If you are not sure of the kind of material you are sandblasting, you may want to consider a gentle medium then try to work your way up. This is because, sandblasting, however fun it may be, can cause serious damage to substrates if not used properly. That’s why you want to make sure the abrasive material you are using will work well on the substrate being sandblasted. It also ensures safe use of the sandblasting machine. These tips can help choose the right media for your sandblaster abrasive:
Glass beads for soft, bright finish
If you want to attain an attractive finish on a surface, you may use glass beads. The good thing about glass beads is that they can be recycled many times. You can use glass beads for some hard surfaces. You may use glass beads for carvings if you want to have an attractive finish.
If you are sandblasting automobiles, you may consider plastic beads. This is because the surfaces of automobiles may be subject to wear if exposed to tough abrasives. Plastic beads made of polyester, acrylic, melamine, and urea are capable of delivering a high stripping rate while not damaging or warping the substrate material.
You can use aluminum oxide since it is a gentle medium ideal on sandblasting palettes. Aluminum oxide has one disadvantage in that it needs to be properly disposed of after use. Many people may know how to handle this abrasive material and but may risk environmental contamination. You would better refrain from using this material of abrasive if it cannot be disposed of properly.
If you are working on tough substrates, you need an abrasive that can work on such surfaces. Silicon carbide is idea for the toughest jobs. It is a hard medium which allows for shorter blasting times and reduced overall cost of blasting when compared to other media.
Steel grit for a paint surface prep
If you are prepping a wall for painting, you may want to use steel grit or shots. This is because they offer special finishes. They leave etched surfaces which allow paints to adhere properly. Steel shots do not produce a lot of dust and they can be used to deliver smooth, polished surface in peening operations.
In addition to these abrasives, there are new methods of sandblasting gaining in popularity. There is dry ice sandblasting, where compact dry ice pellets are propelled in a jet. Dry ice can be used to clean machines, electromechanical equipment, and in cleanup during electrical installation. It may be used where other abrasives may be perceived as unfavorable.
Choosing the right material enhances productivity of the equipment and ensure that there are no blemishes in the finished work. Some of the less abrasive media are walnut shells and plastic. Walnuts are biodegradable and leave less of an environmental effect when using a sandblasting machine. Pumice is another media and is considered the softest of the blasting media. This material is used in removing paint from soft wood.