Shot blasting is a process used to remove built-up coatings, contaminants or impurities from surfaces by forcibly propelling an abrasive material against it to achieve a clean result. Often used to prepare a floor for further processing, such as the application of industrial flooring systems and epoxy coatings, shot blasters use the blasting material, or media, to smooth and shape a surface, as well as, roughen a smooth surface, depending on the size, shape and density of the media, the coverage of the blast and the angle of impact.
This type of abrasive blasting takes several forms, including bead blasting, soda blasting and sand blasting, and has seen effective use in industries like shipbuilding, automobile and metal manufacturing, foundry and welding, aviation and the production of tanks, silos, pipelines and chassis. A form of shot blasting is also used in the fashion industry, to roughen brand new denim for instance, giving it that well-worn patina.
The Difference Between Shot Blasting and Sand Blasting
Shot blasters use centrifugal force powered by a rotating wheel at high speed to shoot media made from steel, copper, nickel, glass, iron ore, even dry ice, ground walnut shells, or water, at the work surface. Whereas sand blasters use compressed air to shoot a high speed stream of abrasive sand at the work surface. Shot blasting does not generate dust like sand blasting, which has less impact on the environment, and can improve the fatigue strength of the surface. Sand blasting also improves the surface quality and mechanical performance.
Shot blasting is an ideal process for cleaning off thin coatings and paint from large spaces because it is dust-free and usually dry, the blasters provide an accurate blast pattern and a wide assortment of abrasive media is available and re-usable, all at a relatively moderate cost.
When using a shot blaster, protect yourself by wearing eye and ear protection, heavy boots, long pants and shirt. Turn the shot blaster on and adjust the pressure incrementally from the lowest setting, moving up to the highest speed as you test the area to be cleaned. Starting at the furthest corner of the work area, walk slowly with the machine in a linear motion across the surface, making several passes until the area is completely clean.
Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with renting or buying sand blasters and shot blasters. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week. For more information on shot blasting, read these two posts from our Runyon Service Prep blog: What Grinders, Scarifiers, Shot Blasters & Scabblers Can Do For You and Remove Residue Build-Up with 4 Proven Methods.