Choosing the right sandblasting material for an industrial process can be challenging. If you do not choose a material that is abrasive enough, you will fail to achieve the objectives of your industrial processes. However, if the material is too abrasive, there is a risk that you will damage the surface that you are working on. You may need to use several abrasive materials until you can find one that can get the job done.
Consider New Alternatives
If you have been using more traditional sandblasting materials, it is recommended that you look into some of the newer materials. Alternatives are taking over the market because they are less expensive than traditional sandblasting materials. New materials are able to get the job done faster and will allow you to get back to using your equipment rather than cleaning it. Alternatives are also safer for operators, which can help reduce worker's compensation costs.
Begin With Gentle Options
Start with a gentle medium. Walnut shells are recommended because they are gentle and are also biodegradable. Pumice is another soft material. These sandblasting mediums are great for removing paint from soft materials but might not be abrasive enough for other purposes.
If the softer material is not enough to accomplish your goals, glass beads are a great medium material. The material can fortunately be recycled up to 30 times, so it is not hard on the environment. Plastic beads also have a great stripping rate without damaging the material that you are working with.
Bring Out The Big Guns
When you have to perform one of the toughest jobs, the best material available is silicon carbide. It is a material that can be recycled several times over. It is ideal for jobs that need to be performed quickly because of its abrasiveness. However, if it comes in contact with a delicate surface, there is more of a risk that the surface will become damaged. However, after you have tried softer materials and find that they will not get the job done, this may be your best option.
A new material that can help expand the usefulness of sandblasting is dry ice. Unlike with other materials, dry ice does not leave behind any residue. Instead, as the material heats up, it transforms into a gas that then disperses. This is useful for situations where you cannot leave behind any residue, such as if you are cleaning machinery.