Abrasive blasting is a process that is used to finish, clean or prepare metals and plastics using a variety of media in blasting machines. The blasting process works by shooting high-speed streams of abrasive blasting media at a surface to remove debris such as rust or other types of residual contaminants and scale. This abrasive blasting process is also important in the cleaning and roughening of part surfaces prior to coating.
The increased surface adhesion of a suitably blasted part results in a stronger bond between the coating and the parts surface. Abrasive blasting of medical implants increases the implant surface area, which in turn increases the percentage of bone attachment for medical and dental implants. Industries that utilize abrasive blasting include medical, aerospace, automotive, electronics, military and OEM manufacturers.
Abrasive and Bead Blasting Media
When abrasive shot blasting was first introduced, the process was completed using silica sand, which was later discovered to pose serious health risks. Modern shot blasting processes still utilize the same method of using compressed air to propel substances through a nozzle and onto the substrate, but the materials used are now safer and more effective.
Abrasive blasting media is determined based on the application and comes in a range of sizes and types. Smaller blasting media typically creates a smoother finish, where larger media produces a rough finish. Abrasive grit and bead shot blasting media is often recycled though the machinery and can be reused, making abrasive blasting a cost-effective process.
Some of the most common types of abrasive and bead blasting media include glass beads, ceramic and aluminum oxide.
- Glass beads result in a soft, bright finish and are excellent for blasting and light deburring applications. They are made from lead-free glass and are available many sizes to produce different finishes. Glass Bead blasting is used on many materials including stainless steel. Glass bead abrasive blasting media is cost-effective because it is recyclable and can be reused up to 30 times or more.
- Ceramic is another abrasive blasting media used to create a smooth or matte surface finish. It comes in bead and grit form, both of which deliver results without contaminating the surface. Ceramic is highly versatile and can be used on plastic, steel, stainless steel, brass, titanium, copper and aluminum.
- Aluminum oxide is very sharp and abrasive and is used for blasting some of the hardest metals and surfaces. It is the most commonly used form of abrasive blasting media and is available in many grit sizes. Aluminum oxide grit is a reusable and long-lasting form of abrasive blasting media that can be used on materials including plastic, steel, stainless steel, brass, titanium, copper and aluminum.
Other types of metallic, synthetic, and mineral blasting media are also available depending on customer needs.
Various Industries Utilize the Abrasive Grit and Bead Shot Blasting Process for Surface Finishing
Abrasive Grit and Bead shot blasting is accomplished using different types of blasting machines set up to meet requirements for many different applications.
Chamber-style machines and cabinets are used at Arrow Cryogenics for abrasive Grit and Bead blasting. This equipment allows the use of extremely fine shot blasting media. This method reduces the amount of dust released into the air and can be performed using compressed air.
Applications Where Abrasive Grit and Bead Blasting Services Are Effective and Beneficial
Abrasive blasting is used by various industries and is ideal for the following applications:
- Removing glare when under surgical lighting for medical and dental instruments
- Improving adhesion for medical devices
- Increasing implant surface area, which increases the percentage of bone attachment for medical and dental implants.
- Descaling (removal of heat treat scale)
- Texturing for paint adhesion
- Texturing for mechanical function
- Producing a uniform cosmetic finish
We Provide Abrasive Blasting Services for a Wide Range of Industries
Arrow Cryogenics has a wide variety of blasting machines, each dedicated to one type of media to avoid cross-contamination. Several of our machines are dedicated strictly to medical components and other machines are able to run a wide variety of parts. Contact us to learn more about our abrasive blasting services or request a quote for a specific abrasive blasting service.
Abrasive Shot Blasting and Shot Peening
Shot blasting utilizes specialized machines to peen the surface of material with one of many sizes of media.
This is done to remove surface debris, such as mill scale and provide a surface prepared for paint adhesion or flash removal.
Stainless steel and steel shot blasting media is most commonly used in our shot blasting process with different sizes available to provide a wide range of finishes based on your desired results and application needs. Arrow Cryogenics has a wide variety of shot blasting machines available to process our customers’ parts.