Steel rusts. Paint chips away. And some cleaning jobs are too tough for elbow grease alone. Enter media blasting: a process that harnesses water and compressed air to restore old surfaces to their former glory.
What is media blasting? Here’s a guide to media blasting, hydro blasting, graffiti removal and more.
What is Media Blasting?
Media blasting is a process that uses pressurized air to shoot pieces of an abrasive material (known as blasting media) out of a nozzle. The force of the blasting media can strip paint, rust, or other blemishes from the target. Think of it as pressure washing with small particles instead of (or in addition to) water.
Media blasting has wide applications in commercial and industrial restoration. Media blasting is effective for graffiti removal, corrosion restoration, and paint stripping. By reducing the blasting pressure, it is possible to strip softer surfaces like wood or plastic without damaging the base material.
While our focus is on media blasting for property management, the process is also applicable to smaller-scale restoration projects. For example, vehicle enthusiasts use media blasting to strip and restore antique cars.
Within the broader category of media blasting are a number of distinctive blasting techniques. The one you hear about most often is sandblasting; hydro blasting is another popular method. We’ll discuss a few of these methods below.
Difference Between Media Blasting and Sandblasting
Sandblasting is a form of media blasting that uses silica sand as a blasting media. Some people use the word sandblasting as a colloquial term for media blasting in general; however, it’s important to note the difference between media blasting and sandblasting.
Media blasting can refer to various methods of using pressurized air to thrust abrasive material from a nozzle. For instance, sandblasting and hydro blasting are both kinds of media blasting, but they have different uses. Hydro blasting (also known as wet blasting or water blasting) uses a mixture of water and blasting media to cut the amount of dust produced by other forms of blasting. Old-fashioned sandblasting, on the other hand, produces a great deal of dust.
When we provide media blasting services in Waterloo region, we prefer to employ an environmentally-friendly hydro blasting process.
Which Blasting Media is Best?
Choosing the right blasting media is crucial when using media blasting for graffiti removal, rust removal, and other restoration projects. Which blasting media is best depends on the surface treatment you require. Stripping paint from a steel propane tank will call for a different media than stripping antique wood, for example.
The most prevalent blasting media includes silica sand, plastic or glass beads, crushed glass, ground walnut shells, and steel grit. Each has a unique hardness, shape, and density, and they are available in a range of particle sizes.
Our choice of media at Sign LITE is crushed glass. Media blasting with crushed glass produces minimal dust, making it safer and more environmentally-friendly than other hard abrasives. Crushed glass is completely non-toxic and 100%-recycled.
Media Blasting Equipment
The equipment used for media blasting varies in different industries. The range of available media blasting equipment includes hand-held cabinets and heavy-duty systems with automatic controls for high production.
Sign LITE’s choice of media blasting equipment is a portable, wet abrasive blasting system that uses compressed air to propel a mixture of water and abrasive media against the target surface. This system effectively cleans the surface without producing substantial dust.
More on Media Blasting
Got a burning question about media blasting? The Sign LITE team knows its way around a blasting gun, and we’re happy to help. We provide media blasting services in Waterloo and beyond