Shot blasting is commonly used to clean, strengthen or polish metal objects. It is a process in which abrasives are shot at a metal surface and is used across a wide range of industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction and rail. Types of media used in shot blasting can include steel, grit, copper, garnet, aluminium, ceramic and glass.
It is the shape, size, force and density of the media together with the amount of time spent shot blasting which will determine the final results.
During shot blasting a machine projects media towards the surface of the part. Air blasting is a type of shot blasting process where the media is propelled by pressure at the metal surface. When air blasting, the machines can take the form of either a blast room or a blast cabinet and the media is shot at the metal surface via nozzles.
Wet-blasting is an alternative style of shot blasting which can be used for unique applications, where a media-water mix is used. The use of water can assist in achieving a smoother finish. By lubricating the abrasive particles in a buffer of water wet-blasting can also be used to achieve a consistent flow across the surface whilst minimising damage to the surface.
Wheel blasting uses a centrifugal wheel which directly converts electric motor energy into kinetic abrasive energy by rotating a turbine wheel whilst media is blasted at the surface(s) simultaneously. It is commonly used where big or large parts need to be de-rusted, descaled, de-sanded, or cleaned in some form.
The Benefits of Shot Blasting
Shot blasting allows for the following benefits:
- It can assist in achieving a smooth and matte surface.
- Shot blasting can allow for better longevity and durability of a surface coated metal part.
- It can be used to remove rust from steel surfaces.
- Shot blasting can assist in preparation for forming a permanent bond between the protective coat and the shot blasted surface.
- Shot blasting can also be used to highlight faults and defects on metal surfaces.
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