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Providing Your Own Training for the SSPC Abrasive Blasting (C7) Exam

Companies that have already trained their workers in the topics listed below may elect to forgo the SSPC classroom training component and have an authorized SSPC representative oversee a written exam and a hands-on certification session in abrasive blast cleaning. The SSPC exam proctor will not review any of the training topics with the students. It will be assumed that they have already been trained and are ready to be tested.

If you would like to forgo the SSPC classroom training and only have SSPC come to your facility to proctor the exams, please contact Jennifer Merck (merck@sspc.org or 877-281-7772 ext 2221) to request a cost proposal for this option.

**It is your company’s responsibility to train the students. When SSPC comes to your location we will proctor the 1-hour multiple-choice exam and the hands-on exam. The instructor will not review any material with the students.**


Lecture Topics & Suggestions

1. Surface Preparation

  • Surface defects to be corrected
  • Pre-cleaning prior to blast cleaning
  • Surface contaminants
  • Non visible contaminants (salt contamination)
  • Abrasive blasting surface cleanliness levels
  • Standards for abrasive blast cleaned surfaces

2. Nozzle Blasting System Components

  • Air compressor
  • CFM and PSI
  • Air drying equipment/moisture separator
  • Air hose & fittings
  • Blast machine
  • ASME code
  • Abrasive metering valve
  • Remote controls (deadman)
  • Blast hose & fittings
  • Blast nozzle
  • Productivity and PSI
  • CFM for operators
  • Dust generation
  • MSDS
  • PPE
  • Other safety hazards
  • Abrasive recovery and containment

3. Abrasive Characteristics, Types, and Specifications

4. Wheel Blast Equipment Types, Set up, Operation, Maintenance*

*For those requiring training in centrifugal blast cleaning

Hands-On Exam

It is up to your company to have your students prepared to demonstrate hands-on blasting. Information about what will be happen in the blast yard during the Hands-On Session is as follows:

  • The objective is to have the student’s set up, suit up, and demonstrate their skills at blast cleaning.


The final hands-on session consists of actual abrasive blasting. The students will suit up in preparation for blasting. After the equipment is started, blasting will begin, with the students participating in the actual operation.

Each student will blast for 15-30 minutes. During blasting, students will demonstrate the effects of the following on the blasting operation:

  • Abrasive (show differences when using different abrasive)
    • Identifying type of profile (round or angular)
    • Metering (adjust meter to show too much flow versus too little flow before setting correctly)
    • Pressure (test pressure at the nozzle; adjust pressure up or down to demonstrate effect on productivity)
    • Hose length (inspect and minimize bends)
    • Angle of attack and stand-off distance (vary to show effect on cleaning)
    • Nozzle size (inspect liner and gasket; switch nozzles to show difference)
    • Obtaining cleanliness levels

At the end of the blasting session(s), students will take and record profile readings and also determine the level of cleanliness using

Please note that the blast equipment technician you make available to the class must be approved by the equipment manufacturer. This is important for safety reasons.


Suggestions that will help the Abrasive Blasting course run more smoothly and give everyone an opportunity to blast:

Please make sure you have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) on-site for the hands-on part of the course. Make sure you have enough blast helmets, coveralls, leather gloves, earplugs, etc. (You must supply this or make certain you let the students know they have to bring their PPE.)

The blasting part of the course can move along quickly if it's done in an assembly-line fashion. There should be one (1) "experienced" contractor representative and one (1) instructor suited with the proper PPE in the blastroom. The ratio should be one student blasting per one instructor.

There needs to be enough room to blast simultaneously safely. The instructor in the blastroom can evaluate the students while they are blasting.

The key to making this all run smoothly is to have enough PPE and blasting equipment.

If you supply a full-face respirator then you also need to provide antiseptic wipes to disinfect the respirators between uses.