Sandblasting or bead blasting is a generic term for the process of smoothing, shaping and cleaning a hard surface by forcing solid particles across that surface at high speeds; the effect is similar to that of using sandpaper, but provides a more even finish with no problems at corners or crannies.
Historically, the material used for artificial sandblasting was sand that had been sieved to a uniform size. Sand used to be the most commonly used material, but since silicosis (a lung disease) is caused by extended inhalation of the dust created by sand, other materials are now used in its place.
Other materials for sandblasting have been developed to be used instead of sand; for example, steel grit, steel shots, copper slag, glass beads (bead blasting), metal pellets, dry ice, garnet, powdered abrasives of various grades, powdered slag, and even ground coconut shells or corncobs, walnut shells, Baking Soda have been used for specific applications and can produce distinct surface finishes.
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