There are a number of abrasive blasting methods that can be used to clean and prepare surfaces such as steel and other metals, including bead blasting and vapour blasting. These types of techniques are frequently used to remove dirt, debris, mill scale, rust, coatings, and copper slag.
What exactly is vacuum blasting?
Vacuum blasting is a method that prepares a surface using a combination of air, an abrasive substance, and high pressure. Vacuum blasting is generally a slower process than other abrasive blasting methods; however, it requires less scaffolding and sheeting and is one of the best choices when environmental, health and safety considerations are required.
When might vacuum blasting be necessary?
There are many situations in which vacuum blasting can be beneficial, particularly when preparing metals for the application of protective coatings such as nickel composites. There are different types of nickel composites, such as Apticote 460. This can be applied to all ferrous alloys and offers excellent wear resistance, non-stick properties, and lubricity.
According to Aerospace Magazine, abrasive blasting is also an effective methodology used when refurbishing aircraft. It can be used on a variety of different parts in preparation for the adhesion of a new paint, polyurethane or powder coating; in addition, the precision that this type of method offers means that cleaning can be completed without affecting the overall performance or safety of the aircraft.
What are the advantages of using vacuum blasting over other methods?
One of the key differences between vacuum blasting and other methods is that the dust released during the process is not released into the air. As many blasting methods produce significant quantities of dust and debris throughout the process, there are clearly some very serious environmental and personal safety concerns that must be considered.
During vacuum blasting, however, all the dust is instantly collected inside the machine. This minimises mess and doesn’t cause unnecessary harm to the environment. Notably, the dust that is collected by the blasting machine can be reused, which may help to further reduce costs and mitigate environmental damage.