Metal Sand Blasting Standards

Written by tamara wilhite
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Metal Sand Blasting Standards
Sand can be blasted onto surfaces to clean them or prepare them for building projects. (sand ripples image by Greg Pickens from

Metal can be sandblasted to remove rust, grit and old paint. Sand blasting can be done to roughen a smooth metal surface in preparation for painting. It is also done to add texture to smooth walls.

Degrees of Cleanliness

The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) defines the degrees of cleanliness of sandblasting. Standards for abrasive blast cleaning are in declining order of intensity of cleaning from 1 to 4. NACE standard number 1 covers white metal sand blasting. NACE standard number 2 is used for near-white metal stand blasting. Commercial sandblasting of metal is described by NACE standard number 3. "Paint Technology Handbook" by Rodger Talbert states that commercial blast or blast cleaning continues "until at least two-thirds of the surface is free of all visible residues." NACE standard 4 is called "brush of blast," when a light blast of sand is used to remove only the largest and loosest debris from a metal surface.

SSPC and NACE Joint Standards

The SSPC standard SP5 is equivalent to NACE 1. SSPC standard SP10 is equivalent to NACE 2. The SSPC standard SP6 is equivalent to NACE 3. SSPC standard SP7 is equivalent to NACE standard 4.

International Standards

"European Coatings Handbook" states "the degree to which foreign coatings are removed is expressed by degree of rust removal according to DIN 18 364 or ... by degree of cleanliness according to ISO 8501." The DIN standard 18 364 is set by the Deutsches Institut für Normung in Germany.

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