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Grit Blasting & Coatings: 101

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Over time corrosion and environmental conditions will deteriorate, damage, and destroy most materials they come into contact with…

And this destructive process is accelerated when surfaces have not been coated accordingly to withstand these conditions.

Or, maybe there was a sufficient coating, but due to years of usage, corrosion still found its way through eventually.

So, the answer is simple…Use the best coating for the job… right?

But before that can happen, how do you remove these layers of dirt and rust from surfaces before applying or reapplying these coating?

Enter grit blasting, the process of blasting the unwanted grime, rust, and other unsavory extras so they’re ready to be coated and achieve a long-lasting and protected look.

Read on to learn more about grit blasting and its benefits.

What is Grit Blasting?

In simple terms, grit blasting is a process in which an abrasive material is forcefully applied to the surface. The setup typically consists of a medium, such as air, water, and gases, and a nozzle through which the material is forced out.

The sheer force enables the surface to be scraped clean, removing all contaminations and previous coatings if any.

How Long has Grit Blasting Been Around?

Let’s talk about when grit blasting began to be used in industry.

Benjamin Tilghman

To understand that, we have to go back to the late 19th century, when around 1870, Benjamin Tilghman invented the first sandblasting cabinet using water to drive the sand particles at pressure.

He found the process was useful for sharpening tools, engraving, cleaning, and achieving a desired aesthetic in wood furniture.

Fast forward to the 21 st century, grit blasting is common in almost all industries with many more types of ways to provide varying blasting speeds to achieve different results.

Types of Grit Blasting

Depending on the surface that needs to be stripped of previous coatings, rust or debris you need to choose the right kind of grit blasting.

Back in the day the most common abrasive material used to grit blast was sand, however, nowadays this is much less typical as it is difficult to work with as well as a danger to health in the form of severe respiratory illnesses such as silicosis.

There are far better — and safer — blasting media materials on today’s market than silica sand.

There are many different types of blasting that can be performed, such as wet abrasive blasting, hydro blasting, bead blasting, and even dry ice blasting. Other materials that are quite popular include ceramic, walnuts shells.

There’s also an extreme kind of abrasive blasting called shot blasting, where metal pieces are thrown at the surfaces of heavy metal equipment.

While they all differ slightly in the exact ways they are used, they essentially perform the same task to clean or prepare the surface of an object.

How Does Grit Blasting Help The Application Of Coatings?

Non-stick coatings are, well, non-stick. So, how do you get a non-stick coating to stick around on any surface?

Once grit blasting is carried out, the surface becomes rough and abrasive. To this uneven surface, a primer is applied. The resultant structure is then baked, following which it is coated with a non-stick layer.

It’s now the job of the primer to bind with the fluoropolymer present in the non-stick. At the end of the entire process, you get a smooth surface that is well coated with a non-stick finish.

Benefits of Grit Blasting

There could be other methods to remove deposits and rust, couldn’t there? While there are other methods, grit blasting has unique advantages,  especially when you’re coating surfaces with non-stick materials. Let’s see how it helps.

Longevity – As the metal surface is laid bare before a new coating is applied, all the harmful elements are wiped off the surface, improving the longevity of the equipment.

Assured Non-Stick Surface – With existing coatings removed, the non-stick coating applied remains as it is without any fear of contamination. Thus, 100% non-stick properties can be guaranteed.

Improved Performance – When non-stick coatings work at their best, they improve the overall performance of the equipment by reducing the costs of refurbishments.

Reduced Stress Corrosion – As the grit falls on the surface with full force, it drives the metal into compression. This in turn can reduce stress corrosion cracking, especially in aluminum alloys.

A Multi-Industry Solution

Non-stick coatings are used in almost all industries these days, and so, all kinds of surfaces have to be prepared before the coatings can be applied as the manual methods of removing old coatings are just too inefficient.

Before…

With the grit blasting technique, all kinds of surfaces, such as automobiles, steel furniture, agricultural equipment, engine parts, and many more can be cleaned up to such an extent that all traits of existing coatings disappear.

After

By doing so, you can pave the way towards new and effective non-stick coatings that provide longevity to the surfaces in the most cost-effective way.

Product Release & Our Facilities

Here at Product Release, we use three engineered abrasives, Aluminium Oxide, Stainless Steel, and Steel to carry out our blasting. Due to the potential dangers associated with the high pressured blasting, our operators wear special suits with visored helmets that protect them from burns and hazardous dust, while also wearing protective ear wear to protect their hearing.

All of this usually takes place within our in-house blast facility, which not only provides additional safety measures for the Product Release team, but also helps to contain the dust and any other debris that is generated during the process.

Once the blasting has been completed, we can then focus on applying the non-stick coating solution usually one of either PTFE, FEP or PFA.

If you would like to know more about our full industrial grit blasting service, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts. We can expertly remove the existing finish on any metal substrate and grit blast back to the base metal, providing you with the ideal surface finish to apply any coating

18:20 on 2021-04-22