Sandblasting is an amazing process. It uses compressed air and the forced, high-speed ejection of solid material in particle form to prepare and clean surfaces. Yes, workers often use sand when sandblasting, but it’s not the only substance you can employ to clean, buff, polish, and otherwise treat wood, metal, brick, stone, concrete, and more. Here are the four most common sandblasting applications and uses.
Other Sandblasting Substances
Before we get started, you should know that sandblasting doesn’t just use sand. Other materials are also useful and for different purposes. Metal shot, walnut shells, corn cobs, plastic beads, garnet, and other materials are other hard and abrasive particles that you can fire at various surfaces for different effects. Baking soda is one particularly useful and environmentally safe material. It cleans surfaces of grit, grime, and graffiti. It’s also cheap, cleans up easily afterward, and doesn’t leave behind poisonous or otherwise hazardous residue in the ecosystem when you wash it away. Remember, take time to find the best substance to get the job done if you plan to sandblast a surface.
Sandblasting: What Is It Good For?
Here’s the nitty-gritty about the four most common sandblasting applications and uses. Maybe you’ll find one that can meet your current needs.
Prepping Metal for Powder Coating
Likely, you’ve seen powder coating without knowing what it is. Powder coating provides a tough and protective surface on metal and other materials often used outdoors as they require protection from the sun, rain, and other weather conditions. Sandblasting ensures that the coating goes on smoothly and without leaving weak spots due to defects, impurities, or the like. Even better, it ensures the powder coating adheres better and lasts longer.
Paint- and Corrosion-Stripping
Scraping off old paint is tedious, often ineffective, and leaves open the possibility of causing greater damage to a surface with a hard metal tool or harsh chemicals. The same goes for corrosion. Hand tools can be good for finer work, but sandblasting can strip a wider surface more quickly and cleanly and without leaving marks, holes, or abrasions. The stripping capabilities of industrial sandblasting apply to buildings, vehicles, machinery, equipment, and more. You can get the job done faster and without adding time or expense due to unwitting damage repair.
Cleaning Food Processing Equipment
Factories and other spaces that process food in large amounts must keep their workspaces clean, safe, and pure. Workers often use the sandblasting process to clean industrial storage tanks, conveyor systems, machinery, and other equipment that handle food and drink. They typically use baking soda, dry ice, or similar materials to strip away dried-out food residue, grease, foodstuffs hardened by high temperatures, and more. This process leaves surfaces and containers uncontaminated and ready for use.