Pyroxene: The New Performance Blast Media

There is a new player on the blasting scene.

Now introducing: pyroxene

This cost effective and performance-focused blast media is gaining attention and making its case as the newest blasting powerhouse. In this blog, discover the power of pyroxene as we explore its properties as an abrasive media, hone in on the benefits of its use and identify ideal applications for blasting with GMA PyroBlast™. 


Productivity: Get More From Your Media

Thanks to its unique properties, pyroxene works faster and requires lower abrasive consumption than other restoration options on the market. In our field test here at the Dustless Blasting HQ in Texas, GMA's specialty pyroxene-based media PyroBlast™ demonstrated to be up to 35% faster than crushed glass at removing standard two-part epoxy coating. Because it is heavier than most other abrasives, including slags, silica sand and crushed glass, pyroxene removes coatings quickly with a low-dust profile and reduced labor, cleanup and disposal efforts. Spending less time on cleanup means getting the job done faster, effectively increasing efficiency and saving you money along the way. 

Cost: Recycle & Reuse

Competitively priced alongside crushed glass, this media is an affordable option that doesn't compromise on production. Considering its reusability, pyroxene is the ultimate cost saver. By recollecting spent media on a job, you are cutting down on the amount of media used. Instead of decreasing efficiency for a lower price point, pyroxene offers blasters the best of both worlds. 

Health & Safety: Reducing the Environmental Impact

Pairing pyroxene with a Dustless Blasting system produces less dust, contributing to a cleaner work environment and reduced health hazards, especially considering its low silica content rating. No dust plumes means improved visibility during blasting operations, allowing for increased user accuracy and a steadier, more reliable blast pattern. It is inert, nontoxic for humans and a safe option for the environment as well. 

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Understanding Pyroxene: Composition and Characteristics

Pyroxene is a group of silicate minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. As a blasting media, though, it carries < .05% silica, making it a relatively dust-free and non-hazardous option for both people and the planet. A natural inert mineral with a 6-7 hardness rating on the Mohs scale, its medium level toughness and hardness positions pyroxene as the ultimate utility media with superior cutting speed. And, its heavy. Compared to crushed glass at 2.48 specific velocity, GMA PyroBlast™ registers at a 3.8, making it significantly heavier. Based on this toughness, pyroxene can withstand the impact and friction generated during blasting. This results in minimal breakdown and longer lasting media performance.

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Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics that make pyroxene the ideal blasting media:

  1. Hardness: With its elevated hardness rating, pyroxene is tough enough to abrade surfaces without causing excessive damage. This ensures effective removal of coatings and surface contaminants without disrupting the substrate itself. Harder media means faster progress.
  2. Durability: Comparable to steel shot and glass beads, pyroxene is a force to be reckoned with. Its dense properties allow it to withstand the impact and friction of blasting, resulting in minimal breakdown and increased longevity. This translates to cost savings by reducing the frequency of media replacement.
  3. Density: As a thicker medium, pyroxene carries sufficient weight without being too heavy. This can help reduce the energy required for the blasting process, thereby speeding up the job at hand. 
  4. Shape & Color: The angular nature and sharp edges of each pyroxene grain enhance its abrasive capabilities, stripping through rust and tough coatings with ease. With its low color profile, this is a stainless option for most substrates.

Benefits of Pyroxene as an Abrasive 

Overall, pyroxene compares favorably to traditional abrasive media. Its unique combination of properties makes it a reliable and safe choice for blasting applications. Plus, it's fast. 

We couldn’t wait to test this out ourselves, so we went ahead and tried out GMA PyroBlast™ against the tried and true 40/70 crushed glass using the DB500® blast pot. Speeds with pyroxene – using both a 185 CFM (#5 nozzle) and a 250 CFM (#6 nozzle) – proved faster than our crushed glass tests. Given these findings, pyroxene performed better* for achieving a speedier removal rate than crushed glass with comparable settings. 

And, the pyroxene profile is finer. Based on the application, nozzle size and pressure, pyroxene can break through tough jobs without self-combusting. This matters because it allows the spent media to be reclaimed, doubling its value. Durability = reusability. 

In terms of price point, GMA PyroBlast™ is competitive with other affordable media options. This pricing paired with increased output essentially doubles the value for your cost, so you can work smarter, not harder. 

*Disclaimer: Media available on the market are difficult to directly compare, as they may be used for different applications and have varying characteristics. Always source your media based on each specific job and consult the Dustless Blasting Contractors Facebook group for more tips from the pros!


Photo: Image featuring the GMA Garnet Group logo on a bag of pyroxene media abrasive 

Pyroxene packs the punch, but it is on the professionals to set themselves up for success. Factors like choosing the right machine and accessories, preparing for cleanup and understanding the correct blasting technique for optimal performance are all important factors to consider when utilizing any abrasive. 

