Shot blasting tips and techniques

Are you looking to remove scratches and scuffs from a surface? Perhaps you want to remove rust or paint from a metal?

Surface Finishing Equipment Group specialise in shot blasting – meaning they can help you to restore the original condition of surfaces.

What is shot blasting?

Shot blasting is a method of cleaning, strengthening or polishing a surface. It’s useful for various industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, rail and many more.

If you’re to remove rust or paint for further processing, shot blasting is an ideal technique to use and here’s how it works:

Small abrasive particles are ‘fired’ at the surface in a controlled stream. Depending on the finish you’re looking to achieve, the size, shape, density and speed of the shot play an important part.

Generally, the smaller abrasives create a smooth, polished finish, where larger abrasives have a greater impact and remove excess material – these ones are ideal for creating textured surfaces.

What is shot blasting used for?

There are many different applications where blasting equipment can come in useful and SFEG can supply you with everything you need.

Some of the most common applications of shot blasting include:

  • Surface preparation
  • Coating removal
  • Surface etching
  • Scale and rust removal
  • Blending scratches
  • Improving surface appearance

Shot blasting is seen to be an economical solution for preparing surfaces and is also an effective and efficient tool for removing imperfections from surfaces. It offers a high degree of precision and increases lifespan and aesthetic appeal – it’s no surprise so many industries are choosing blasting techniques.

What are the different techniques?

There are many abrasives used for shot blasting and these can often determine the finish of surfaces.

SFEG are leading UK suppliers of abrasive media. They supply abrasives to suit the budget requirements of all customers.

One of the abrasives available for shot blasting includes reusable shot blasting media. The reusable shots are best suited to blast cabinets and chambers because the used material can be collected.

Chilled iron, aluminium oxide and glass beads are 100% recycled which makes abrasive shot blasting a cost-effective method for improving the quality and condition of surfaces.

Other techniques include expendable shot blasting. With this, expendable shot blasting media is blasted at surfaces in open environments. These shots aren’t reusable and cannot be recovered. SFEG supply expendable blasting media, including JBlast, Arablast and Garnet, in bags of 25kg and 37.5kg.

Shot blasting tips

Metallic surfaces that are exposed to the environment, are more prone to oxidation, so when preparing surfaces, it’s recommended that temperature and humidity levels are kept low to eliminate excess moisture that can affect the way the protective coating dries.

When using blasting equipment, make sure that the control cage is adjusted correctly to prevent machine damage and expensive repairs.

Don’t use an impeller that’s well worn – these increase the time it takes to clean and cost you more in the long run.

Always use appropriate abrasives and in the right proportion. Using the wrong proportions results in longer blasting times and usually provides a rougher finish.

To create a shiny appearance, you want to use a soft abrasive, like glass beads. Glass beads provide minimal stress when fired and provide a polished surface.

An abrasive that should be avoided is sand. Sand contains silica which can cause respiratory problems for those who are involved in the shot blasting process.

If you’re in doubt which abrasive to use, it’s better to go for a softer abrasive that won’t etch the surface. Gentle abrasives provide minimal damage and are ideal for surfaces that are unable to handle tough abrasives.

To find out more about shot blasting, feel free to get in touch with the team of experts at SFEG today.

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