Specialist blast cleaning explained
Abrasive blast cleaning is a process that involves using a range of abrasive media propelled by compressed air to obtain excellent cleaning and surface preparation for secondary finishing operations.
The blasting concentrates abrasive particles at high speed (65-110 m/second) through a Venturi, Boron, Tungsten or Silicon Carbide nozzle in a controlled manner at the material, thereby removing surface contaminants due to the abrasive impact. The blasting task will determine the choice of the abrasive media and the blast pressure, a wide range of abrasives of different size and hardness can be used depending on the material being removed, the type of substrate and the surface finish required.
Abrasive blasting techniques can range from “Soda Blasting” which uses a very soft abrasive on delicate surfaces to blasting with fine and medium hard abrasives. With specialist precision equipment, the blast pressure and volume of abrasive can be regulated in order to produce the desired results whether that is gentle cleaning of architectural surfaces or blasting of steel in preparation for the application of a coating.
Blast cleaning can be carried out dry, or with a small amount of water to suppress dust and give a more gentle clean, for total dust-free operation vacuum-blasting is the answer.
Abrasive blasting is commonly used for:
- The cleaning and surface preparation of steel and other metals
- Removal of existing coatings from most substrates
- Shot peening eg. to polish discoloured stainless steel
- Sympathetic cleaning of architectural surfaces, stone, brick, timber etc
- Paint removal and cleaning of GRP
- Cleaning of machinery and mechanical components
Abrasive blasting is used in many areas of industry:
- Aerospace blasting
- Automotive blasting
- Construction blasting
- Offshore & Marine blasting
- Architectural restoration blasting
- Rail blasting