Here are some tips to make the switch from traditional media: 

As evidenced in our field tests at Dustless Blasting HQ, our machines proved fast and accurate using GMA PyroBlast™, the preferred pyroxene abrasive. Check out our versatile blast pots and mobile trailers to find the right fit for your business. Keep in mind, power equals productivity. The larger your compressor, the bigger the nozzle; the bigger the nozzle, the faster the job gets done. That's why we love the DB500® Mobile S Performance Edition with this particular media; the ultimate power duo.

  • Containment & Ventilation: Use appropriate containment measures and ensure proper ventilation during blasting operations to control dust and protect workers from exposure to airborne particles. Though the silica footprint is almost nonexistent in GMA PyroBlast™, and wet blasting creates significantly less dust than other blasting methods, proper PPE is essential for blaster safety. 

Visit the Dustless Blasting Online Store for all your PPE needs. 

  • Surface Preparation: Properly clean and prepare the surface before blasting with pyroxene. This includes removing loose debris, applying appropriate surface treatments, like the Dustless Blasting Rust Inhibitor for wet blasting, and ensuring a clean and dry surface for adhesion of coatings.
  • Blasting Technique: Follow proper blasting techniques, such as maintaining the correct standoff distance between the nozzle and surface, using consistent and even sweeps and avoiding excessive dwell time to prevent surface damage.

Compressor pressure, nozzle size and standoff distance work together to control the impact of your media. That is why blasters have seen success pairing the DB500® Mobile S Performance Edition with GMA PyroBlast™. With the upgraded 250 CFM compressor comes a #6 Nozzle. More power + bigger nozzle = increased blast pattern. Combine this with the versatility and performance power of GMA PyroBlast™ and you are getting double the work done in half the time

  • Recycling & Disposal: Consider implementing recycling systems to maximize the lifespan of pyroxene. This can help reduce costs and minimize waste generation, especially considering the reusability of pyroxene. When disposing of used media, follow proper waste management guidelines.

You can find Dustless Blasting-sanctioned tarps and other cleanup accessories in our Online Store


Photo: A sandblasting professional is shown in proper PPE and is actively blasting using pyroxene abrasive media during a field test

Pyroxene is ideal in a number of applications, including general surface preparation, large industrial projects and blast cleaning. With a high hardness rating, dense structure and angular shape, pyroxene can remove tough coatings, contaminants, corrosion and rust from metal, steel and concrete in preparation for paint or other treatment and coatings without damaging the substrate. 

Industry professionals have been getting positive results in the following applications using pyroxene as an abrasive media:

General Surface Preparation
  • Construction: Prepping materials for further processing or treatment
  • Automotive: Removing rust, paint and coatings 
  • Brick & Stone: Light restoration work including removal of paints, varnish, pollutants and grime
Industrial Applications
  • Manufacturing: Stripping built-up grime and corrosion from large-scale equipment such as pipes, tanks and machinery and treating precast concrete where finishing is required
  • Marine/Aviation: Removing barnacles and marine growth removal on ship hulls, propellers and other submerged surfaces and cleaning airplane engine parts, turbine blades and landing gears
  • Steel Fabrication & Bridge Maintenance: Eliminating rust, mil scale and weathered coatings 
Blast Cleaning
  • Stone & Concrete: Cleaning and restoring stone and concrete surfaces, removing dirt, stains, and other contaminants
  • Restoration Projects: Polishing and restoring/maintaining monuments, sculptures and historical structures


With a variety of media available in the blasting world, it is important to research what is available to best suit the needs of your business. Choosing the right material depends on your blasting equipment, the substrate, the coating being removed, what it is being prepped for and the time in which you have to get the job done. With its durability, velocity and reusability, it is clear why pyroxene is one to watch as it becomes a more prominently used media among a number of practical applications.   

Thanks to its unique properties and structural components, pyroxene introduces a versatile, high quality product to blast professionals at an affordable price point. Hardness, density and sharpness make it a strong choice for a variety of surface preparation, restoration and cleaning tasks. Overall, pyroxene is positioning itself to be a superior option that offers long-lasting performance with a low environmental footprint.

Anxious to give it a go? For a limited time only, each purchase of a DB500® Mobile S Performance Edition will come with eight (8) 55 lb. bags of GMA PyroBlast™ abrasive. Contact our team today for more information about pairing this performance media with our performance machine. 

Graphic: Image and text featuring a photo of the DB500 Mobile S Performance Edition mobile blaster and information about the limited trailer seriesBlast better with the ultimate partnership: DB500® Mobile S Performance + GMA PyroBlast™