Why You Should Choose the Right Media for Abrasive Blasting Projects

Abrasive blasting is a specialised mechanical process that can be used to strip old finishes away from a particular metal part or component part in preparation for re-coating it. It can also remove rust and other contaminants such as oil, grease and so on.

But the new coating you apply will only ever be as good as the surface it goes onto. If the preparation of the surface initially isn’t adequate, any new covering may not adhere effectively. It may have areas of weakness that will compromise it in future, allowing rust, corrosion or flaking of paint to occur. Also, the part may not perform as well as it should or last as long as it ought to before it needs replacing or repairing. So choosing the right abrasive initially is the main priority if you want a subsequent coating application that stands the test of time.

Selecting the right abrasive medium in the first place will also make sure the blasting job goes faster and is more economical in terms of the amount used to achieve the required end result.

Why You Should Choose the Right Media for Abrasive Blasting Projects

A Few Tips for Which Abrasive to Choose

  • Always use the softest abrasive possible to achieve the results you want. If you aren’t sure what the surface will take, start off with the gentlest possible and work up if necessary. This can avoid accidental damage. As a general rule, the finer the abrasive, the more impacts per volume will be achieved with the stream.
  • Consider the type of metal or material you’re treating in conjunction with the abrasive. If you’re preparing a steel or an iron surface for painting, for instance, it’s worth noting that it’s difficult to get paint to adhere to hard and flat surfaces. So in this instance, a coarser abrasive that will cause some (barely perceptible) pitting to the surface will provide indentations that the coating can anchor itself to, resulting in a better finish overall.
  • If you’re looking to achieve a real shine for your finish, bead blasting is a great option. The beads here are typically made from fine glass and come in a range of sizes. They place minimal stress on the surface of the object being blasted and will create a smooth, bright finish. Glass beads also have the advantage of being a cost-effective and more environmentally friendly solution, because they can be reused up to 30 times before they need replacing.
  • If you’re preparing a softer material such as wood or plastics for painting or spraying, you will want a far less abrasive medium than if you’re working with metals. Good options here, which are also very environmentally friendly incidentally, include walnut shells, pumice or corn cobs.

Seek Expert Advice If You’re Unsure

Although blasting projects can be carried out at home, there are health and safety risks. It’s also wise, especially if your project is important, to trust the experts if you’re at all unsure of what you’re doing. A professional company like Qse Metalblast Ltd can evaluate the item you need blasting and advise on the best way forward. We can also carry out the work far quicker and with better results with our emphasis on using the right materials and up to date equipment.

“I have used Metalblast for the last twelve years. They always do a great job.”

Giles Stewart

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