How Abrasive Blasting Works: Unveiling the Three Essential ComponentsSeptember 20, 2023
The Different Types of Abrasive Blasting: A Comprehensive Overview
Abrasive blasting, a technique used to clean, prepare, or finish surfaces, goes by several names depending on the blasting media, method, or application. Each type of abrasive blasting offers unique advantages and is suitable for specific tasks. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common types of abrasive blasting and what sets them apart.
Bead Blasting: Bead blasting employs glass beads at lower air pressures to clean, deburr, or peen metal surfaces. This method allows for the removal of paint, corrosion, or rust from metal without embedding foreign material. Glass beads are versatile and can be used in both dry and wet blasting processes. The finish achieved through bead blasting is clean, bright, and slightly dimpled. Additionally, the use of smaller glass beads results in a smoother finished surface. One significant advantage of glass beads is that they are non-toxic and do not pose the risk of causing silicosis, as they are not made from silica.
Shot Blasting: Shot blasting involves the use of spherical steel shots to clean metal surfaces. The process can create a peening effect, enhancing the compressive strength of the blasted surface. Shot blasting can take place in a cabinet using sufficient pressure or in blast rooms or enclosures.
Wheel Blasting: Wheel blasting is a method that utilizes heavier abrasives like shot or grit. Unlike traditional blasting methods that use compressed air or water as the propellant, wheel blasting employs a rotating wheel and centrifugal force to propel the abrasive media.
Wet Blasting: In the 1950s wet blasting was a response to the health hazards associated with traditional sandblasting using silica sand. By using water as the abrasive propellant, wet blasting offers a way to blast surfaces without generating harmful dust. Moreover, wet blasting ensures more consistent finishes.
Soda Blasting: Soda blasting is a milder form of abrasive blasting that employs sodium bicarbonate as the abrasive and compressed air as the propellant. This method finds applications in automotive restoration, rust removal, wood cleaning, graffiti removal, soot remediation, and boat hull cleaning. Compared to traditional abrasive blasting, soda blasting generally operates at a lower PSI (about 40 PSI).
Each type of abrasive blasting has its specific strengths and applications, making them valuable tools in various industries. Choosing the right method depends on factors such as the type of surface, the desired finish, environmental considerations, and safety requirements.
Remember to employ proper safety measures, such as wearing protective gear and following industry guidelines, when working with abrasive blasting techniques. Whether it's for industrial cleaning, surface preparation, or artistic applications, abrasive blasting continues to play a crucial role in numerous fields, ensuring surfaces are transformed efficiently and effectively.
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