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3 Alternative Abrasives For Sandblasting

3 Alternative Abrasives For Sandblasting

If you have a surface that needs cleaning, smoothing, or texturizing, then sandblasting could be the best way to go about it. From machinery and vehicles, to walls and building materials, sandblasting is one of the most effective ways to cleanse the surface and prepare it for protective coatings and paintwork. It is capable of removing dirt, paint and rust, allowing you to restore a surface to good-as-new in no time. Special equipment is required for sandblasting, including an abrasive, an air compressor, and a blaster nozzle. The technique involves propelling the abrasive at such speed that it cleans a surface or adds texture and patterns to it. Although sandblasting traditionally uses sand as its abrasive medium, there are actually a range of other materials which can be used to create different effects. This is technically referred to as abrasive blasting, but “sandblasting” tends to be used as a catch-all term for any type of blasting. Here’s a look at some of the most popular alternative grits to sand.

  1. Glass Beads

For jobs which seek to attain a bright, satin finish, glass beads can be utilised as an abrasive medium. The fine texture of this grit acts to polish the surface to a sleek matte finish, making it perfect for finishing interior items such as cabinets. It can also be used to smooth and clean metal, so if you have a surface that needs a more gentle approach, try looking into providers of sandblasting in Perth who offer glass bead blasting. This type of blasting generates relatively little dust compared to other mediums, making it easier to work with precisely and efficiently. Glass abrasives are one of the safest blasting materials as they are chemically inert and free from silica, which has the potential to cause lung disease. Glass bead can also be recycled, making it a more cost effective and environmentally friendly media.

  1. Steel

Steel grit is commonly used in order to remove rust and paintwork from steel metals. As a fast cutting abrasive, steel is an efficient medium to use in order to achieve a smooth finish. It is useful for surface preparation and stone cutting. It is available in various sizes to suit different tasks, and it can be recycled several times making it a highly economical abrasive. Steel particles come in two different types, the first being round steel shot. This consists of spherical particles, which are highly resilient and resistant to fatigue and are used to modify mechanical properties of metals, for example strengthening and relieving stress in metal components. Angular steel grit on the other hand consists of crushed pellets, which are used for cleaning or surface preparation.

  1. Soda

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda can also be used as an abrasive. This provides a gentler approach to removing rust from metals, which avoids denting or damaging the metal beneath the surface. It is therefore most suited to use on delicate materials that might be susceptible to damage if blasted with a rougher abrasive.

If you have a surface that needs blasting but feel apprehensive about sandblasting due to dust and health concerns, why not try out one of the alternatives laid out above. These options provide plenty of flexibility and can be adjusted to suit any project.