Apr 18, 2014

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What is Abrasive Blasting?

What is Abrasive Blasting?

Abrasive blasting is a process where an abrasive media is propelled at the surface of an object with the intention of removing rust, paint or other similar coatings as well as etching designs. Although sand is the most common material used as media there are other abrasive blasting materials such as glass beads and grit, plastic media of various sizes and shapes and even bicarbonate of soda. To remove material from a surface with whatever media requires special equipment and the operators must be trained on the equipment so they will know how to perform the task properly, without damaging the material in question and the work must be done safely. The operator of a sandblasting machine must wear special clothing and breathing apparatus as the dust can be harmful to one’s health.

When the objective is to do abrasive blasting the first priority is to prepare the area where the job will be done. Sandblasting is by far not a clean process, sand along with the rust and paint that is being removed is sent flying everywhere so it is necessary that the surrounding area be protected. In many industrial applications where sandblasting is an integral part of the production process it takes place in areas which have been designed and purpose built for this reason. If sandblasting is a one-off job then the area can be sealed behind tarps or heavy duty plastic sheeting. Regardless of how it is done, good ventilation is required.

Once the area where the sandblasting will take place has been prepared the machine is checked to ensure that all the valves are in the off position to make sure that there are no accidental discharges of the media. Most industrial sandblasters will take up to 40 pounds of sand at a time; the sand is held in a hopper and loaded while the machine is idle. Once the sand is loaded, the machine is energized, the air pressure builds up and very quickly there is sufficient pressure to begin the blasting process.

The actual abrasive blasting process is accomplished with a hose and nozzle. When the trigger, which is located on the nozzle, is depressed; sand is propelled at high force. The nozzle is moved slowly back and forth and the sand removes the unwanted material.

There are a number of types of abrasive blasting, in many cases what is important is that the unwanted material is removed and the underlying substrate is left untouched. If this is your objective then you are invited to talk to Opti-Blast, manufacturers of plastic blasting media.

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