Commonly referred to as sand/shot blasting, Abrasive Blasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure.
The process is used to remove paint and other surface contaminants and there are several variants of the process, using various media. Some of these processes are highly abrasive, whereas others are milder.
Abrasive blasting systems typically include three essential components, as follows:
- Abrasive container (blasting pot)
- Propelling device
- Blasting nozzle
The advantage of the procedure is that it keeps the surface intact, while everything else is removed. There are two main types of blasting: dry and wet. The type of abrasive used in a particular application is usually specific to the blasting method. Dry blasting is usually done with the following:
- Metallic grit
- Aluminum oxide
- Silicon carbide
Wet blasters are operated with:
- Glass beads
- Other materials that remain suspended in water
The exact equipment used depends, to a large extent, on the specific application and type of abrasive. Common applications are engravings for monuments and buildings and cleaning boat hulls, etc.