How to Choose the Right Blast Media?

3 min read
16 February 2023

Ensure that you achieve the coating application results you want. That’s where blast media comes in. You need the best type of underlying surface to create an excellent, lasting coating. Here’s how to choose an abrasive so you can make the most out of your profits. With the right abrasive, you can get the job done efficiently. That’s because you will only need a small amount of the abrasive to create the results you want.  

Look at Surface Characteristics 

Before you shop for a sandblast cabinet, think about the surface characteristics or qualities. A blaster must have the finest abrasive to prepare the surface. The more particles there are in the stream, the more successful the result will be. That also hugely depends on the material you’re handling. You don’t need a hard abrasive if you’re only sandblasting wood or concrete. Crushed glass should suffice as an abrasive. But if you’re sandblasting steel or iron, you need a better abrasive. 

Consider the Size 

Aside from exploring different kinds of abrasives, you must also pay attention to the size of the blasting media. Bigger particles will leave deeper indentations. However, if you blast large particles, that results in fewer impacts. If you go with smaller particles, that can provide better coverage so that you can expect a more uniform profile. To determine particle sizes, use mesh sizes. If you have a 30/60 situation, 95 percent of the mix will pass through or fall through the mesh. That’s why the size of the mesh is also an important figure. 

Think About the Shapes

When it comes to shapes, they also affect the underlying substrate. Shapes are classified by how angular they are. Angular particles can get through rust and soft coatings. You can also clean them faster. The substrate usually produces shaper anchor patterns compared to when you use round particles that generate a more even surface. If you want to break away brittle coatings, you’re better off using rounded particles as these are suitable for mill scale and brittle coatings. 

Assess the Hardness

The harder the particle, the deeper the profile you will get. That is usually the case. However, there have been situations wherein hard particles also shatter under high-velocity blasting, which then produces less than the optimum force. If you are trying to remove oil, dirt, pain, and grease, you can use softer abrasives, which include plastics and organic materials. Keep in mind that softer abrasives will not create any anchor patterns in the substrate. 

Check the Density 

If there’s a smaller surface area, you’ll see dense particles interact with more kinetic energy over that area. That creates a deeper profile. Dense particles are also less likely to be deformed, so there is less energy that is absorbed upon impact. 

Look at Velocity 

High-speed impact also generates deep profiles. You can adjust the velocity in the field and fine-tune the depth profile. By adjusting the pressure from the blast, you can get the profile you need out of the process. Of course, you’ll need to find blasting material that can work with the velocity or pressure levels you use.

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