Abrasive blasting is most commonly referred to as sandblasting although by nature many different types of particles can be utilized to achieve the desired results. Glass bead blasting is another commonly used term to describe the process. Because sand contains silica also known as quartz which is hazardous to health and difficult to control it is rarely used for blasting anymore. Nonetheless the term “sandblasting” is still generically used to describe the process regardless of selected blast media.
Sandblasting is the process of forcibly propelling a focused stream of abrasive particles against a surface under high pressure in order to remove contaminants such as rust, to smooth out a rough surface or to roughen a surface that is already too smooth. The end result is similar to using sandpaper on a surface but the finished result will be without the characteristic grain pattern that sanding imparts to a surface. Abrasive blasting also has no issues getting into tight corners or crevices that would be otherwise difficult to address with other methods. Sandblasting in nature can cause erosion from the wind picking up particles and swirling them against an object.
There are several variations of the process depending on the desired outcome. Shot blasting with metal spheres “shot” is very aggressive and would typically find use in industries like ship and rail building and foundries. This process is very good at cleaning and the peening process from the spheres can strengthen the base material. Sandblasting is also aggressive although no longer widely used. Moderately aggressive abrasives include organic materials such as glass, walnut shells and corncobs and manufactured media such as ground up plastics.
Small scale sandblasting equipment involves a chamber in which compressed air creates a vacuum which draws the sand up a siphon tube and propels it from a handheld gun. Using this gun, the operator directs the stream of air and abrasive at the target in much the same way as in a spray-painting process. Typically, these guns are lined with ceramic in order to prolong their lifespan. Larger systems utilize a pressurized pot which houses the sand and delivers it from the bottom of the vessel to a blast hose and gun.
Small scale equipment is self-contained within the cabinet itself whereas a larger blast room would house the individual system pieces as well as a media reclamation system. In these systems the media can be reused until it reaches the end of its useful lifespan. In this type of system, the operator typically wears protective body and hearing protection as well as a pressurized blast helmet which insures positive air pressure inside the hood.
Uses and benefits of abrasive blasting:
- Creating a satin finish Blasting evens out small imperfections and creates a uniform look to the surface of a part.
- Part deburring The process removes light burrs and sharp edges from a part without affecting it dimensionally. Areas that need to be excluded from the process are easily covered with masking tape.
- Cleaning and surface preparation Corrosion and other contaminants are easily removed from the surface of a part in many cases restoring it to like new condition.
- Peening The blasting process creates a thin uniform layer of compressed stress in the part which helps to guard against stress cracks and the formation of corrosion. As a result the useful lifespan of the part may be increased.
THE JANTZ ADVANTAGE:
Utilizing glass beads for our abrasive medium, Jantz Canada provides superior finish on stainless steel and non-ferrous metals. Because mild steel is never introduced into to our blasting facility, sanitary guidelines can be met for our food-based clientele. With a booth size of 20’ x 20’ x 10’ high we can accommodate most large assemblies. Our regular blast media is BT-7 glass oxide which provides an optimal balance between surface finish and cost effectiveness.
- Booth Size: 20’ x 20’ x 10’ high
- Cabinet part size approx. 8” xx 8” x 30”
- Media Specifications: BT-7 Glass oxide beads, 250-177 Micron, 60-80 US Mesh
Stainless steel is our specialty – we stock 22 gauge up to 3/8” Mild steel 22 gauge to 5/8”