The Diverse Uses of Abrasive Blasting

Many industries rely heavily on abrasive blasting, and for good reason, as sandblasting is the most effective way to prepare a surface. For almost 150 years, we have enjoyed the superb finish left after an abrasive blast, as in 1870, the very first abrasive blasting machine was invented, which was a far easier way to prepare surfaces that the use of chemicals. The principle was simple; using sand (or an equally small material) that is propelled by compressed air, it is possible to strip metal surfaces of paint, oil and grease, leaving the surface clean, smooth and ready for priming or painting.

Abrasive Blasting

There are many types of abrasive blasting, each with its own special properties; some leave a very coarse finish, while others a shiny, smooth surface, depending on the coarseness of the sand or other material. If you have some surfaces you would like to prepare, there are companies that offer Perth sandblasting, and they can easily be found with an online search. Such is the diversity of the media used, there is sure to be something that will clean the surface without damaging it, and once you are talking to the experts, they can make recommendations.

Here are a few of the abrasive blasting techniques used in industry today:

  • Sandblasting – The sand and compressed air are mixed inside a tank, and the pipes run to a nozzle gun, which is typically made from boron carbide, as this is very durable and hardwearing. Used to clean off heavy plant prior to servicing or repainting, sandblasting can be used to do a wide range of cleaning jobs, it can clean concrete, metal and indeed plastic, restoring the surface to its original condition.
  • Wet Abrasive Blasting – A specialised field, wet abrasive blasting uses water as a lubricant for the sand and the surface, which can bring up a very smooth finish. Adding water also greatly reduces dust, another reason it is used in many industrial applications. Wet abrasion is often used to remove asbestos, as the water keeps the air free from the harmful asbestos fibres.
  • Bead Blasting – Fine beads are used with compressed air, and as the glass beads are very fine, they can be used to clean ceramic tiles and porcelain. Bead blasting is often preferred when respraying a car, as the beads leave a more uniformed finish, and is also used to clean mineral deposits that would be damaged by sand.
  • Wheel Blasting – This technique uses a spinning wheel that houses the abrasive and it is applied against the surface to be cleaned.
  • Micro-Abrasive Blasting – This is designed for intricate components, as the fine, but powerful jet can get into every nook and cranny, ensuring the entire surface is prepared.
  • Mobile Abrasive Blasting Units – Until a few years ago, any item to be sand blasted would be taken to a static blasting machine, and that wasn’t always possible. Now we have small and very portable blasting devices, which allows the operator to work at close quarters, which saves a lot of time and money when preparing industrial surfaces.

Abrasive blasting is the ideal solution for many commercial applications, and we have certainly come a long way since 1870, when the first sandblasting machine was invented.

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