Sandblasting is a technique for cleaning and molding various surfaces, from granite to glass, that has been with us since the 19th century, but few people have a lot of knowledge of what it entails. If you find yourself needing to hire a sandblasting service, you may be more than a little confused by the vocabulary used in the industry. Below are some important terms you should become familiar with.
Sandblasting – The generic term for a method of cleaning or shaping a surface with equipment that fires a stream of fine particles—not necessarily sand—at high speeds. This is usually achieved with compressed air. Also called abrasive blasting.
Bead Blasting – Sandblasting performed with tiny glass beads.
Hydro-Blasting – A cleaning technique that uses pressurized water; it can be effective where other methods are not. Also called water blasting.
Micro-Abrasive Blasting – A method that uses an extremely thin stream of particles.
Blast Cabinet – A large piece of sandblasting equipment that allows its operator to safely perform the job with the use of a viewfinder and gloves installed on the machine. A blast room is an even bigger machine in which the operator stands inside.
Anodizing – An electrolytic process that thickens the coating of metals, often aluminum. Anodizing metals makes them more durable.
Sodablasting – A method that employs baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Sodablasting was used in the cleaning and restoration of the Statue of Liberty in the late 1980s.
Powder Coating – A kind of dry coating applied to metals through electrostatic means. Powder coating is considered more durable than conventional paint.
Sandblasting is generally used to alter the texture or shape of a smooth surface. This high pressure technique is also used to remove contaminants from a surface. The process of sandblasting dates back to 1870. Professionals use special equipment and industrial tools to sand blast glass, metal, cabinets, and other materials. Often, an abrasive substance is used so that the surface area is clean and smooth for fresh paint. Sandblasting can be a major part of common restoration jobs.
There are various types of sand blasting, and several materials can be used. While one expert may utilize a powder grit that is abrasive for removing graffiti from a wall, another professional may have a small portable unit that propels a finer, gentler material. It depends on the surface that is being addressed for a particular task. Some sandblasting contractors can etch, carve, and even wash surfaces with their equipment. Although paint removal can be fairly simple, metal materials can be more difficult to work with. Regardless of the task at hand, many sandblasting contractors know all about organic compress materials, portable rental equipment, dust removal, protective clothing, and sand blaster nozzle variations.
Fortunately, you can utilize the internet to gather more details about sand blasting equipment, boat washing, paint restoration, and how to properly clean metal or glass surfaces with abrasive grit. If you have any questions about the sandblasting industry in general or a specific job, there are likely a variety of contractors in your town or city who can be contacted directly.