Media blasting, or sand blasting, as it was originally called, is a remarkable process for removing coatings and oxidated material from surfaces. This process is usually superior to chemical stripping, abrasion, and less technical than laser processes. Originally sand was blasted at high velocity toward surfaces until bare metal or wood was exposed and could be recoated. Blasting made restorations of some items much easier, but the process could also be destructive and put many dangerous particles in the air. But advancements have made the technique much more refined. Now there are many choices for media, which must be understood.
- Start Soft: Blasting is a process of removal, and there isn’t a reversal process available. Taking away too much material or damaging the object being restored will be difficult to undo. If you are unsure what media to use, you can find experts who sandblast in Perth and other major centres. Today there are many choices for less abrasive material; one of the most popular is Sodium Bicarbonate or baking soda. It is also biodegradable and gentle for the environment. You might also try organics like walnut shells.
- Automotive: Plastic beads are also relatively delicate, and their constant round shape helps limit gouging and etching. Plastic is an excellent medium for automotive applications. You should be able to get to bare metal with it through most paint and filler materials. A downside of plastic is that it is inorganic, and it is best to have a recovery system for recycling it.
- Etching: Making patterns into glass or other surfaces is called etching. It is a useful technique for applying logos or designs on glass. This process is usually accomplished most efficiently with Silicon Carbide.
- Paint: Nearly any media will remove paint if you have a lot of time. You need to consider if you are working on wood, metal, or plastic, and how much time you can spend on the job. Slow and careful is best, but sometimes fast and rough is all you can do. Aluminium Oxide is a very efficient remover of paint while being only moderately destructive.
- Carbon Steel: When all else fails, Carbon steel might be the last resort. For deep rust on heavy metal, it can be the right media for the job.
You might have noticed there is no mention of sand; that doesn’t mean you can’t use sand, but it is not as popular as it was. Its irregular shape makes its effect less uniform, and it creates a lot of dust. If you are uncertain of what to choose, contact a professional for assistance.