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How much PSI do you need to shotblast?

Shotblasting is a surface treatment technique that makes use of particulate grains propelled under high velocity.

It is generally more aggressive and efficient in comparison to some abrasive types in certain applications and makes it more suitable for treating tougher materials or removing thicker coatings. One of the most crucial factors in shotblasting is determining the appropriate pressure, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). The right PSI ensures the job is done efficiently and effectively without damaging the material. But how much PSI do you need to shotblast? Let’s dive in.

How do I choose the PSI?

Various factors will influence the ideal PSI for shotblasting, primarily related to the equipment and the conditions under which the blasting is performed.

  1. Thicker and harder materials will require higher PSI to ensure the shot cleans and peens effectively. Surface conditions will also affect this.
  2. Larger, denser abrasives generally require a higher PSI to achieve the desired impact force. Those abrasives, like steel shot, can operate at a higher PSI compared to lighter abrasives like glass beads or plastic media.
  3. Specific applications might need a particular surface profile, influencing the required PSI to get your desired surface finish.
  4. The capability and quality of the equipment you are using dictates the pressure range that can be utilised.

It’s important to adjust the PSI to match the specific requirements of each job. Too low a PSI can result in inefficient cleaning and longer processing times, while too high a PSI can damage the material or create an overly rough surface.

What to consider

To help you further determine the appropriate PSI for your shotblasting needs, take into consideration these steps when you are shotblasting:

  • Begin with a lower PSI and gradually increase it while monitoring the effect on the surface. This approach helps avoid unnecessary damage and allows for fine-tuning.
  • If possible, conduct a test on a piece of scrap material similar to the workpiece. This helps determine the optimal PSI without risking damage to the actual part.
  • Ensure that the abrasive flow is consistent and appropriate for the chosen PSI. Inconsistent flow can lead to uneven cleaning and surface profiles.

Determining the right PSI for shotblasting is essential for achieving the desired results efficiently and safely. There is no recommended PSI, but by considering factors such as material type, surface condition, abrasive type, and the desired finish, you can fine-tune the PSI to match your specific needs. Remember to start with lower pressures and gradually adjust, conducting tests on scrap material when possible. With the right approach, shotblasting can be a highly effective method for surface preparation and cleaning, enhancing the quality and longevity of your finished products.

Find out more

To learn more about our machines, please see the Shot Blasting page. For enquiries on our products, please contact our sales team on +44 (0) 1778 560 650 or email us at