Abrasive Blasting: Is it the same as Sandblasting? Sandblasting, bead blasting or abrasive blasting…Is it really the same thing? The short answer is yes! For many years the term sandblasting was used simply because the abrasive choice was sand. Well, times have changed! We do not recommend using sand in any of our blasters. The first reason is a health and safety concern. Sand contains silica which can cause serious respiratory illnesses. The use of a proper respirator with most abrasives will reduce your health risks. The second reason is due to the high moisture content and the impurities in sand. It can cause equipment blockages, blast equipment, and contamination (rust) of the blasted surface. The third reason is sand just does not work as well as other abrasives. Sand used once in a blaster turns into a powder and loses its abrasive capabilities. Using the correct abrasive can make the job go quicker and using the right abrasive can give you a more desirable finish to the item you are blasting. Remember, time is money!
An abrasive blaster works on the principle of high pressure compressed air being used to force a mix of air and fine abrasive through a nozzle. The abrasive particles will quickly remove paint, rust, corrosion, dirt, and discoloration from many different types of surfaces. Just as there are many surfaces to be cleaned there are many different types of abrasive materials that can be used.
When choosing the right abrasive for the job, the size, hardness, mass, sharpness break down rate and reclaim capabilities should be considered.
The most important element of any coating project is surface preparation. You need the surface roughness to achieve maximum bond strength of the coating system. Inadequate surface preparation is the major cause of all coating failures.
The following are a few common types of surface preparation operations.
- Abrasive Blasting
- Single Use & Recycle Media
- Wet Abrasive Blasting
- Steel Shot Peening/Cleaning
- Sponge Jet Blasting
- Bicarbonate of Soda Blasting
- Power Tool Cleaning (SP3)
- Hand Tool Cleaning (SP2)
- Solvent Cleaning (SP1)
- Water Washing and Jetting
- Low-Pressure Water Cleaning (<5,000 psi)
- High-Pressure Water Cleaning (5,000 to 10,000 psi)
- High-Pressure Water Jetting (10,000 to 25,000 psi)
- Ultrahigh-Pressure Water Jetting (>25,000 psi)