What exactly is sandblasting?

 If you’ve ever seen someone wearing a respirator and blasting a nozzle at a surface outside, you’ve probably seen a sandblaster.

But what exactly is sandblasting? And when is it used? That’s what we’re covering today. We’ll give you an overview of the process, when you should get it done, and what some of the variants are.

What is sandblasting?

Firstly, sandblasting is properly called “abrasive blasting”. It’s not necessarily sand, though sand is one of the materials that can be used. Sandblasting is the commonly used term, though.

Abrasive blasting is the use of an air nozzle to propel some sort of abrasive medium at a surface at very high speeds. It’s used similarly to pressure washing, but unlike pressure washing it’s not wet and it’s capable of stripping surfaces far more effectively.

Sand is one of the most common blasting media, but other options exist. Sand and shot are the most abrasive, but the range goes all the way down to light plastics and baking soda for less intense applications.

Sometimes sandblasting is done with a nozzle that’s wielded by hand, but in other cases it may be done in a cabinet or even a large room. Cabinets are commonly used with milder blasting media in automobile shops to strip heavily-soiled parts. For our purposes, though, we’ll focus on the portable blast equipment most people think of when they hear “sandblasting”.

What are its applications?

Sandblasting can be used decoratively, as it will take the surface off something polished or smooth safely. It’s used on gravestones, signage and storefront windows. Decorative sandblasting is usually done with a template.

The most common commercial application for sandblasting, however, is cleaning. It strips the outer surface of masonry, concrete, wood and other surfaces to remove paint, scale, graffiti, pollutants and other stains. It’s often used on boat hulls, commercial buildings, parking garages, sidewalks, metal panels and all sorts of surfaces.

Sandblasting is an extremely useful process for restoring a building or preparing it for painting or other surface work. Restoration projects, painting projects and other commercial construction work often incorporate sandblasting in the first steps.

If your building is starting to look a little worn down, it’s time to contact JK Industries. We’ll help you get your exteriors back to top shape, and sandblasting is a big part of that. Sandblasting is highly abrasive, so you really want to have a contractor who knows what they’re doing. We do. Give us a call today and find out how we can make your building shine like new.