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Types of Sandblasting For Commercial and Industrial Use

What is Sandblasting?

If you have some exposure to the building and equipment maintenance industry, sandblasting would not be a concept unknown to you.

It is used for its many restorative functions, in various forms, on several kinds of materials. For the sake of starting from the beginning, however, let us get right down to the basics.

Sandblasting is the process of forcing small pieces of abrasive material against a surface with such pressure that it changes its shape. It can not only be used to smoothen or roughen a surface but also to shape it and to remove layers of pollutants.

Old paint coatings, sealant, scale, or corrosion, sometimes even rust can be removed from surfaces that are in a state of disrepair. Not only does sandblasting save you tons of money on replacement material, but it is also environmentally friendly to modify old material instead of replacing it.

There are several variants of this operation, depending on circumstances of use and the material that needs to be reworked. Before getting into the types of sandblasting you can opt for in commercial building maintenance, let us talk about the technique itself.

Technology, Mechanism, and Equipment

The process was first introduced in 1870 by Benjamin Chew Tilghman, who served as an army general in the desert where he observed the wind-blown effect sand had on windows and patented his idea in the US. The sandblasting technology has now spread worldwide as a standard in building maintenance and material manipulation.

With the passage of time, it was discovered that sandblasting had a high exposure risk to silica dust for machinery operators, which was carcinogenic. So, the introduction of a range of variations and improvements kept gaining ground. Wet abrasive blasting was introduced, and better safety equipment was brought in.

Today, sandblasting has evolved to have more efficient air compressors and durable materials for blast nozzles amongst other updates.

Other equipment that is needed for professional grade sandblasting will often include very tiny abrasive media such as grit, aluminum oxide, and silicon carbide. These media are used in place of sand, which was used previously and gave sandblasting its name. Except these, sometimes garnet, glass beads, walnut shells, and plastic pellets are also used depending on the needs of the surface.

The size, shape, and number of nozzles have to be selected individually for each particular sandblasting job since the requirements and conditions change depending on the material in question. Experienced sandblasting workers are usually able to determine what would work best in certain situations.

Materials That Can be Sandblasted

The vast range of materials that can be manipulated with sandblasting is what makes it such an important process and so essential in commercial restoration and maintenance.

Amongst others, some materials that this technique can be used for are glass, stone, several metals and alloys, wood, hard and soft plastics, steel, brass, aluminum, and silver.

Which Kind of Sandblasting Do You Need

Let’s take a look into the different types of abrasive blasting you can opt for:

Wet Abrasive Blasting

A wet process can be a strong alternative to sandblasting, especially because it helps in reducing the risk of silicosis. Sandblasting had once been banned in several countries owing to this risk. The potentially damaging exposure to the carcinogen can be avoided by adding a little bit of water to the sandblasting media.

Bead Blasting

Bead blasting is the use of glass beads propelled at high pressure onto the surface to safely remove deposits while preserving the surface from damage. Calcium deposits and embedded fungus can be removed from any surface, and grout color can be brightened.

Wheel Blasting

When a spinning wheel propels the abrasive substance against an object, the process is called wheel blasting. Since neither gas nor liquid propellant is used, it is usually categorized as an airless blasting system used for de-flashing plastic and rubber parts.

Hydro-Blasting

The hydro-blasting technique uses a high-pressure stream of water to remove an old coat of paint, chemicals, or buildup without causing damage to the material. Hydro-blasting is ideal for thorough internal and external cleaning because the pressurized jet of water is able to reach corners and crevices.   This method is also sustainable for the environment since it has the ability to recapture and reuse water, thereby reducing wastage.

Micro-Abrasive Blasting

This technique blasting uses very small nozzles to deliver a fine stream of abrasive to a small part or a smaller section of a whole. Micro-abrasive blasting is so precise that it can even be used to write or design on the material.

Automated blasting

Usually coupled with other surface treatments such as preparation and coating applications, automated blasting can prepare the surface for more extensive abrasive work in later stages.

Dry-Ice Blasting

Dry-ice blasting makes use of air and dry ice to decontaminate surfaces, which is a softer material and hence, less damaging to the underlying surface. The coat of grime or dust is dislodged by the force of frozen carbon dioxide particles projected in a pressurized stream, and by the shrinking of metal as the temperature lowers to freezing. It is best used on metal surfaces.

Bristle Blasting

In bristle blasting, the surface is treated by a rotary tool shaped like a brush but made of dynamically tuned high-carbon steel wire bristles. The method cleans and roughens the surface at the same time.

Whether actual silica producing sand is being used or not, abrasive blasting is still a dangerous process and is best handled by professionals. Besides exposure to toxic dust, the operator can be subjected to heat exhaustion and excessive noise pollution.

We can help:  Our specialized operators will observe the surfaces you need to shape or restore. They will offer you their expertise on which kind of blasting your project requires, and then provide the service safely and expertly. With us, the restoration and renovation of any building are possible, no matter how stubborn the grime, paint, or corrosion may seem.

