During the sandblasting process, very fine bits of material are rapidly propelled at a surface. This can be done to a clean a surface of contaminants, rust, or mill scale, or to etch or carve designs into glass or similar materials. The removal of rust and residue can leave a surface looking brand-new. It can also prime a surface for painting by stripping away layers of old paint and decay.

In the past, sand was the media of choice for blasting techniques, but now other materials such as plastics, steel grit, powdered abrasives, walnut shells, and even ground-up corncobs are utilized as well.

Due to the dust that’s created during sandblasting, conditions are carefully controlled, often in blast rooms.

The Process

Sandblasting operations typically consist of three parts: the abrasive, an air compressor, and a blaster nozzle. Sandblasting is well-suited for large areas, and can also be used for applications involving precision parts, such as small gears.

There are two main blasting methods commonly used in commercial and industrial applications — wheel blasting and air blasting. Wheel blasting uses centrifugal force to propel larger abrasive media, such as plastic, ceramic, or steel shot, against the workpieces. Air blasting, on the other hand, uses compressed air to propel smaller media. The latter is the primary sandblasting method, and is the more powerful option.

The Benefits

There are a number of advantages to using sandblasting over traditional techniques. Perhaps the greatest benefits are its high speed and efficiency. The fine grade of the sand used and the small size of the grains make sand a powerful abrasive. Jobs take minutes rather than hours to complete, as quick sweeps of the blaster’s nozzle easily cover vast areas. Objects with a cross-section of 2 millimeters or more can be stripped and cleaned instantly. Even the toughest mill scale can be quickly removed with sandblasting.

Sandblasting is also among the best techniques for surface preparation, and is especially adept at removing rust — one of the leading causes of property damage. Rust corrodes items such as metal equipment and spreads quickly to other metallic surfaces, which can be irreversibly damaged if not remedied promptly.

Sandblasting also is an effective cleaning technique to prepare a surface for a new coat of paint. Layers of old paint, decay, rust, and other substances are blasted away, leaving a smooth, blank surface. Sandblasting is very environmentally friendly, as blast media can be used multiple times, with reclamation systems collecting the abrasives after propulsion. Besides allowing for easy reusability, this also brings down the costs and, in most cases, makes sandblasting the most economical choice.

Finally, sandblasting isn’t nearly as complex as other cleaning solutions that require lengthy processes and numerous steps. Sandblasting doesn’t require any scrubbing, harsh chemicals, or heavy-duty cleanup.

Learn More

As a trusted provider of commercial sandblasting equipment, DeLong Equipment Co. is proud to offer a wide array of sandblasting solutions, including blast cabinets and blast rooms, as well as abrasive and dust collection systems.

And DeLong’s inventory of used equipment — such as tumble blasts, spinner hangers, roll conveyors, monorails, tables, and wire mesh belts — can allow for significant cost savings while still ensuring optimal system performance and longevity.

Request a quote today to learn more about our sandblasting solutions or discuss options for your specific application.