Bead blasting, shot blasting, grit blasting, sand blasting and vapour blasting are just some of the terms that customers use when describing what wet blasting process they have.
While these are all accurate enough it is important to understand the type of abrasive blast media that will be used in the process as this will have a very large affect on the wet blast process and ultimately finish.
An abrasive blast media, by definition, are the particles of solid material that cause abrasion and erosion when impacted onto a target material…and there are a lot!
- · Aluminium oxide abrasive
- · Bauxite
- · Glass abrasive
- · Silicon Carbide abrasive
- · Boron Carbide abrasive
- · Sodium Bicarbonate abrasive
- · Ice
- · Plastic media
- · Garnet abrasive
- · Ceramic/ Zirconia
- · Steel shot
- · Stainless steel shot
- · Chilled iron shot
- · Cut Wire
- · Plum stones
- · Walnut shells
- ...to name but a few; and this is before you even consider the different mesh sizes, shape, hardness and blends of the abrasive particles.
At Vapormatt we have been dealing with a selling media since we first started and it is fair to say that, despite the variety, customers will generally opt for only 2 or 3 different types.
Aluminium oxide is a great media for heavy applications where parts require a lot of cleaning. The angular shapes of the particles make for a great “cutting” action whilst the surrounding water ensures an even finish. Vapormatt offer 3 types of aluminium oxide: brown (ABA), white (AWA) and pink (APA) the main difference being the rate of break down and cost.
Another common media is silicon glass which is often sold for polishing or sateen finishing of parts. Being spherical in nature the parts give a smoother finish than aluminium with the added benefit of wet peening to relieve tensile stresses. The silicon glass (SGR) comes in a variety of mesh sizes from 20 all the way up to 325.
Finally we also get a lot of customers asking for plastic media. Traditionally this is made from recycled plastic such as bottles, buttons, cutlery etc but when used in a wet blasting system can have great benefit in the removal of paint or surface contaminants such as fat or grease. Being softer than metal plastic media can be used to clean parts without affecting the underlying substrate.
So, as you can see there is quite a bit to consider when choosing the correct media for your application. Understanding this, we have Vapormatt a dedicated team to help you identify the correct abrasive for your application. You can either email your requirements or ring up today to discuss further.