Sandblasting refers to cleaning a surface using small particles of material propelled at high speed in one direction. Silica Sand was once the most common material used by the sandblasting contractor. Unfortunately, sand has a high silica content that can cause lung disease. Due to this fact, it is now illegal to use sand during open sandblasting operations. Although the name sandblasting is still used, a wide range of new abrasives are now favored by contractors. Steel grit, powdered abrasives, coal slag, walnut shells and many others are now used. Sandblasting is a very cost-effective and efficient process. A wide range of surfaces can easily be cleaned by the sandblasting contractor. Sandblasting can prepare steel, brick, wood, stone and countless other surfaces for painting.
Sandblasting Contractor Techniques
Sandblasting contractors are skilled and trained in cleaning a wide variety of surfaces. They know exactly what grade of abrasive to use for each situation. There are three main grades of abrasive. They are: Course Grade, Medium Grade and Fine Grade. Sandblasting contractors use course grade abrasives to remove rust from steel or other metals. The maximum air pressure and air volume are used to get the desired results. The course grade abrasive efficiently cuts through rust and old paint. It produces an etched surface that can easily be repainted. Sandblasting contractors use medium grade abrasives to remove paint from brick or block. The medium grade abrasive is used at a reduced pressure. It is able to cut through and remove old paint without damaging the surface underneath.
Sandblasting contractors use fine grade abrasives at different pressures depending on the surface they are working with. A fine grade abrasive used at low pressure is required to remove paint from thin metal. This process produces a fine etch without distorting the material. A fine grade abrasive used at high pressure is used to clean wood and expose the grain. Sandblasting contractors commonly use this process when restoring buildings.
Sandblasting Contractor Services
Sandblasting contractors utilize several different techniques to remove almost any material from any surface. All of the methods used are environmentally safe and will not damage your materials. Some of the most common services provided by contractors include: Corn Cob Sandblasting, Coal Slag Blasting and Lead Paint Containment.
Corn cob sandblasting involves the use of very fine materials. It is a gentle cleaning method that will not leave any etching. Contractors generally use corn cob sandblasting to clean machinery with sensitive hydraulic cylinders.
Coal slag blasting is the most common abrasive used by contractors to clean and prepare a metal surface. Different grades and sizes of coal slag can be used depending on the surface being cleaned. Coal slag blasting with fine abrasive of steel will produce a clean, smooth surface that is very polished. Course coal slag cleans faster, but the surface will be rougher. Course coal slag is used by contractors on especially stubborn materials.
Lead paint containment is used by contractors to help eliminate the health threats of lead paint while maintaining the integrity of your building. Containing lead paint rather than removing it helps you save money. No lead particles will enter the air or ground during the process, making it very safe.
While you may think you can do the job yourself, it is often hard to get the right tools to do it properly. In addition, harmful particles can be sent into the air during sandblasting if the proper precautions aren't used. Contractors have the right equipment to make sure both you and your materials are safe during the process.