There are many different variants of the basic abrasive blasting technique. Confined abrasive blasting is often used inside buildings and structures, while unconfined abrasive blasting is used in outdoor situations. As mentioned above, sandblasting is a popular variation of the technique. Hydroblasting, in which water is used as the abrasive cleaning agent, is a popular variation of abrasive blasting. Another technique is wet abrasive blasting, which is commonly used to clean contaminants such as asbestos from a surface. Bead blasting is a technique in which glass beads are used as an abrasive agent in order to remove material deposits. Wheel blasting is an efficient and high-powered abrasive blasting method that is often used with metallic abrasive agents, such as steel, metal grit or even cut wire.
When it comes to choosing an abrasive agent, there are many options available. In addition to the sand, water and metal agents listed above, abrasive blasters often perform the task using minerals such as garnet, synthetic materials such as dry ice and even naturally-occurring abrasive agents, including crushed nut shells. Each type of abrasive blasting media is chosen based on its size, strength and consistency and matched according to the job that needs to be completed.