Abrasive blasting or commonly known as sandblasting has developed well beyond its traditional uses. Sandblasting as the name implies used to combine either wet or dry, high pressure solutions of abrading metals or glass with sand. Abrasive blasting the industrial cousin of sandblasting has become a much more complete and technology driven solution intended to smooth, roughen, shape, or remove surface contaminants from materials that can include metals, glass, fabrics and others.
Types of blasting
There are many different types of blasting including the following main types:
– Wet abrasive – gives the ability to use fine or coarse abrasives and due to the use of water during the technique avoids re-contamination by the abrasive.
– Bead – removes surface deposits from materials by applying fine glass beads at high pressurized blasting.
– Micro-abrasive – is a dry abrasive blasting process that provides for very small abrasives to be used very accurately commonly known as pencil blasting and is able to put designs on an egg-shell.
– Wheel – is considered an airless blasting technique that uses centrifugal force of a spinning wheel to force the abrasives against the intended target.
These types of blasting are most commonly used in industrial and commercial applications.
There are three main types of blasting equipment that can be used for manufacturing or processing in a commercial or industrial situation. They include:
– Blasting cabinets – are closed loop systems that allow the operator to abrasively blast the part in provides recycling of the abrasive used. Most cabinets allow the operator to put their hands through glove holes in order to manipulate the part being blasted. These systems come in varying sizes, can use various abrasives and can use either wet or dry techniques.
– Blasting machines – are individual machines that provide the abrasive with the propelling force needed to apply abrasive blasting in an open system. These mobile systems are best used for large blasting projects High pressure water blasting that require portability and the object being blasted is larger than any blast cabinet. The abrasive used can generally not be recycled in this method.
– Blasting rooms – is a larger version of a cabinet meant to be used in a large production facility and is usually automated to allow continuous use and repetitive blasting on similar patterns or designs. These rooms provide an economy of scale for techniques that allow a low-cost solution for manufacturing production.
Consider uses and specifications for your blasting project before deciding on the type of blasting equipment, techniques and abrasives that you will require. If you are unsure it is best to consult with blasting equipment experts and manufacturers to ensure your requirements are met.