Sandblasting refers to the act of projecting certain particles onto the surface of an item, in order to get it cleaned and polished. You cannot use just any particle for sandblasting, there are specific particles that are utilized in order to get the best results. Particles used for sandblasting are referred to as blasting media. In this article, we will discuss different types of particles that are used for sandblasting.
Types of Particles Used in Sandblasting
In this section, we will discuss the common particles used in sandblasting as well as the finish that they produce.
- Garnet: Garnet is a type of silicate mineral that is mined from the ground. Garnets can be crushed into different mesh sizes, making them suitable for different sandblasting needs. Garnet is a reliable sandblasting particle that produces fast blasting action resulting good surface profile. Garnet can also be recycled, as it can be used effectively up to five times.
- Glass Beads: Glass beads are the best particles for a matte and satin type of finish. This is due to the fine and silica-free nature of the beads. Glass beads are suitable for delicate surfaces as they come with a low hardness rating. and Glass beads produce medium-fast blasting action. These particles can be recycled many times.
- Walnut Shells: Walnut shells are natural abrasive materials that come from walnuts. Walnut shells can be crushed into different sizes for specific cleaning and blasting purposes. They have a moderate hardness rating and a medium surface capacity. Walnut shells are suitable for sandblasting delicate surfaces such as fibreglass, wood, soft metals, jewels as well as plastic and stone. Walnut shells produce fast blasting action and have high recyclability.
- Soda: Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda can be used as sandblasting particles. They are used for delicate metals, as they clean and polish surfaces without scratching the surface or causing depression. Soda is commonly used in the food industry, as well as for polishing delicate wooden and concrete surfaces.
- Aluminium Oxide: Aluminum oxide is a blasting particle that is used for its sharpness and durability. Aluminium oxide has a high hardness rating, making it suitable for surface removal. The particles produce fast blasting and etching action using an anchor pattern. Aluminium oxide particles are highly recyclable.
- Plastic Abrasive: Plastic abrasive particles come in different forms, having specific hardness ratings. Some plastic abrasive particles are melamine, acrylic and urea. Plastic abrasive particles produce medium blasting action having slight surface removal capacity. Plastic abrasive particles are highly recyclable. They are used in aerospace and automotive industries.
Other sandblasting particles include crushed glass, steel shot and grit, silicon dioxide and silica sand as well as bristle blasting. It is important to consider the kind of surface that you are blasting, as well as the finish that is required before choosing a sandblasting particle to use. Once this is done, you should proceed to set up a blast chamber to carry out the sandblasting for safety and effectiveness.