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What is the difference between shot blasting and shot peening?

Updated: Apr 1

Although the shot peening and the shot blasting processes are different, both blasting systems work towards finishing metal parts. We can say that metal parts aren't ready to use in an industrial field without previous treatment. They often need cleaning so later on, they can have a better finish, like a painting process, powder coating, etc. The blasting process is the better fit to finish metal surfaces and pieces. Still, for understanding which of these processes makes more sense to your company, we listed below the main differences between shot peening and shot blasting. You will see in this publication:


  1. Main differences between shot peening machine and shot blasting

  2. How shot blasting works

  3. How shot peening works

  4. Which one is better?


1. Main differences between shot peening machine and shot blasting


Although shot peening and shot blasting have the same basic principle, "shooting" a material (media) against a surface, the results are very different. We listed some main differences between both systems:


• The angle of attack, the abrasive (spheres) release position against the workpiece.

• The volume of abrasive launched.

• Abrasive launching speed.

• Abrasive rating (size, roundness).

2. How shot blasting works


The conventional blasting works only with spherical and angular media. Depending on the application, the blasting machine will work by a wheel blasting or air blasting system.


Summing up, on the wheel blasting machines, the abrasive is thrown through the centrifugal force that is created by the blast wheel. On the other hand, on compressed air blasting machines, the media is pressurized or sucked into a tank and then expelled through one or several nozzles.


3. How shot peening works


Shot peening uses only spherical abrasives and has several controls, way more sophisticated and restricted than shot blasting. See some main benefits provided by using a shot peening machine:


Improves the resistance to mechanical and thermal fatigues.

Enhances the corrosion and friction resistance.

Allows reducing the size and weight without compromising the mechanical resistance.

Eliminates the directional risk of machining or micro-cracks, inhibiting crack propagation.

Forming (deforming or straightening workpieces, also known as peen forming).


shot peening
Shot peening machine


One of the primary uses of shot peening is the aerospace industry because many aircraft components are treated, including various turbine parts structural and landing gear. The shot peening machines are a good fit in the metalworking and automotive industry.


4. Which one is better?


It is wrong to say that one system is better than another because it depends on the application. We can affirm that for pieces that demand a precise finishing or a very high material resistance, the shot peening is strongly indicated and evidentially a better fit.


But besides all the explanations, the truth is that you don't need to know if the shot blasting or shot peening process is a better fit for your company. Your company can count on our free technical consulting to tell you which blasting machine is a better fit to increase your production and active the better blasting results.