Sandblasting or abrasive blasting? Well, they both mean the same. Abrasive blasting is known by many different names such as sandblasting, media blasting, or grit blasting. These are the different sets of names, all referring to the same method of surface cleaning and preparation. The only difference is the type of ‘abrasive’ used to do the work.
What Do You Mean By Sand Blasting Or Abrasive Blasting?
Abrasive blasting refers to the technique by which any surface can be modified to be made into a smooth, rough, cleaned, and finished.
Abrasive blasting is a quick process to clean and descale everything efficiently in no time. Abrasive blasting method is also responsible for ensuring that the metal parts work properly when exposed to extreme weather conditions or rusty environments.
Abrasive blasting can also be used to prepare surfaces prior to removing impurities or repainting.
Generally, sand (silica dioxide) was used as the primary abrasive media in the past. Now there are substantial other abrasives that do the cleansing.
The medium or material that you use would influence the final result. So let’s get to understand what are the different types of Sand Blasting.
#1 Silica Sand Blasting Technique: Silica is popularly known as silicon dioxide, which is ordinary sand that is used in the process of shearing and scraping any surface. It is commonly used to remove all the surface impurities and provide a clean and finished look. Just because silica consists of sharp edges, it provides a grit effect in abrasive blasting/sandblasting. Nowadays, Silicon sand is not considered as the primary choice for sandblasting because the process could lead to various respiratory issues. Most of the benefits of using silica sand can be met with the use of other materials. Its previous use was due to its sharp edge and uniform size.
#2 Soda Sand Blasting Technique: Soda sandblasting is a technique that provides a cleaning effect without causing any damage to the surface of the metals. This technique is commonly used for soft metals because it doesn’t disrupt the outer layer of the metal or chemically react with them. In this method, sodium bicarbonate particles are blasted against a surface using compressed air
Soda sandblasting is extensively used to remove rust or corrosion from the metal surfaces without creating any sort of depression or damage to the underlying soft delicate layer of metal.
#3 Steel Grit Blasting Technique: Steel Grit Blasting is a type of abrasive blasting technique that uses spherical steels as abrasives. This method is commonly used when attempting to clean metal surfaces. It’s very effective in removing paint or rust on other steel surfaces. The use of steel grit also has added advantages such as providing smoother surface finish and helping in peening which strengthens the metal.
Other materials can also be used instead of steel in this procedure such as Aluminum, Silicon Carbide, and walnut shells. It all depends on what surface material is being cleaned.
Steel Grit Blasting is generally used for any metal surface that requires a smooth finish and fast cutting removal.
#4 Bead Blasting Technique: Bead blasting is yet another technique that uses air pressure powered abrasive blasting methods along with glass beads. These glass beads are effective at cleaning, deburring, and peening metal surfaces. The glass beads are spherical in shape and when impact the surface creates a micro-dimple. The aim is to provide a much more uniform finish. These glass beads are 100% recyclable making it a cost-effective method.
The use of glass beads also results in a much cleaner and bright finish. The use of glass beads also ensures the abrasive is non-toxic and not harmful to the environment.
Bead blasting method is generally used for providing surfaces with a bright smooth finish.
#5 Bristle Blasting Technique: In the Bristle blasting method, no separate medium is used. Rather, the steel wire bristles are rotated on the surface of the metal. The rotation process helps in the removal of impurities, hence leaving the surface smooth. This method is commonly used to clean metal surfaces with some form of corrosion.
There are different types of abrasive/ sandblasting which include silicon dioxide, soda, steel, bristle, glass beads, and much more. All these different sandblasting methods are used to achieve a smooth surface by making use of a specific type of grit. Therefore, you must be vigilant while determining the correct technique to use. For instance, if you want to remove old paint from your car so that you can repaint it, consider using the beads abrasive blasting method. This is because beads will delicately remove the surface paint without damaging the vehicle’s metallic body.
If you are unsure as to which of these methods would be right for your project or you have already made your choice, contact Noble Metal Coating to help you select a suitable sandblasting method and get the process started.