Sandcarving with Aluminum Oxide vs. Silicon Carbide

How do the options differ in the sandcarving process?

Typically, users (sandcarving glass and occasionally stone) will choose a product based on its relevant cost and cutting speed. Aluminum oxide grit is significantly less expensive and has the same relevant recirculation and wear rate as silicon carbide, but is blocky and not as angular, and breaks down in similar shape. Silicon carbide grit is more angular and stays angled as it fractures and stays sharper; the cutting speeds tend to be faster but lighter. It’s not as prone to settle as quickly as aluminum oxide and tends to cling to surfaces.

The use of the two products boils down to the production speeds of an individual facility. If speed and throughput are the most critical, silicon carbide might outweigh the additional expense. The quartz in the silicon carbide makes the media reflective in some light conditions.

Overall, it is a user preference. You cannot tell the difference in surface appearance on glass or stone when either aluminum oxide or silicon carbide; however, on metals, the silicon carbide is brighter and more polished in appearance when paint-fill is not performed. For wood surfaces, aluminum oxide is the better blasting media.

Liz Haas

Liz Haas

Liz Haas has been a teacher, trainer and show coordinator for Rayzist Photomask for the past 15 years. For the past 10 years, she has actively taught workshops on the photoresist and the sandcarving process.

Billy Willis

Billy Willis is Sales Manager for Rayzist Photomask, Inc. He has been employed with the company for the past 27 years. Billy has had the opportunity to travel around the world educating and providing photoresist technology to companies worldwide. Billy can be reached by phone at 800-729-9478, by email at [email protected] or online at

Related Articles

Back to top button