Creating pristine and working final parts is the goal of every manufacturer. In many facilities, sandblasting is a technique that is used to smooth away anomalies on a surface and allow for a more dynamic clean. As the name implies, sandblasting originally involved quickly shooting sand across the surface that is being cleaned. In the modern era, however, sand is not the only abrasive media that is used in this method, as others can achieve a better result or fit specific needs. How can you know which abrasive blasting media is best for your workpiece?
One of the most common blasting media that has applications in any kind of finishing process is aluminum oxide. Aluminum oxide is effective, sharp, and, most importantly, it can be recycled many times over. This makes it very cost-effective, as it does not need to be replaced after every usage, or even frequently. Glass beads are also a blasting media that is effective and can be used multiple times, though not as many as aluminum oxide. The extra benefit that comes with using glass beads, however, lies in its smoothness that leads to a softer polish than other media. It is also free of lead and silica, which makes it useful in environments where contamination is a concern.
For specific situations and processes, you may want to look at other kinds of blasting media. For cutting into tougher surfaces, such as glass and stone, silicon carbide is recommended. Like the others noted above, it can also be recycled, making it a cost-effective option as well. For removing paint and coating, a notoriously difficult task, plastic abrasive is the way to go. This ability makes it popular in the aerospace and automotive industries. Finally, garnet is a blasting media that leaves hardly any embedment in the final product, making it ideal for usage with coating adhesion.
Whichever blasting media you decide to utilize in your sandblasting projects, we at Mikro Industrial Finishing have you covered. We use all of the above techniques in our Job Shop and offer equipment that allow you to take them home to your facility. To learn more about our finishing equipment and the services that we offer at our Job Shop, please call (860) 875-6357.