Before deciding to use a sandblaster, one of the most important things to do is to make sure the sandblaster does not use silica. Inhaling silica causes silicosis of the lungs. Alternatives to silica are walnut and coconut shells, copper, steel, grit and powdered abrasives.
Sandblasting is used to clean or debur a surface. It is also used to prepare it for coating. It is also used to etch designs into a surface. The fastest and most effective system to use is the pressure system, though they are more expensive. Another system is the suction/siphon sandblaster.
Two types used are wet and dry. Wet techniques are the most common. However, there are special circumstances when only the dry technique can be used. Under these circumstances, special permission usually needs to be obtained. Dry techniques are usually only used for metal projects, since moisture can cause corrosion.
Glass etching and carving
When etching glass, this technique is the fastest technique available. The sandblaster decorates the glass using either etching or carving. When the glass is etched, the sandblaster can etch words or images into the glass. The etcher can adjust the shades of the glass by making adjustments in the power of the sandblaster and the angle at which the sand is blasted. Glass is carved using stencils.
The stencils protect other areas of the glass so that the sand can steadily blast the unprotected areas. The carving method can produce very distinct angles and cuts that can be considered very beautiful.
Sandblasters are used to prepare surfaces before painting because painters do not want to trap dirt, dust or bubbles under the paint. The sandblaster is capable of dislodging the imperfections, making it easier to wash them away. This can be used to create really smooth surfaces.
Those who want very smooth surfaces are also likely to use sandblasters because they produce a more even surface than sandpaper and do not have any problems with corners, nooks and crannies.
One type is architectural sandblasting. In this technique, the goal is to either give a building a different look or to reveal the old appearance of the building. This type is also commonly used when a structure has sustained smoke or fire damage.
The sandblaster consists of the abrasive, the air compressor that generates the force needed to perform the etches and the nozzle, which directs the flow of abrasive toward the surface.
Certain surfaces can be damaged when these techniques are applied nearby them. For example, it can affect the exterior trim on buildings. However, this can be avoided by effectively covering the trim. On rare occasions, windows and roofs can also be damaged by the process.
The amount of time that a sandblasting project takes varies from project to project. A building that is 1,200 square feet takes about 6 hours to complete.
The increased efficiency brought about by sandblasting has made it possible costs to be driven down. Not only can industrial floors be treated more quickly, but the manpower required is much lower.