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Choosing the Right Sandblasting Medium

Posted on: July 20th, 2015 by byersbushblog

If you’re planning on handling sandblasting on your own at home it’s important to understand the differences between different blasting mediums so that you can properly treat your items. If you thought that sand was the only medium used to sand blast you are sadly mistaken. Now there are dozens of different mediums and more than a handful that are used commercially. Become familiar with the most popular and you’ll understand which is best for your needs.

Walnut Shells

Walnut shells are a nice soft gentle blast material that’s good for basic paint removal and taking out light defects. It’s a good medium for beginners to start off with because it’s biodegradable and it won’t strip objects too quickly or cut them like some of the more angular mediums.

Glass Beads

Glass beads are another soft medium that leaves objects with a nice bright finish. They can be recycled around 30 times and make a relatively affordable medium if you’re blasting many different objects before you’ll be done. They are made from crushed recycled bottles and another good one for beginners to try out.

Plastic Beads

Plastic beads are used heavily in the automotive world because they can strip away grease, paint and other defects without warping or scraping delicate parts. They produce a low level of heat and are safe to use on most metallic surfaces. If you’re cleaning off a vehicle you might want to consider plastic beads, but make sure you have a tightly sealed environment before you start blasting because you really don’t want to inhale any of this grit.

Ebony Grit

Ebony Grit is a mid-level blasting medium that’s capable of removing most paint and other defects quickly, but it offers a smooth finish thanks to the fine particles. This type of medium is used heavily by large businesses because it can be used to get many jobs done effectively. It’s the jack-of-all-trades in the sandblasting world and it’s a good medium that you can count on if you know how to use it properly.

Silicone Carbide

When you have jobs that no other medium can tackle it’s time to break out the silicone carbide. This very hard grit will cut through most materials effectively and it lasts a long time. It’s not for the novice though, and if you are trying it out for the first time you have to be very careful while using it. The carbide material will cut through most anything quickly and can leave you with some rough edges if you go too quickly.

Dry Ice

Dry ice is one of the most gentle forms of sand blasting and also one of the most dangerous. Make sure you have a very professional enclosure before you use this media. It’s meant for use on machinery and electrical installations and equipment where grit from other materials would do damage. It won’t clog up the machines like other types of blast materials would, but it’s really best left to the pros.

Hopefully you have a better idea of the different blasting materials out there and what they are good for. If you’re new to sandblasting and you aren’t sure about what to pick or about doing the procedure you are better off entrusting your project to the pros. The first few tasks you complete won’t turn out perfectly and you’ll likely have to go through them again, or pay a pro to finish them for you. If you just want practice make sure that you try out your equipment on a project that isn’t very important first to hone your skills.

A solid company like Byers Bush can get through your project quickly and leave you with the smooth results that you’re after without you worrying about making mistakes.

Contact Byers Bush for a professional powder coating services.

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