An Introduction to the Most Important Shot Blasting Techniques

by Carman McLean
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Shot blasting is one of the most effective surface treatment technologies in the world. There aren’t many competing technologies that can compete with it both in terms of speed, quality finish, and cost-effective. 

It is a technology that is based on blasting steel abrasives at various metal surfaces. It is a highly controlled blast that reaches speeds between 65 and 110 meters per second. The result is an abrasive impact that can effectively remove various contaminants. 

That makes shot blasting very effective for forging, cleaning fixtures, cleaning machine parts made from steel, iron, and other metals.

However, that doesn’t mean you should blindly commission shot blasting service for your project. On the contrary, there are few important things that you need to consider before making that decision.

Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision on the type of shot blasting services you need and which shot blasting machines are best suitable for your requirements. 

Shot Blasting Machines & Abrasive Delivery Options

Two methods propel the steel shot: a centrifugal turbine and compressed air (pneumatic). Which method is best suitable for your particular project depends on the area of application. Some of the criteria for choosing the right method include final finish specifications, surface conditions, and so on. 

Here are some of the main characteristics associated with each of these methods:

  • Centrifugal Turbine

This method relies on abrasive shots fired at a specific direction using a centrifugal turbine. Furthermore, it closely controls the number of abrasive shots fired at the surface area and at which speed they are fired. The blasting machines that use this method can use one or a couple of turbines featuring different power outputs. 

This is a very economical option that can provide excellent cleaning and finishing.

  • Compressed Air

These machines use compressed air fire steel shots which are directed horizontally. Compressed air shot blasting is considered an excellent option for smaller projects and a limited number of applications. Most commonly it is used for finishing of steel frames and welds.

Important Considerations Associated With Shot Blasting

Shot blasting is far from a simple technology. It requires in-depth knowledge of many sub-areas. To paint a better picture of shot blasting, here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when dealing with shot blasting. 

  1. Always keep an eye on the impellor. If the impellor is all worn out, then that can damage the machine or increase the cleaning time. In both cases, it is your budget that will need to cover the increased cost.
  2. The control cage needs to be correctly adjusted for optimal performance. If not, it can potentially cause significant damage to the shot blaster.
  3. The correct addition of abrasives is a big must. Otherwise, the blasting period will be prolonged and you may end up with a much rougher finish than expected.

In Conclusion

The main point is that shot blasting is by far the best and most cost-effective surface treatment. But the same as other technologies it needs to be used properly and you need to know as much as possible about it before using it. 

Here we’ve covered some of the basic postulates of the shot blasting technology. Just know your options enough, choose the right method, as well as some important consideration associated with shot blasting.

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