The Development of the Sandblasting Industry
Sandblasting, or abrasive blasting, as it is now known, is a very efficient way to treat a range of surfaces for a variety of purposes. The process works by firing the medium (sand), either by compressed air or water, at a very high pressure, which cleans the surface. Sandblasting can be used to smooth a rough surface, or vice versa, and it is the ideal way to remove surface contaminants prior to applying a protective coating.
The Early Days
Sandblasting was first invented in the late 19th century, and soon other forms apart from sand were used to achieve different results. Shot blasting is the strongest form of abrasive blasting, closely followed by sand, while there are some very mild media for more delicate surfaces, and as time passed, the compressors became more powerful, which made the blasting process more effective.
This refers to the material that is propelled under extreme pressure, and there are many different materials used, all having one thing in common, in that they are all small particles. Sand is no longer used as it was discovered that blasting with sand can cause silicosis if inhaled, but the range of materials gives the operator a choice of finishes, and by selecting the right medium, the end result will be satisfactory. Some examples of media used for abrasive blasting include:
- Coconut shell
- Walnut shell
- Copper slag
- Powdered abrasives
- Steel grit
This innovative method uses recycled crushed glass mixed with water and is an excellent way to strip paint and coatings from just about any surface. The liquid is forced onto the surface at very high speeds and the surface will not warp due to excessive heat, as the water keeps the area cool. Dustless blasting is a cutting edge method used widely used across a range of industries, and it provides the best adhesion if the surface is to be painted. It is also the most environmentally friendly way to sandblast, and is much faster than any other method.
Modern abrasive blasting can now be carried out in confined spaces, and with mobile solutions, you can save many hours of labour by getting into areas that would normally have to be stripped by hand. Direct Blast is proud to be one of the best mobile sandblasting companies in Western Australia, and with extensive hands-on experience in a range of industries, we can handle anything from the largest commercial project to a small domestic job.
Using sodium bicarbonate that is propelled by compressed air, soda blasting is a much milder form that is better suited for delicate surfaces, and was used to renovate the Statue of Liberty in the 1980s. It is ideal for cleaning timber floors, oak beams, cars, boats, and masonry. Soda blasting can be used to remove graffiti or clean structural steel, and with a fine blast nozzle, it is possible to get into the smallest nooks and crannies.
Modern abrasive blasting has left sand behind and replaced it with safer materials that offers a range of finishes, and if you are ever in need of our services, please feel free to contact us at any time.