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BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives lead the industry for quality, value and performance. Low dusting, low free silica and chemically inert, they are the clear choice for municipal, industrial and commercial projects.

There are a host of new and emerging uses for BLACK BEAUTY® aggregate, especially as alternative media for materials such as silica sand that are compromised by environmental or health issues. These include mineral filter media, seal-coat aggregate and non-skid applications.


Harvey Taylor Bridge

Contractors for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) chose Harsco’s BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives to blast away peeling paint and corroded steel during a recent, three-year renovation and repainting of Harrisburg, PA’s Harvey Taylor Bridge. This bridge is one of the main bridges that connects the downtown area and the surrounding suburbs and passes over the Susquehanna River. Over 35,000 motorists utilize the bridge daily, including many Harsco Corporation employees, who are world-headquartered in Camp Hill, PA, USA.

Cost effective and environmentally friendly, BLACK BEAUTY® is chemically inert and virtually non-leachable, with free silica levels below detectable limits. These qualities and attributes have made the original BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives from Harsco the number one abrasive in the air blast abrasive market.


Rosemont Water Tower

When engineers for the Village of Rosemont, IL, set out last year to repaint the area landmark – a 150-foot, 500,000-gallon rose motif water tank – they knew they had an especially high-profile job on their hands.

In addition to its visibility and importance in the community, the tank sits on a sensitive site with its base adjacent to the drive-through lane of a popular fast food restaurant.

So, it’s no surprise that project engineers specified BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives to clear away three layers of oil-based enamel paint and to bring the tank down to its original bare fabricated steel exterior prior to repainting. With BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives meeting the requirements of the SSPC AB-1 specification, the contractor was confident he had the right product to do the job.


Tampa Shipyard

Harsco's BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives are the product of choice for abrasive blasting during ship repair and maintenance at the Tampa, FL, shipyard. One of the busiest shipyards in the southeast, the Tampa operation is engaged in continual maintenance and repair on vessels of all sizes and shapes. Air blasting is the all-important first step in surface preparation, removing scale, rust and old paint from ship hulls, bottoms and other steel surfaces.

The Tampa shipyard utilizes bulk BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasive because it is designed for applications that require aggressive abrasive blasting. It is superior to high-pressure water blasting due to its ability to create a surface profile, ensuring the maximum life of paint or other surface coating.

The shipyard buys its bulk BLACK BEAUTY® abrasive from Harsco's nearby Tampa plant which has demonstrated its superior capabilities in supplying a steady stream and large volume during critical blasting projects.


Gulf Coast Petrochemicals

Harsh weather conditions, high humidity and windblown salt air along the Gulf Coast take a heavy toll on the petrochemical industrial infrastructure. Chemical plants and oil refineries have to perform constant maintenance and repainting to the exterior and interior of product storage tanks, refractory towers and steel structures that support and protect miles of pipeline used to carry chemicals and liquids.

Shutting down for maintenance means lost revenue, so getting the job done quickly and effectively is of paramount importance. Fast-cutting BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives are ideal for removing rust, paint and scale, including the thick coatings on the inside of storage tanks that require an “extra rough” profile.

BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives are a preferred alternative to silica sand. Silica sand can contain up to 99% free silica which has been found to cause silicosis, a sometimes fatal lung disease. BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives are low dusting, chemically inert, contain less than 0.1% free silica and are not causally linked with any diseases, including silicosis.



BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives meet the requirements of the most stringent abrasives specifications in the industry and were chosen by NASA for the maintenance and modification of Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

Using the by-product of a natural mineral from the earth as a raw material for its BLACK BEAUTY® abrasive products, Harsco plays a supporting role in space exploration.


Col. James M. Schoonmaker Historic Ship

Blasting 100 years of salt scale, rust and paint off of a century-old freight ship is a tough, yet delicate job. That’s why crews working to restore the Col. James M. Schoonmaker for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority in Toledo, Ohio, USA, requested BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives.

Harsco provided 144 tons of its medium-grade blasting grit to the project. BLACK BEAUTY® was the only abrasive used by P&W Painting Contractors, Inc., who committed to prepare this important piece of American industrial and nautical history for restoration.

