Which Materials Can Be Used For Sandbasting Purposes?
First we need to diferentiate between materials to be sandblasted and materials used to sandblast.
1) Materials suitable to be sandblasted.
Glass, stone, metals, wood and plastics steel, brass, aluminum, pewter, silver, etc. In general, most materials be sandblasted except for diamond which is harder than all sandblasting media. Stone is regularly sandblasted as a way to create gravestones and memorials. Metal is sandblasted to remove rust and sharp edges or as a way to enhance adhesion of coatings and adhesives. Wood and brick is sandblasted to remove years of paint, oil and dirt and to produce a clean surface for staining and painting. Certain types of plastic can be sandblasted for decorative effects, but the work has to be done very carefully, as the plastic can be much softer than the abrasive and will wear away quickly.
2) Materials to sandbast.
By mixing air under pressure with a hard, particulate abrasive or media, material can be slowly abraded or worn away by directing the abrasive stream onto the surface of the material. The longer the abrasive stream is held in one spot, the more material will be removed. Moving the nozzle closer to the surface decreases the area being blasted, and increases the rate of material removal. By moving further away, the area increases and the rate of removal decreases. If the nozzle is held very close to the material, a hole can be abraded through the surface very quickly.
Among the abrasive media or materials used to sandblast we can find:
- Sand – Single use. Lowest cost at <$0.05/lb.
- Aluminum Oxide – Lasts 30-40 x over sand. Creates static charge. Moderate cost at $1.00/lb
- Silicon Carbide – Lasts at least 40-50 x over sand. Highest cost at $1.60/lb Cuts faster than AO, wears hoses and nozzles faster, has no static charge, and fractures leaving sharp edges vs. rounding of AO.
- Glass Beads
- Black Magic
- Walnut Shells
- Plastic Pellets