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Insight and Information Is Key to Coatings Success

When it comes to surface preparation and coatings projects, time is money. Starting with the right products, while understanding the most current safety information, is key to success.

“Always be sure you’re working with a supplier that makes every effort to understand your needs,” said Russell Raad, president of Abrasives Inc. “Our staff has been in the customers’ shoes and understands the importance of an excellent outcome. We listen to what the demands of the job are, then we team up with the customer to find the right combination of equipment, blast media, and coatings for the project.”

This might mean taking time to review the job specifications, discuss the media options, and determine which will yield the best results. It might mean addressing environmental and containment issues that call for specific equipment, such as monitors, hoods, hoses, accessories, or safety gear.

“For example,” said Raad, “if the project is in a heavy-use area and must meet stringent dust-control standards as well as tight time constraints, we may recommend our Black Magic® coal slag, an especially hard abrasive that cleans fast and produces less dust than other slag.” One of the company’s Midwest customers wrote, “We have used other products, but I get feedback from employees that they prefer working with Abrasives’ (coal slag) product. It cuts better, and it’s not as dusty.”


"A blaster’s health is of upmost importance, so always keep current with industry safety standards and updated equipment,” Raad said. “Black Magic not only meets but routinely exceeds standards.”

“We believe one of the biggest challenges for us came to light over the past couple years,” added Steve Brook, Abrasives Incorporated’s director of Sales and Business Development, referring to regulatory concerns and the surrounding misinformation being disseminated by some industry players, which played out in OSHA rulings on beryllium.

The issue at hand regarded exposure to beryllium and the resulting health concerns relating to certain types of blasting media. Recently, Abrasives Incorporated worked with other industry partners and OSHA to create more clarity and eliminate the misinformation relating to the beryllium ruling. The outcome resulted in clarification by OSHA specifying that traces of beryllium on a job may actually come from the actual surface being blasted and not just the result of one type of blasting media.

“OSHA also revised the ruling on beryllium to suggest that various abrasive blasting media, such as slags, garnet, silica sand, and crushed glass, may also contain trace amounts of beryllium,” stated Brook. “We at Abrasives Incorporated are proud that we could be part of that process to create a better understanding for the industry."


Remember that your salesperson can be a wealth of knowledge.

“Abrasives Inc. has served the industry since 1990,” said Raad. “Our experienced sales team of blast media experts take the time to get to know what customers want and assist them in trouble-shooting when needed.”

“First and foremost, we are a producer of 100 percent Coal Slag Blasting Media, which is a recycled byproduct from lignite coal-fired power plants,” Brook stated. “But it is important to note that we are much more than just a producer of coal slag media. We are partnered with, and distribute, some of the leading manufacturers and brands of blasting equipment, replacement parts, and accessories.”

The Black Magic coal slag Brook referred to is available in five grades and is CARB- and QPL-approved. Its particles are constantly sized, which ensures consistent profiles for durable coating adhesion. The company has a wide network of critically located distributors and also offers online ordering. Customers can opt for delivery in 25-, 50-, or 80-pound paper bags, jumbo cells, or bulk.

“We pride ourselves on being a solution provider for the surface preparation and coatings industry with our knowledgeable sales staff and our ability to deliver product where you need it, when you need it,” said Brook.