April 30, 2023

"Gentler, Cleaner, Greener: Why Water Blasting is the Better Choice Over Sand Blasting"

Sandblasting and Waterblasting are the most popular methods used in de-coating and cleaning. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. However, recently high-pressure waterjet technology has gained significant progress in the surface preparation industry. “Some of the benefits associated with water jetting are lower costs, no damage on substrate original profile, no grit residues, no health problems, lower disposal costs and improved surface cleanness of the substrate, and lower environmental impact



Water blasting has been found to be faster, and cheaper through efficiency, reduced overhead and prep costs. Surface Preparation with UHP water blasting between 40-55k PSI can be done at a faster rate than sandblasting, reducing the overall cleaning time. Cost savings can also be applied when labor, material, utility, disposal, health & safety factors are taken into account. 

Below is an economic analysis for field-level maintenance activities that revealed that replacing abrasive blasting with a waterjet process would be more financially beneficial.




Water blasting is more efficient than sandblasting at removing a wide range of materials, including dirt, paint, grime, cement, and rust. It uses high-pressure water jets to blast away contaminants from surfaces at 40,000-55,000 PSI, making it a versatile method for cleaning a variety of surfaces. Including surfaces that are too delicate for sand blasting. One major benefit of using water blasting is it causes no damage to the substrates original profile, allowing for better paint/ coating bonding after each de-coating. 

In the diagram below we show the results of abrasive sandblasting vs waterblasting on a surface. The results of waterblasting show a rougher substrate surface which allows for better bonding when recoated.



Water blasting is also more effective than sandblasting. Surface preparation is the most important stage in the success of any coating project. Studies show that the performance of any protective coating is largely influenced by the ability of the coating to adhere to the substrate surface Sandblasting can leave behind abrasive particles on surfaces, which can cause problems down the line if they're not removed properly. 

Water blasting, on the other hand, uses water as a cleaning medium, leaving behind no residue or particles. This makes it an ideal method for cleaning surfaces that are sensitive to abrasion, such as wood or aluminum.

The Below Images show Grit-blasting vs UHP Water Blasting.






 Another advantage of water blasting is that it is safer than sandblasting. Sandblasting can create hazardous dust particles that can be harmful to workers and the environment. Water blasting, however, produces no dust or debris, making it a safer option for workers and the surrounding area. Additionally, water blasting can be done without the need for respiratory protection, which is often required with sandblasting. 

Sandblasting also has additional risks, and consequences such as: 

  • Contamination issues with other equipment
  • Shuts down other operations on site
  • Big footprint to store grit, containment, and collection equipment
  • Eventually, the grit is no longer usable and must be disposed of, with paint chips, rust, and other contaminants
  • Can blanket a town if the wind direction changes



Finally, water blasting is a more eco-friendly option than sandblasting. Sandblasting produces a large amount of waste, including the abrasive material that is used to blast surfaces. This waste must be disposed of properly, which can be costly and time-consuming. Water blasting, on the other hand, produces no waste, making it a more environmentally-friendly option. This combined with future government environmental regulations makes water blasting a more valued and cheaper long-term solution over sandblasting. 

In conclusion, while sandblasting has its advantages, water blasting is often the preferred method due to its cost, efficiency, effectiveness, safety, and eco-friendliness. Its ability to remove a wide range of contaminants, leaving behind no residue, and creating no waste, makes it an ideal method for cleaning a variety of surfaces. If you're looking for a cleaning method that is both efficient and safe, water blasting is the way to go.


"Benefits associated with water jetting are no damage on substrate original profile, no grit residues, fewer health problems, lower disposal costs and improved surface cleanness of the substrate”





Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.