“Harsco is proud to support a great community effort like the restoration of the Col. Schoonmaker,” said Dominic DeAngelo, VP of sales and marketing for Harsco Minerals. “We are equally proud that our BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives were the first choice for contractors working on this historic project. The fact that our material could be trusted to not only give superior results, but retain the ship’s structural integrity and maintain water standards both pre-blast and post-blast around the dock, shows exactly why BLACK BEAUTY® has been an industry leader for nearly 80 years.”

Commissioned by Shenango Furnace Co. owner William P. Snyder and named for his best friend, a Civil War hero and railroad industry innovator, the Col. Schoonmaker launched July 1, 1911 from the ways at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse, Michigan.

She was the largest bulk freighter of her age, hauling 12,650 net tons of coal from Toledo, Ohio, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on her maiden voyage. Known as the “Queen of the Great Lakes” for her luxurious on-board accommodations, the ship hauled coal and iron ore for the Shenango Furnace Co. for several decades.

Eventually, the ship was sold to another steel corporation and renamed the Willis B. Boyer before being permanently docked in the 1980s. It was rescued from the scrap yard by the city of Toledo, which decided to use the ship as a museum.

After weathering years of deterioration and an uncertain future, the vessel underwent “the most comprehensive restoration and subsequent transformation ever to occur in the annals of Great Lakes shipping history,” according to a press release from the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

The vessel, now resting at the same dock where she picked up her first cargo, was rechristened July 1, 2012 by James M. Schoonmaker II and his wife, Treecie — 100 years to the day after James’ mother christened the same ship.

With restorations complete, the ship is the centerpiece of the National Great Lakes Maritime Museum, to be established in Toledo in conjunction with the Great Lakes Historical Society. They opened on May 1, 2013.


Reseal & Rejuvenate Blacktop Surfaces

BLACK BEAUTY® coal slag meets most sealcoat industry specifications and standards for use in mixing aggregate with coal tar emulsions, crack fillers and epoxies to reseal and rejuvenate blacktop surfaces. In a hot mix with asphalt, extra fine, fine and medium grades of BLACK BEAUTY® sealcoat aggregate are spread over blacktop parking lots, driveways, private roads, playgrounds and even basketball courts to reseal and rejuvenate the surfaces from wear and tear.

Hard, durable, angular and dark in color, BLACK BEAUTY® sealcoat aggregate is an economic filler to reduce asphalt consumption and is superior to silica sand in many ways: it “hides” worn areas longer than silica sand, its dark color blends well with the existing surface, there is less contrast between BLACK BEAUTY® sealcoat aggregate and coal tar emulsions, it has excellent bonding power with low rollout and high compaction resistance, it has consistent gradings equal to commonly used silica sands and it will not dissolve with harsh road chemicals. It contains less than 0.1% free silica as compared to sand at up to 99% free silica.


Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater treatment facilities at rest areas, trailer parks and wastewater treatment plants prefer BLACK BEAUTY® mineral filter media. Hard, durable, dark in color and free of organic matter, BLACK BEAUTY® mineral filter media help snow and ice thaw due to light/energy absorption properties. The angular granules of BLACK BEAUTY® also help catch and trap sludge better than materials with spherical particles, like sand. Also, unlike brown sand, BLACK BEAUTY® mineral filter media’s black color provides a contrast between the media and the sludge.


Anti-skid Aggregate

BLACK BEAUTY® non-skid aggregate effectively reduces slippery floor surfaces in warehouses where high levels of foot and rolling load traffic are a safety concern. BLACK BEAUTY® non-skid aggregate is applied evenly across the surface of ramps, stairs and concrete warehouse floors and bound in with adhesive and/or epoxy systems. BLACK BEAUTY® non-skid aggregate is available in consistently sized multiple grades to suit the application: extra fine grade is used in tapes and treads; fine and medium grades are best for epoxy floor systems. BLACK BEAUTY® non-skid aggregate provides a great wearing surface and extra traction when the surface is wet.


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EXPLORE Our Products

BLACK BEAUTY® blasting abrasives are known for their high quality, low dusting and low free silica attributes.
BLACK BEAUTY® GLASS abrasives are high quality, chemically inert, environmentally friendly and contain less than 1% free silica.
BLACK BEAUTY® IRON abrasives are currently available out of our Tampa, FL, Fairless Hills, PA (Philadelphia) and Houston, TX, facilities in three industry-standard grades.