Importance of Abrasive Blasting

D D Industrial Coatings Q4 2022 pic

Abrasive blasting is used in many industries to prepare, clean, and finish surfaces. These materials include metals and plastics, as well as wood and glass. It is possible to clean surfaces faster and more effectively than chemical cleaning, allowing for further treatment or cosmetic purposes.

Steels and other metals are extensively used in the construction and manufacturing industries. They need protection against corrosion to maintain structural integrity and prolong their life spans. Therefore, protective coatings must be applied to these surfaces. Abrasive blasting is the most popular method of surface cleaning and preparation.

What is Abrasive Blasting?
Abrasive blasting is a process in which an abrasive material is applied against a surface using blasting nozzles powered with compressed air. The surface is cleaned of dirt, debris, or surface coatings, and the underlying material is not damaged. This process is used extensively in industry for many purposes, including:

  • Preparation of the surface before painting, coating, or bonding

  • Removal of rust, scale, or existing coatings

  • Removal of burrs and edge profiling from machined parts

  • Removal of mold flash from plastic parts

  • Frosting or glass etching

  • Providing a matte cosmetic finish to consumer products

The surface finish required will determine the abrasive media used for each application. The following are some standard blasting abrasives:

  • Sand

  • Steel shot or Grit

  • Glass bead or crushed glass

  • Aluminum oxide

  • Silicon carbide

  • Coconut or walnut shell

  • Copper slag

  • Plastic

Sand has been used for many purposes in the past. However, inhaling fine sand during blasting poses a serious risk to your health and could cause silicosis. Sandblasting workers are required to wear protective clothing in all countries. For blasting purposes, it is preferable to use less toxic abrasives. For example, aluminum oxide is a durable, tough, and rigid medium that can be reused and recycled many times. Aluminum oxide has a distinct advantage over other abrasive media that must be discarded after a few uses.

What are the Benefits of Abrasive Blasting?
Abrasive blasting has the primary advantage of inertness, meaning it doesn’t react chemically to the cleaned material. Chemical cleaners can cause damage and potential reactions to the underlying materials. These effects may not be immediately visible and can develop long-term issues after coating the surface. In addition, if the surface needs re-stripping or recoating, it increases the cost of the process.

Abrasive blasting has many advantages over chemical cleaning when it comes to surface preparation:

  • Environmental friendliness. Abrasive blasting is much more eco-friendly than chemical cleaning. The media used for blasting are made of natural and eco-friendly materials, which do not emit greenhouse gasses.

  • Abrasive blasting penetrates all corners and crevices of any surface being cleaned, making it faster and more thorough. A manual process with a scraper or scrub brush is often required for chemical cleaning. However, this method is less efficient than abrasive blasting.

  • Surface profiling. You can control the adhesion profile by using different sizes of blasting media for surface preparation. The customer’s requirements for the material will determine the extent of roughness and surface profile. Chemical stripping is not able to control the final profile.

  • Operator safety. Abrasive media are generally less harmful than chemical cleaning methods. Sandblasting poses a risk to health due to fine dust and sand particles. However, operators take preventive measures to reduce the risk.

  • Abrasive blasting can be used to prepare surfaces. It is both efficient and time-saving. Mobile solutions are also available with state-of-the-art technology for complex surfaces.

Why is Blasting Important?
Abrasive blasting is a cost-effective way to prepare and clean surfaces and offers many economic benefits over traditional methods. It cleans surfaces faster and more effectively than conventional methods while removing unwanted contaminants more efficiently. However, contaminants that remain on the surface after the coating is applied can cause future problems, leading to costly surface cleaning or even failure.

Climate control is a critical aspect of surface preparation. The effectiveness of coating adhesion is affected by temperature, humidity, and time. In addition, the risk of corrosion and further oxidation will be present on metal surfaces after cleaning. Therefore, applying coatings as quickly as possible after surface preparation is crucial. The temperature must be controlled to prevent moisture from forming on the surface.

Up to 80 percent of premature coating failures are due to inadequate or poor surface preparation. The most advanced abrasive blasting technology allows for climate control, which ensures optimal conditions for coating preparation.

Professional Abrasive Blasting
Are you looking for a reliable abrasive for your blasting application? For a cost-effective and reliable solution, contact D & D Industrial Coatings. We provide high-quality powder coating, industrial painting and coating, and abrasive blasting services. No matter the industry, whether marine or agricultural, medical or transportation, we provide service you can count on.

Visit our website to request a quote and find a complete list of our services, or call (262) 637-0686 for more information.