GMA. Engineered to Perform.

The Challenge

Apache Industrial Services has been a leading industrial blasting and coatings contractor for more than three decades. With a long list of world-class clients and rigorous quality standards, the company has earned its strong reputation in the petrochemical, industrial and energy sectors.

Throughout 30 years in business, Apache has seen the industrial landscape continually evolve. With project timelines tightening, waste slag's performance issues had become major roadblocks to productivity and profitability. Recent OSHA regulations and supply shortages only heightened the company's concerns about their current abrasive. Apache also knew its techniques and equipment were keeping its blasters from optimizing their productivity and costs. But like any high quality contractor, Apache wanted to know exactly what would be gained before switching its blasters from one abrasive to another.

As Apache was mulling a switch, its team was contracted to oversee blasting operations at a large-scale storage tank facility—a high-profile project with a razor-thin timeline. Seizing the opportunity to test alternatives to waste slag, Apache contacted GMA. We were ready to illustrate exactly how GMA NewSteel™ and a conventional slag product stacked up.


The most effective, objective way to compare the performance of any two blasting abrasives is by conducting a trial. That's exactly where we started with Apache. GMA's Technical Experts organized a full demo blasting trial for Apache's Site Manager and Maintenance Manager. The trial design mirrored the requirements of Apache's upcoming job: three blasters on an eight-ton pot with a required profile of 2mil to 4mil.

When GMA performed this side-by-side, real-time comparison of GMA NewSteel™ and the conventional slag product, the results were clear. While both technically delivered the required profile, GMA NewSteel™ produced a 2.8mil profile, while the slag product nearly overshot the profile. Compared with the conventional slag abrasive, GMANewSteel™ cleaned nearly twice as many square feet per hour, with 50% less consumption.

In all, GMA's garnet abrasive delivered 71% higher productivity at 15% less cost—and that's not even factoring in the extra cost to paint waste slag's excess profile.

In one day with GMA Garnet™, we completed the amount of work that would normally take a week with slag abrasives."



After earning Apache's trust with the comparison trial, GMA Technical Experts conducted an on-site situational analysis to identify both challenges and opportunities for optimization. Like many contractors, Apache struggled to manage multiple blasters around a large tank. Other challenges included coordinating the start and stop time of blasters, and preparing equipment on time. One by one, our Technical Experts helped Apache resolve these on-site risks.

Our situational analysis also noted frequent equipment mismanagement. By ensuring the proper type and use of abrasive metering valves, resolving issues with coiled hoses and identifying compressors that weren't operating properly, we helped Apache reduce risk and avoid downtime.


abrasives comparison chart




Armed with a safer, more productive abrasive and the proper blasting technique, Apache's team is getting the job done right—and moving on to the next in record time. By switching from waste slag to a premium garnet abrasive, Apache:

•  Increased productivity by 71%
•  Saved 15% in project costs
•  Lowered consumption by 50%
•  Eliminated the health hazards associated with slags. 

Speak to an Expert

In today's protective coatings industry, there's no room for second best. Get a cleaner surface, faster with the world's most advanced garnet abrasive. Contact us today if you would like to arrange your own product trial, or require further information about GMA Garnet™ products.