Is Sandblasting Your Best Option?

Posted on: 20 April 2020

When you are working with a new piece of metal, then you will probably be concentrating on cutting the material to size and bending it into the desired shape. If you are working with an older piece of metal or item of metal equipment, then your concerns will be slightly different. One of the problems with metal is that, over time, the surface of the material can become damaged by corrosion or contamination. Whether you are modifying an existing product or simply cleaning a piece of metal before you can work on it, you must ensure that the metal has a clean, rust-free surface before you can start work.

Preparing your surface

You could try cleaning away contamination with soap, but in many cases, that isn't effective. The best way to remove both rust and contamination is to use sandblasting. By using sandblast equipment, you can recover the original surface of the material and provide a surface that is ready for the next stage of the process, whether that is profiling, painting or welding.

What materials can you use for a sandblast?

While the name sandblasting might suggest that it is sand which is blasted at the surface to be cleaned, in most cases, an alternative material will be used. Often, steel grit, glass beads, walnut shells or small pieces of pumice will be blasted at the material in quick succession to clean the contaminated surface. The best material to use will always depend on two factors:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What material are you working with?

A sandblast is frequently used to remove contamination and rust, but levels of contamination can vary. Removing an oil stain or an old paint job might require a different level of treatment to a heavily rusted piece of metal, and profiling a surface will need a different level of sandblasting. While sandblasting is most commonly used with metal, it can also be successful with many other materials. You can sandblast everything from metal to fabric or even paper — you just need to think about the type of material you will be using for your shot particles.

If you are unsure which shot material you should select for a particular job, then your sandblasting company will be able to advise you. They will have a lot of experience working with different materials, and they will have a good understanding of the effect of a particular shot on each material.


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