Sandblasting Tips: Know Your Nozzles

By on Dec 13th 2019

Know Your Nozzles:
Blast Nozzle Materials

Understand the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Materials

Used to Make Blast Nozzles

Cast Iron Nozzles

Rarely used today. They wear out after 6 to 8 hours of blasting.

Ceramic Nozzles

Used with non-aggressive abrasive in light-duty equipment and in blast cabinets.

Aluminum Oxide Nozzles

Cost less than carbide-lined nozzles (discussed below). A good fit for low-use applications or when price is more important than service life.

Carbide Lined Nozzles: Tungsten, Silicon, and Boron

The most popular choice for the majority of blasting applications due to their long life, even though carbide nozzle liners tend to be brittle. To protect against this brittleness, Clemco nozzle liners are encased in a jacket, usually made from metal, urethane, or rubber.

Tungsten-Carbide Lined Nozzles

Hard and heavy, provide excellent wear resistance. 

Tungsten carbide is sintered, a process that uses 

extreme heat and pressure to produce one-piece 

liners in a mold. While sintering strengthens tungsten 

carbide, it also contributes to brittleness. Still, 

tungsten-carbide lined nozzles are an excellent choice

to use with steel grit, steel shot, or any iron abrasive

because the high density of steel abrasive causes c

hipping in other carbide liner materials. Tungsten-carbide 

lined nozzles also are an excellent choice when mineral or 

coal slag abrasive is used in applications with rough handling. 

Tungsten-carbide lined nozzles last from 300 to 400hours 

when used with expendable abrasive and are less likely to 

chip than longer-lasting silicon-carbide lined nozzles.

Silicon-Carbide Lined Nozzles

Developed from research on lightweight and 

durable materials for the aircraft and aerospace 

industries. Silicon-carbide lined nozzles

weighs 42% less than comparable tungsten-

carbide lined nozzles, making them easier 

to hold for long durations. With expendable 

abrasive, silicon carbide lasts between 

400 to 600 hours, but it chips more easily than tungsten carbide

Boron Carbide

The longest-wearing carbide lined nozzles. Boron-

carbide lined nozzles are extremely tolerant of 

sharp abrasives, such as aluminum oxide and 

silicon carbide, and are best suited for applications 

that do not require rough handling. With expendable 

abrasive, boron-carbide lined nozzles last between 

750 and 1500 hours. The price of a boron-carbide 

lined nozzle is two to three times more than for 

a comparable silicon-carbide lined nozzle or tungsten-

carbide lined nozzle; however, the cost per operating 

hour for boron carbide as compared to tungsten and

 silicon carbide decreases as more aggressive abrasive is used.

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