Sandblasting is a colloquial term that refers mainly to abrasive blasting. It is a process which uses a particular type of material for a particular abrasive result. A smoother material like corn cobs or walnut peels are meant for softer compression results and a soft layer like wooden structures and thin metal surface. However, steel grits can be used for cutting through hard metal and remove corrosion. Abrasive blasting is a quick process to clean and descale everything efficiently in no time. It also ensures proper working of the metal parts which are exposed to extreme weather conditions or rusty environment. Abrasive blasting can also be used to prepare surfaces prior to removing impurities or repainting.
While sand used to be the primary abrasive media in the past, now there are substantial other abrasives that do the cleansing. What media we select influences the final result. There media comprise of the different types of sandblasting methods listed below:
Silica Sand: Silica sand also known as silicon dioxide which is ordinary sand that is commonly used for shearing or scraping a surface. It is called silica or quartz, which was commonly used to remove surface impurities and give it a clean look because it consists of sharp edges which give it a grit effect in abrasive blasting. But since it could lead to common respiratory problems or asthma, silica sand is no longer the primary choice in sand blasting applications.
Soda Sandblasting: Soda sandblasting gives a cleansing effect without damaging the layer because it doesn’t damage the outer layer of softer metals like aluminous or react chemically with its surface. Therefore it is extensively used to remove rust from metals without causing depression or damage to the underlying delicate layers since tougher materials can simply get scraped by hard media. Soda is also a great grit to use on delicate materials.
Steel Sandblasting:Steel media is used for both blasting and scraping. In this process, steel grit is used as an abrasive media to clean off corrosion and rust from hard metal surfaces. It has fast cutting effect which can be effective in thick surface preparation prior to painting. Steel balls are best used for peening purpose on different materials and they are common in automobile industries, aeroplane hangers and heavy machineries. Steel media is used as it also leaves a smooth finish. It has a high recyclable life.
Glass Beads: Glass beads are silica free and environmentally safe. They can be used on many areas to remove surface imperfections like rust, burrs, scales and more. It is excellent for paint preparation and provides a unique matte and satin finish to the surface. This media offers a clean finish on a variety of metals and softer metals like aluminum can be effectively treated using glass beads.
Bristle blasting: Steel bristles are hard round metal washes containing bristles at their edges. This brush like blast is rotated on a surface to remove harsh impurities subsequently providing it a smooth surface. This technique is only used on harsh surfaces to clean difficult corrosion or burrs
There are many types of sandblasting but one must determine the impact of each media before using it for the particular cause. It is pertinent to be well read about these media since a hard one can damage the surface if you are not sure how to use it. Therefore, it is wise to be sure which of these methods would be right for your project.