Certification - Certified Abrasives

This page last reviewed December 6, 2011.

Do all abrasives have to be certified before they can be used?

What is a permanent building?

How long does the testing process take?

What is the cost to test an abrasive for certification?

What happens if the abrasive sample fails the test?

What happens to the abrasive sample after testing?

How long may a certified abrasive be used?

Q:     Do all abrasives have to be certified before they can be used?
A:     No.  Abrasives do not need to certified if:

  • They are used inside a permanent building, or
  • They are made from steel or iron shot/grit, exclusively, or
  • They are used with compressed air as the propelling force, using water to minimize the plume, or
  • They are used with high pressure liquid as the propelling force, or
  • The spent abrasive, surface material, and dust are immediately collected by a vacuum device.

For more detail, the California Code of Regulations, title 17, sections 92000 - 92530 is available online.

Q:    What is a permanent building?
A:    A roofed and walled structure built for continuing or enduring use without fundamental or marked change which is used, in whole or in part, for abrasive blasting operations.  A tent is not a permanent building.

Q:   How long does the testing process take?
A:    Part of the testing process is done outdoors and is dependent on the weather.  Also, if we have more abrasive samples on-hand it will take longer to get through them.  Generally, you can expect that testing will take several months.  We always strive to complete the testing as quickly as possible.

Q:   What is the cost to test an abrasive for certification?
A:   The cost varies since the total cost for testing in a given period is divided by the number of abrasives submitted for certification during that period. Therefore, the cost may be lower if more abrasives ar e submitted or higher if less are submitted. In general, the cost is expected to be between $1,800 and $2,400 per abrasive sample plus disposal/return costs.

Q:     What happens if the abrasive sample fails the test?
A:     The certification test consists of two separate tests.The before-blasting sieve test and the after-blasting hydrometer test.

The producer or vendor of an abrasive which fails the before-blasting sieve test test has three options on how to proceed:

  • They may choose to abandon further testing.In this case, they will only be charged for the sieve test and the return/disposal of the tested abrasive sample.
  • They may choose to resubmit the abrasive sample for retesting.In this case, they will be charged for the original sieve test, all testing done on the resubmitted abrasive sample and the return/disposal of the both tested abrasive samples.
  • They may choose to demonstrate that the abrasive meets twenty percent opacity when blasted in accordance with the Visible Emissions Evaluation (VEE) test method.  They are responsible for arranging for the test to be conducted at a site in California. ARB will provide a representative to do the opacity reading. In this case they will be charged for the sieving and blasting test of the abrasive sample, and the return/disposal of the tested abrasive sample, as well as for the costs to do the opacity reading.Any additional costs to perform the VEE test are separate for ARB invoicing.It should also be noted that normal certification testing uses the entire abrasive sample provided to ARB.Additional abrasive must be shipped to the VEE test site.
If the abrasive fails the after-blasting hydrometer test, it cannot be certified.                                      

Q:   What happens to the tested abrasive sample after testing?
A:   It can be returned if a Statement of Reuse form, included in the application, is submitted. If the tested abrasive sample cannot be reused as an abrasive, we can arrange appropriate disposal. Costs for the return/disposal of a tested abrasive sample will be included in the invoice for testing.

Q:   How long may a certified abrasive be used?
A:   An abrasive which is sold by its producer or vendor during the certified period is certified for use until it is gone. Advisory 164 on this issue is available online.

For more information on the Abrasive Blasting Certification Program, please contact Kathryn Gugeler at (916) 322-0221.

preload