What is Needed for Sandblasting?
There are different reasons people look into sandblasting; or abrasive blasting. Some have a project that requires sandblasting and others are looking to start a small business. Whatever the case, you’ll need basic knowledge before you begin. One aspect of starting sandblasting is the equipment. Having the right equipment is imperative if you want to do it effectively. That’s what we will delve into in this article. So without further ado, we’ll take a look at materials needed for sandblasting.
Choosing the Best Equipment
Just like everything else, there are varying degrees of quality when it comes to sandblasting equipment. As with anything else, the amount of use you intend to give the machine, the higher quality equipment you will need. In turn, the more money you will most likely need to have budgeted.
If you aren’t going into business and you won’t be using your equipment day in and day out, there is no need to splurge on top-of-the-line machinery for what you are doing. On the other hand, if you are going to do a lot of sandblasting or you prefer to use the highest quality equipment and can afford it, buy the highest quality! The idea here is that the term “best” does not necessarily mean the highest priced.
What Equipment is Needed for Sandblasting
In order to do the job, there are some basic tools you will need to be sure to have. Some of this equipment includes:
- Sandblasting Hood
- Blasting Machine
- BLasting Media
Let look briefly at each of those pieces of equipment.
This piece of gear is necessary in order to protect you, the operator, form the blowback that occurs. Choosing a hood that is comfortable and durable with a viewing window that allows you see clearly is important. Again, getting the highest quality blasting hood is not required, but will want to choose one that will hold up to the amount wear you give it.
The Blasting Machine
The machine that actually performs the work is vital if you are going to do any significant sandblasting at all. There are a variety of types when it comes to blasting machines. We’ll look at each one briefly. The size of machine that you need will depend on the items that you are blasting.
The first type of blasting machine that we will look at is called the blasting cabinet. Blasting cabinets are designed to reuse the “sand” (technically not usually sand, but we will get to that momentarily) by recycling it through the machine repeatedly. These units are relatively small and are good for blasting small items.
Another type of sandblasting machine is the walk in blasting booth (or blasting room). This machine is large enough to hold not only the item, but also the operator. These machines are larger and can accommodate much larger items. Obviously, these machines are more expensive and involve much more work to set up.
As stated before, each machine will have a specific set of features and a price tag that reflects them. Knowing what kinds of items you will be sandblasting and how much you will use the equipment will give you an idea of what type of machine you need.
Having even the best blasting machine and a great blasting hood won’t get you very far if you don’t have any of the “sand” to use for “blasting”. Earlier we mentioned that sand is not necessarily what is used in a blasting machine. This is because there are several substances used for blasting.
The particles used by a sandblaster are known as blasting media. While sand is one of the materials used, it is by far not the only material used in the equipment. Because of this, you may see or hear the term abrasive blasting rather than sandblasting. The material that is streamed at the object being blasted can be any of a large list of abrasive materials. Some of these are:
- Glass Beads
- Steel Shot
- Silicon Carbide
- Aluminum Oxide
- Walnut Shell
- Steel Grit
- Corn Cob
Looking at that list, it is easy to see that there are many choices regarding your blasting media. So how do you know which to use? Each blasting media will offer its own degree of aggressiveness. Some media works better on specific materials than other media. Researching blasting media can give you some ideas as to what blasting media will work best for you.
In conclusion, basic sandblasting involves a few specific ingredients. First, you need a blasting hood so you don’t get blasted. Second, you need a blasting machine (a small cabinet, or a large booth or room), and you need a blasting media.
The equipment is only one aspect of sandblasting; skill is also required. But if you choose the equipment properly, you will be all set to perform your sandblasting to your full potential.
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