the blasting tasks. The reason being it is free of the health hazards that other slag products have, it can be used safely to clean many other surfaces, including works where the blasting technique involves high pressure or spraying processes to cover large surfaces.