Sandblasting is the process by which a stream of hard materials is forced on a surface under high pressure. The magnitude of applied pressure determines the speed and quality of the blast. Materials used in sandblasting are known as abrasives. Traditionally, sand was the only abrasive used for sandblasting. However, with technological advancements, other abrasives are now used. They include ceramics, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, glass beads, and copper slag. The choice of abrasive used depends on the intended treatment of the surface. Sandblasting is mainly aimed at;
1. Smoothening a rough surface
2. Making a smooth surface rough
3. Shaping surfaces
4. Eliminating contaminants such as rust and paints from a surface
There are numerous sandblasting techniques. They include;
1. Silicon Dioxide Sandblasting
Silicon dioxide is common sand. The term sandblasting was derived from use of sand as the blasting material. Sand was commonly used in the past due to its availability. Sand particles are also almost similar in size and are sharp-edged. This is an important characteristic of a blasting material. However, this technique has been replaced with other techniques that are more efficient. Sand dust also causes a respiratory problem called silicosis when inhaled over a long time.
2 .Soda Sandblasting
In this technique, baking soda is used as the blasting material. Soda sandblasting is mainly used for cleaning off rust from metal surfaces. The method maintains the integrity of the surface beneath. It is therefore suitable for blasting delicate materials.
3. Brittle blasting
This method consist of steel drawn into thin bristles. These bristles are driven in rotatory motion on the surface to cleaned. The bristles are rotated at high velocities. This aids in removing rust or paint from a surface. The method is mainly used to remove corrosion from hard surfaces and metals. Smooth surfaces can be destroyed inĀ Vacublast Dustless Blasting.
4.Steel grit sandblasting
In this method steel is ground into grit. This grit is used to scrap paint and rust from steel surfaces. Steel grit is preferred to brittle sandblasting as it leaves a smoother surface. Grit also cleans faster than other sandblasting techniques such as silicon dioxide. This is due to its hardness.
5.Glass beads sandblasting
This involves forcing ground glass beads on the surface. The method requires lower pressure than silicon dioxide sandblasting. It is commonly applied for a matte finish. The process is slower than silicon dioxide sandblasting. However, the surface becomes smoother with minimal damage. Glass beads are also free from lead and do not produce silica dust. This is important as silica dust causes respiratory complications.

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