Sandblasting is often used as a generic term for all types of blast finishing such as bead blasting, grit blasting and shot blasting.

And any mention of the term sandblasting should also clear up any misconceptions that it is not undertaken using actual 'sand'.

Natural silica sand or beach sand may be cheap, but this granular mineral material and the vitreous slag by-products that are marketed as substitutes for sand in outdoor blasting are generally not suitable for indoor cabinet-type blast systems that recirculate media.

All such materials have an extremely high rate of fracture and the use of silica sand for blasting may result in the release into the air of free silica that can cause the respiratory ailment called silicosis.

If you need the surface finish generated by such mineral grit, you can choose from many other media that will do the work and that do not bring with them the liabilities and health hazards associated with 'sand' blasting.