Abrasive blasting is one of the easiest ways to create surfaces finishes for various purposes, such as removing rust before painting equipment. The specific blasting media that you select should be the one that will address your needs in a cost-effective way. This article discusses some guidelines that can help you to select the best media for your abrasive blasting operations:
Pick the Least Aggressive Option
Harder blast media particles are usually very aggressive in their interaction with the substrate during the blasting process. Such particles can easily modify the surface of the substrate. However, those same effects are experienced by the abrasive blasting equipment. Consequently, you are likely to incur higher repair and maintenance costs if you frequently use the most aggressive blasting media that you can find. Save your equipment from premature wear by using the least aggressive blasting media that you can find.
Select Media with Small Particles
It is also advisable to use abrasive blasting media that has very small particles. Such media will complete the job much faster than blasting media with larger particles. This is because the abrasive blasting equipment will be in a position to discharge a larger number of particles onto the substrate if those particles are small as compared to the larger particles that can be discharged by the same equipment at the same pressure.
Avoid High Blasting Pressures
You may be tempted to use the highest pressure setting when conducting abrasive blasting. However, that approach may be detrimental in several ways. First, energy consumption will be high. Secondly, you risk wearing out your equipment quickly since it will constantly be exposed to the blast media at that high pressure. The substrate may also be damaged in case you didn't select the media that can produce optimum results at that high pressure that you prefer. All the shortcomings above can be overcome by using moderate blasting pressure.
Test the Media
You should never assume that a certain abrasive blasting media will work for you just because that media worked for another person. Ask the supplier to test the media using your equipment and materials so that you can confirm that it will give you the specific results that you want. The manufacturers can also test the media in their labs and give you the results for the specific test parameters that you requested.
You will be less likely to have abrasive blasting mishaps if you select the media that you use for each task using the tips above. Ask blast media suppliers for help in case you still get undesirable results even when you use the suggestions above.