What Is Sandblasting?

Sandblasting, or abrasive blasting, uses a powered machine like an air compressor to spray abrasive particles via high pressure to coat a surface. As you might expect, the surface is blasted with sand particles. As these particles hit the surface, they form a smoother texture. Before you hire sandblasting services, let’s take a closer look at how this process works.

How sandblasting is used

This process uses sand’s abrasive properties to form more even surfaces that are smoother and contain fewer physical flaws and imperfections. It can also remove debris or be used for engraving.

Sand possesses a gritty and rough texture, which means it’s able to reduce excess material on another surface. Take sandpaper as an example. When rubbed against wood, it eliminates some of the top layer of material, making it much smoother. Sandblasting is a similar process, except that it utilizes highly-pressurized sand.

Performing sandblasting

First sand is poured into a sandblasting machine. These machines include a chamber on top into which the sand is poured. These machines also include an abrasive blasting cabinet and a blast system. The machine is then connected to a standard air compressor. When the air compressor is turned on, it will shoot the sand out via a handheld nozzle.

The pressure of how intensely the sand is blasted can be determined by the compressor’s settings. This is typically anywhere from 50 to 130 pounds per square inch, or PSI. The sand blasts the surface, and, due its abrasive quality, creates a smooth surface.

Concrete is often sandblasted to reduce imperfections. After the concrete is poured and then dried, it’s typically treated by sandblasting, which removes excess material and makes the surface far smoother.

Comparing sandblasting and shot blasting

Sandblasting is an example of a finishing process just like shot blasting. Shot blasting is an even more effective method of making a surface smooth that may otherwise be rough. In shot blasting, small, metal balls or beads are propelled against the surface. These beads are usually made from metals like zinc, aluminum, copper or steel. This means that shot blasting is even more effective at reducing physical flaws.

There are also other similar processes that go by names like abrasive jet machining (AJM), pencil blasting, micro-abrasive blasting and more. All of these processes use abrasive materials fired at high velocity to smooth surfaces. They may also be used to form edges or fashion intricate shapes. Specific types of blasting are used depending on the project’s requirements. Consult an expert before choosing which one is right for you.

Whenever you need sandblasting services, trust the experts at Powder Vision Inc. Since 1997, our dedicated team has specialized in residential, commercial and industrial powder coating restoration on cars and motorcycles, patio furniture, city maintenance and signage for housing developments. We’ll provide everything you need for a complete and beautiful powder coating project all under one roof, including sandblasting and phosphate wash. Give us a call today to learn more and get a free quote!