Abrasive blasting is the process of using high-pressure stream of abrasive material against various surfaces in order to smooth, roughen or shape them. It’s widely used to prepare the steel for the coating process and is necessary when removing previously applied coatings or corrosion deposits.
An abrasive blaster works on the principle of using high pressure compressed air to force a mixture of air and fine abrasive particles through a nozzle. It is extremely efficient in removing any paint, rust, corrosion, dirt or discolouration from a wide range of surfaces. Abrasive blasting does not pose any health or safety hazards, especially if using a proper respirator during the process.
When choosing the right abrasive for the job, you should take into account the different features of the abrasive, such as its size, hardness, mass and sharpness, as well as the reclaim capabilities and break down rate. Some of the more common types of abrasives such as steel grit and coal slag, are used to remove rust, paint and scale from steel, allow for fast cutting and do not collect moisture, leave a smooth finish, while also being cost-effective. When it comes to general cleaning, most people would prefer using a glass bead abrasive instead, as it allows them to work with very fine materials without compromising the quality of the surface. It’s generally used in reclaim systems and leaves a satin or matte finish, according to preferences.
In general, there are two main types of blasting: dry and wet, with the former usually done with the help of either sand, metallic grit or alumina. Glass beads are more often used in wet blasters. Abrasive blasting can be used in both commercial and industrial settings and removes – or cleans – any excess or unwanted materials from a range of surfaces. The main benefits, aside from being a cost-effective option, is that it keeps the surface intact, while removing the dirt, rust or previously applied coating.