Shot blasting is the single most important step in surface coating preparation. The process uses various materials to remove rust, clean paint, strip imperfections, and all sorts of contaminants from a surface.
Shot blasting is used instead of more demanding cleaning methods such as sanding or wire brushing. Comparatively, the process of shot blasting is up to 75% faster than wire brushing or sanding.
To have a better understanding of the top benefits of abrasive blasting we need to learn a thing or two about the abrasive blasting methods and the media used for abrasive blasting.
Abrasive Blasting Methods
There are eight abrasive blasting methods:
- Wet abrasive blasting
- Wheel abrasive blasting
- Hydro abrasive blasting
- Bead abrasive blasting
- Dry ice abrasive blasting
- Micro abrasive blasting
- Bristle abrasive blasting
- Automated abrasive blasting
Media for Abrasive Blasting
- Glass beads
The glass can be easily reused, plus it is silica-free and lead-free. Glass beads can clean various types of metals while not making any dimensional changes.
This is a gentle abrasive that is primarily used to clean very sensitive surfaces.
- White aluminum oxide
This is a very durable and reusable abrasive that is mainly used to prepare surfaces for paint jobs.
- Crushed glass grit
It is made from recycled glass bottles and is commonly used for removing coatings from vinyl, epoxy, polyurea, and coal tar.
- Aluminum oxide grit
Common blasting media used for all coating preparation, surface cleaning, polishing and grinding.
- Corncob grit
It is an organic, biodegradable, and reusable media that is used to remove and clean various contaminates. As the names suggest, it is made from corncobs.
- Steel grit
It is mainly used when there is a need for aggressive cleaning. It is most commonly used for the preparation of foundry or steel surfaces.
- Silicon Carbide grit
It is by far the strongest blasting media which is used for engraving glass and etching stones.
It is an abrasive media made of volcanic rocks. Primarily, it is used for surfaces that need a less aggressive approach.
- Walnut shells
Walnut shells can clean surfaces without the need for etching, scratching, or marring.
Top Benefits of Abrasive Blasting for Surface Preparation
There are several reasons why abrasive blasting is so popular for surface preparations. Here are some of the most important ones:
- From the start, it’s much more affordable to use abrasive shot blasting than any other method.
- As we’ve explained, many types of abrasive shot blasting media are reusable.
- It’s environment-friendly. Aside from the fact that some types use 100% recycle media, it doesn’t use any chemicals and almost all shot blasting equipment uses powerful vacuum cleaners to collect its dust.
- Abrasive blasting is way faster and more effective than traditional methods like sanding or wire brushing.
No matter how you look at it, abrasive blasting is the superior method for metal surface preparation. As we all know, that’s crucial in creating a long-lasting coating. The only real factor for quality coating preparation is to handle the shot blasting equipment properly. If that’s handled by expert operators, there is no room for any concern, and the output will be of top quality.