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Selecting the Ideal Blasting Media for Your Restoration Project

Looking to restore your wood, brick, concrete, stone, glass or metal surface?

 

Media blasting is an excellent choice to restore surfaces that have been damaged due to rust, calcium deposits, fungus and mildew, graffiti, or fire and smoke. It’s a great way to strip paint or rust from car parts in no time at all. Media blasting uses pressurized air to blast tiny pieces of material (media) out of a nozzle at a target surface.

 

Choosing the right blasting media for your restoration project is an extremely important decision since the wrong medium can severely damage the surface you’re working on. The rule of thumb for media blasting is to use the gentlest abrasive possible with the lowest pressure necessary to get the job done delivering a smooth even finish on your target material.

 

When choosing your blasting media consider its:

  • Chemical composition,
  • Density,
  • Shape,
  • Particle size, and
  • Impact resistance.

Natural Media

When in doubt, it’s best to start with a gentle blasting media and work your way up to something more powerful. Pumice, corn cob grit, or walnut shells are cheap, environment-friendly, one-time use mediums. Any of these natural media are effective at cleaning fragile material.

 

Corn cob grit is the softest of the naturally occurring abrasives making it an ideal choice for cleaning and burnishing applications. Commonly used for jewelry, cutlery, engine parts, fiberglass and the removal of graffiti or debris from wood, brick or stone.

 

Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum Oxide is composed from small grains that have a block-like shape with hard angular edges. These long-lasting, sharp, cutting edges are very efficient at penetrating work pieces such as metals, glass, ceramic, marble, granite or other stone surfaces. It is a good media for fast etching and profiling jobs.

 

Aluminum Oxide is also a great material for stripping rust off from metals with minimal dust atmosphere. But because it can leave a coarse finish, it is not the best choice for work on automobiles and other vehicles.

 

Glass or Plastic Beads

One of the most versatile blast media available are glass beads. These small spheres of uniform size and hardness can remove substances from any base surface delivering a soft, smooth satin type finish with minimal stress.  It is well suited for stainless steel applications.

 

Glass beads can also be reused for up to 100 more blasting applications making them a very cost-effective choice.

 

Safe, clean and eco-friendly, bead blast is the most effective choice to remove fungus, and stubborn calcium and mineral deposits from swimming pool tiles. It also does a great job of removing old paint from automobiles.

 

Acrylic, polyester, melamine or urea plastic beads are also a great alternative for automotive media blasting, each offering varying degrees of hardness and aggression.

 

Silicon Carbide

A real workhorse, silicon carbide can tackle almost any rough sandblasting job successfully within a shorter blast time. It is the hardest abrasive blasting media available.

 

This very hard and sharp material is a good choice for difficult cleaning applications and is considerably cheaper than other blasting media. Silicon carbide is great for fast cutting applications and deep etching on stone, glass and other hard surfaces.

 

Steel Grit or Steel Shot

If you are looking for a special finish, the angular shape of steel grit makes it perfect for removing rust and paint from steel surfaces. Steel grit is commonly used in airless applications since the rounded steel shots produce limited dust.

 

Steel abrasive is a cost-effective media blasting alternative used on a variety of surfaces to effectively remove contaminants, texture a surface for proper adherence of a final coating, or in peening (hardening) applications. 

 

Call in the Experts!

The media blasting experts at SignLite have been serving the Waterloo area for over 40 years.

 

For a free quote on your restoration project, get in touch with us today!

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Danny Sullivan
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October 17, 2019
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