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How Does A Sandblaster Work?

Posted on by J Radford Group

For the restoration of many materials and surfaces, you need something that little bit more powerful. Sandblasting, or grit blasting as it has changed into, is useful in a variety of situations to help remove paint, rust and any other surface material to leave a clean finish. This technique is used most commonly for metals and brickwork when a smooth and tidy surface is required.

Many people are often curious about how blasting works, which is why we’ve put together a short guide to different blasters and their operation.

The basic principle

To get a really smooth and clean finish to a surface it needs to be subjected to an abrasive force. This is produced, in blasting, by firing fine grit at the surface with pressurised air, shifting any stubborn surface material to reveal the façade beneath. The gun will have a ceramic section in the nozzle to protect against wear, but different machines have different ways of preventing damage to essential components.

You can increase the speed by increasing the pressure. This gives greater strength to the abrasive materials being fired, but you must be careful not to damage the structure you’re trying to clean.

Safe blasting

Of course, when you’re firing such small abrasive particles around at such high speeds then it can be dangerous and safety is paramount. If  grit blasting can shift paint from metal in seconds then it’s not something you want focused on your body. Special hoods, suits, gloves and respirators can be worn during the process, depending on the type of work you’re doing.

Gravity fed gun

The gravity fed blaster is as it sounds, with pressurised air being fed from a tank through the hose and into the gun. When the trigger is pressed on the gun, the air is shot out in whichever direction it’s pointed. The important stuff, the fine particles, is in a hopper on the top of the gun. The trigger releases this material into the gun at the same time as the air to create a blast stream.

Pressure blaster

For larger projects, a pressure blaster is often used, with the basic principle like that of an aerosol can. With a canister of fine sand under high pressure and a special hose to transport the two, the mixture is forced out and focused through the gun nozzle. The canister of air and particles needs to be swapped once it runs out to continue blasting.

Siphon gun

This type of gun differs from the other two because it has two separate hoses, one for the grit and the other for the pressurised air. The air is driven to the gun via the handle and this forces the particles through the chamber to result in a blast of abrasive material which can be directed. This is the type of blasting used at home for small projects.

Here at J Radford Group, we provide premier blasting services for walls and brickwork to provide a revitalised look to your structure. Our professional and specialist staff can carry out this technique with the utmost care and achieve only the best results. To learn more about restoring your stonework or metalwork with our blasting services, then contact us today.

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