Sandblasting FAQs

January 14, 2021 3:15 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re working on a custom metal fabrication project, you need to pay special attention to the metal finish. The type of finish you choose can have a pronounced effect on how well your part functions; if you choose the wrong one, your precisely measured and machined parts may not function as well as they should.

Sandblasting is a good choice for most metal projects. Read on to learn more about sandblasting, then chat with your local steel fabricators in Indiana to confirm it’s the right way to finish your metal fabrication.

What is sandblasting?

Sandblasting uses sand, glass, acrylic and other abrasive materials to polish the metal surface. The blasting media are launched at the metal piece at a high velocity, so the process removes dirt, debris, surface imperfections and other problems that could interfere with your metal finish.

What are the benefits of sandblasting?

Sandblasting offers a variety of benefits to a considerable range of project types. Here’s a closer look:

  • Removes surface debris: The main benefit to sandblasting is how effective it is at removing surface debris. Rust, oil and mill scale often form on the surface of freshly machined parts. This has to be removed before the part can be used or finished.
  • Environmentally friendly: Whichever type of abrasive material you use, it can often be reused. In many cases, the materials are natural or biodegradable, like sand, glass and walnut shells. That’s a lot safer and more environmentally friendly than harsh chemicals and other ways to clean your surfaces.
  • Fast and cost effective: Trying to clean a surface by hand can take many hours of manpower, especially if the part is large or particularly dirty. Sandblasting achieves that goal in a fraction of the time, which saves you both time and money.
  • Prepares the surface for paint: If you plan to paint or powder coat your fabricated parts, you’ll need a perfectly clean, smooth surface. Sandblasting is a fast and easy way to achieve that goal.
  • Plenty of material options: Depending on the type of abrasive material you use, you can achieve different results. That makes it easy to customize the exact finish you need for any given part.

Are there any drawbacks to sandblasting?

There are two major drawbacks to sandblasting, but they can both be easily managed with some precautions. First, sandblasting removes the surface oxidation, so your metal part is more prone to rust and corrosion. Keep it in a bone-dry environment until you’re ready to add paint or another finish.

Second, sandblasting is a process that uses very fine particles to clean and polish metal. If you’re doing the sandblasting yourself, make sure you use the appropriate safety gear. Face masks, goggles and other protection will protect your eyes, nose, ears and mouth from inhaling or swallowing these fine particles. Alternatively, you can have a trusted company perform the polishing for you—trained experts know how to protect themselves during the sandblasting process.

Are you interested in having your own fabricated metal parts sandblasted? Benchmark Fabricated Steel can help. We’re proud to be your local steel fabricators in Indiana—call us today to learn more about our services.

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