Copper Slag for Sandblasting

Copper Slag a Superior Sandblasting Media Replacement

Abrasive sandblasting media has been used for years for cleaning and surface finishes in both the industrial and construction industries, including products such as corn cob, steel grit, aluminum oxide, walnut shell, crushed glass, pumice, steel shot, silicon carbide, black slag, and more. Although, coal slag abrasives are often the first choice for a diversity of maintenance blasting and general purpose repair, copper slag has proven to be a superior replacement for coal slag.

Copper slag is a byproduct produced from smelting and refining copper. These processes make up a large volume of copper slag, which is a non-metallic dust mixed with rock and soot. However, Black Beauty sand blasting is often considered a better choice due to the extremely low cost of this abrasive. Even though the selection of the right media is important to obtain the desired results when it comes to cleaning surfaces, removing paint, or obtaining a smooth finish. Of course, there are other Black Beauty products to choose from, but if making the decision is your privilege, try copper slag for your next blasting project.

Although Black Beauty abrasive products are low free silica, chemically inert, and low dusting, these factors does not mean that copper slag products are of inferior quality or risky characteristics. In fact, copper slag is actually the chosen alternative to Black Diamond sand as a blasting medium for a larger number of building applications and this slag is also the most popular medium for industrial cleaning of equipment and smelting furnaces with the aid of high pressure spraying and direct blasting techniques.

Same as slag coal, copper slag can be used to prepare large surfaces that have to be painted along with being very useful to remove all rust residues and unwanted finish in any metallic structure and it shares similar properties of Black Beauty slag such as low moisture content, hardness, and long-lasting results. However, copper slag leaves minimum dust. When etching permanent bonding of coatings is necessary, copper slag provides you with better results than any other abrasive you have tried before.

Definitely, copper slag does not constitute an environmental or health risk, as opposite to sandblasting media. Silica is harmful when inhaled for long periods of time, besides begin a source of pollution, and obviously, this process cannot offer a lifetime guarantee, meaning that it may come the time when a new blasting process has to be performed whether for maintenance or repair.

Copper slag is often a more effective abrasive solution, with no or very little environmental threats that can be used as any other slag product, but obtaining faster and better results, and therefore it is actually largely used in the building field.

Advantages of Using Copper Slag for Sand Blasting Media


Using copper slag as a sandblasting media comes with several advantages, making it a popular choice in various industrial applications. Here’s a breakdown of its benefits:

  1. High Efficiency: Copper slag is highly abrasive, making it very effective for the removal of paint, rust, and other coatings from surfaces. This high efficiency leads to faster cleaning rates compared to some other blasting media.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Being a byproduct of the copper smelting process, copper slag is often more affordable than virgin blasting media. Its high efficiency also means that less material is required to achieve the desired surface cleanliness, further reducing costs.
  3. Durability: Copper slag grains are hard and dense, allowing them to be recycled and reused multiple times in blasting operations. This recyclability not only makes it cost-effective but also reduces the environmental impact by minimizing waste.
  4. Low Dust Emission: Compared to some other abrasives, copper slag produces lower amounts of dust during blasting. This results in better visibility in the work area, reduces cleanup efforts, and minimizes health risks associated with airborne particles.
  5. Versatility: Copper slag is suitable for a range of applications, from removing heavy coatings and contaminants to preparing surfaces for painting or coating. Its versatility makes it a valuable tool in industries such as shipbuilding, construction, and metal fabrication.
  6. Environmental Considerations: Utilizing copper slag, a byproduct of the copper industry, as a blasting media contributes to waste recycling, thus promoting sustainable practices. By repurposing what would otherwise be waste, it helps in reducing the environmental footprint of industrial operations.

Overall, the use of copper slag as sandblasting media offers a blend of efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability, making it an attractive choice for various surface preparation needs.


A Copper Slag Abrasive Blasting Grit Overview

Copper slag is actually one of the most popular abrasives for the preparation of surfaces in the construction industry where steel and concrete cleaning, repair and maintenance are needed. Although, this is a byproduct industrially called iron silicate, but commercialized under the name of copper slag because technically it is the waste of copper concentrates resulted from the smelting process of this metal. Being a granulated abrasive blasting grit, it is used to remove old paint, rust, and other contaminants off surfaces.

This abrasive is also widely used in shipbuilding, chemicals steel manufacturing, oil and gas chemical structures due to its properties, including <25ppm of chloride, 6-7 mohs hardness, and bulk density at 250C-1.75 Tonnes/m3. Resulting from the extraction and purification of copper at high temperatures, the ferro silicate oxide material is quenched in water to get it cold, what contributes to giving the slag its granulated form, producing angular particles.

You can find copper stag suppliers from coast to coast in the United States, but many suppliers of this abrasive are located in India and China, from where it is imported at very cheap prices. Most of these providers can be found on the Internet, where they provide further specification of the product, prices and a contact form to order or submit your inquires about it. Considered the most advanced approach for metal surface cleaning, copper slag blasting is usually performed before paint spraying, being a blasting media that causes less environmental harm than sandblasting. Considered safe for people, this free silica product has passed the tests and regulations to prevent any health hazard associated to prolonged inhalation of silica in many construction products that was found in the past.

Thus, you can rest assured of the compliance of copper slag with the most rigid ecological and health standards. This byproduct can be recycled, but due to possible contaminants added in the initial cleaning process, it is not recommended to use it more than twice, and then it is recommend its disposal through the local municipality waste service to prevent environmental pollution.

Slag for sale is directly available from slag suppliers at a nominative price of $25 per ton, as long as the purchase is at least 35,000 tons, but the minimum order is usually as low as 22 tons or a full truckload. Copper slag is generally available in three main grades; coarse (12/30,) medium (20/50,) and fine (30/60) but many suppliers can satisfy specific grading demands. Copper slag for sale in North Africa and Middle Eastern countries is distributed from the large washed copper slag factory located in Jebel Ali, Arab Emirates, but India is the main manufacturer of this abrasive, from where it is imported at very low prices.