4 common uses of abrasive blasting

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4 common uses of abrasive blasting

Do you need to apply the final finish to a surface? Ever considered abrasive blasting?
Whether it be to improve functionality or aesthetics, you must first prepare it by removing rust, old layers of paint or varnish and any other imperfections. This will provide you with a smooth surface that’s much easier to coat and likely to last longer. And that’s where abrasive blasting can help.

Let’s find out more about abrasive blasting – including what it is, how it works and some of the applications it can be used for.

What is abrasive blasting?

Abrasive blasting – also known as shot blasting – is the process of propelling an abrasive material onto a surface or item at high speed.

The blasting media is typically fired at the surface using a pressurised fluid, vapour streams, compressed air or via a centrifugal wheel. The process itself is used to remove coatings, corrosion and contamination, to smooth rough edges, roughen smooth edges or reshape a surface.

How does abrasive blasting work?

The way abrasive blasting works is relatively straightforward.

To begin, you need to make sure that the surface is clean and dry to eliminate excess debris or moisture. Once you’ve done that, make sure you’re equipped with the necessary blasting personal protective equipment (PPE), including a blast helmet, suit and gloves.

An abrasive blast system consists of three parts:
• abrasive container (otherwise known as a blast pot)
• propelling device
• blasting nozzle

Compressed air or a centrifugally-powered wheel propels the media at the surface in question, altering its texture or removing contaminants.

In a blast cabinet or booth, the media may be reclaimed and recycled after it’s been used. For outdoor applications, the used media is likely to be disposed of or recycled.

What is abrasive blasting used for?
Abrasive blasting is used for numerous industrial and commercial applications – sometimes even some domestic projects.

Some of the most common include:

1. Removing imperfections
Whether it be rust, sand, scale or stains, abrasive blasting ensures a smooth surface that helps to prepare it for longer-lasting paint adherence. Using this technique to prepare surfaces and preserve their integrity will ensure a more even finish too.

2. Cleaning surfaces
Need to apply a fresh layer of paint or varnish? Perhaps you’re looking to remove graffiti and stubborn deposits? Using abrasive blasting equipment will enable you to thoroughly clean the surface – ensuring no dust, dirt and debris build-up – in a way that’s gentle and effective.

3. Eliminating contaminants
Rusty, old parts are not ideal. However, corrosion and other surface contaminants can form as a result of manufacturing processes, environmental conditions and handling. Abrasive blasting offers a fast and effective solution for cleaning and maintenance, helping to reduce downtime and keep crucial parts intact for longer.

4. Altering the texture of a surface
When it comes to altering the appearance of products and creating your desired finish, you can’t go wrong with abrasive blasting. This technique is frequently employed by industries to prepare surfaces for etching, engraving and decorating – delivering a shiny, smooth or matte finish.

Want to know more about abrasive blasting?
If you have any questions about the process itself, or you’d like to discuss your project requirements in further detail with an expert, the team at Surface Finishing Equipment Group (SFEG) can help.

As one of the UK’s leading surface preparation companies, they have supplied top-quality abrasive blasting equipment for various industries and budgets for many years. They’d be more than happy to do the same for you!

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