What is Sandblasting?

If you have some exposure to the building maintenance industry, sandblasting would not be a concept unknown to you.

It is used for its many restorative functions, in various forms, on several kinds of materials. For the sake of starting from the beginning, however, let us get right down to the basics.

Sandblasting is the process of forcing small pieces of abrasive material against a surface with such pressure that it changes its shape. It can not only be used to smoothen or roughen a surface, but also to shape it and to remove layers of pollutants.

Old paint coatings, sealant, scale, or corrosion, sometimes even rust can be removed from surfaces that are in a state of disrepair. Not only does sandblasting save you tons of money on replacement material, it is also environmentally friendly to modify old material instead replacing it.

There are several variants of this operation depending on circumstances of use and the material that needs to be reworked. Before getting into the types of sandblasting you can opt for in commercial building maintenance, let us talk about the technique itself.

Technology, Mechanism and Equipment

The process was first introduced in 1870 by Benjamin Chew Tilghman, who served as an army general in the desert where he observed the effect wind-blown sand had on windows, and patented his idea in the US. The sandblasting technology has now spread worldwide as a standard in building maintenance and material manipulation.

With the passage of time, it was discovered that sandblasting had a high exposure risk to silica dust for machinery operators, which was carcinogenic. So, the introduction of a range of variations and improvements kept gaining ground. Wet abrasive blasting was introduced, and better safety equipment was brought in.

Today, sandblasting has evolved to have more efficient air compressors and durable materials for blast nozzles amongst other updates.

Other equipment that is needed for professional grade sandblasting will often include very tiny abrasive media such as grit, aluminum oxide, and silicon carbide. These media are used in place of sand, which was used previously and gave sandblasting its name. Except these, sometimes garnet, glass beads, walnut shells, and plastic pellets are also used depending on the needs of the surface.

The size, shape, and number of nozzles has to be selected individually for each particular sandblasting job, since the requirements and conditions change depending on the material in question. Experienced sandblasting workers are usually able to determine what would work best in certain situations.

Materials That Can be Sandblasted

The vast range of materials that can be manipulated with sandblasting is what makes it such an important process and so essential in commercial restoration and maintenance.

Amongst others, some materials that this technique can be used for are glass, stone, several metals and alloys, wood, hard and soft plastics, steel, brass, aluminum, and silver.

Which Kind of Sandblasting Do You Need

Let’s take a look into the different types of abrasive blasting you can opt for:

Wet Abrasive Blasting

A wet process can be a strong alternative to sandblasting, especially because it helps in reducing the risk of silicosis. Sandblasting had once been banned in several countries owing to this risk. The potentially damaging exposure to the carcinogen can be avoided by adding a little bit of water to the sandblasting media.

Bead Blasting

Bead blasting is the use of glass beads propelled at a high pressure onto the surface to safely remove deposits while preserving the surface from damage. Calcium deposits and embedded fungus can be removed from any surface and grout color can be brightened.

Wheel Blasting

When a spinning wheel propels the abrasive substance against an object, the process is called wheel blasting. Since neither gas nor liquid propellant is used, it is usually categorized as an airless blasting system used for de-flashing plastic and rubber parts.

Hydro-Blasting

The hydro-blasting technique uses a high pressure stream of water to remove an old coat of paint, chemicals, or buildup without causing damage to the material. Hydro-blasting is ideal for thorough internal and external cleaning because the pressurized jet of water is able to reach corners and crevices.   This method is also sustainable for the environment since it has the ability to recapture and reuse water, thereby reducing wastage.

Micro-Abrasive Blasting

This technique blasting uses very small nozzles to deliver a fine stream of abrasive to a small part or a smaller section of a whole. Micro-abrasive blasting is so precise that it can even be used to write or design on material on delicate material.

Automated blasting

Usually coupled with other surface treatments such as preparation and coating applications, automated blasting can prepare the surface for more extensive abrasive work in later stages.

Dry-Ice Blasting

Dry-ice blasting makes use of air and dry ice to decontaminate surfaces, which is a softer material and hence, less damaging to the underlying surface. The coat of grime or dust is dislodged by the force of frozen carbon dioxide particles projected in a pressurized stream, and by the shrinking of metal as the temperature lowers to freezing. It is best used on metal surfaces.

Bristle Blasting

In bristle blasting, the surface is treated by a rotary tool shaped like a brush, but made of dynamically tuned high-carbon steel wire bristles. The method cleans and roughens the surface at the same time.

Whether actual silica producing sand is being used or not, abrasive blasting is still a dangerous process and is best handled by professionals. Besides exposure to toxic dusts, the operator can be subjected to heat exhaustion and excessive noise pollution.

We can help:  Our specialized operators will observe the surfaces you need to shape or restore. They will offer you their expertise on which kind of blasting your project requires, and then provide the service safely and expertly. With us, the restoration and renovation of any building is possible, no matter how stubborn the grime, paint, or corrosion may seem.

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