In decades gone by, preparing a material for coating was a laborious, time consuming task that often required treatment by hand. Whilst traditional methods like sanding or wire brushing still exist, busy workshops like ours turn to more modern, time-saving techniques. Enter sand blasting, the surface treatment used to prepare items for coating.
How does it work?
Sand blasting works in a way that is unsurprising given its name. During the process of sand blasting, pressurised fluids – such as air, steam, or water – are used to propel abrasive particles towards a surface. This then etches your part with an irregular pattern, which in turn allows a coating to bond to it. There is a variety of sand available on the market but here at Marcote we use a 60 grit aluminum oxide to get the required finish. We’ve used this for over twenty years and we deem it to be the highest quality media and it gives the right key time after time.
Why do we do it?
The old saying goes, fail to prepare, then prepare to fail, and uncoated parts are no exception! In other words, failing to prepare a surface will lead to adhesion issues with your coating and cross contamination where debris and old coating hasn’t been removed.
When a coating doesn’t adhere, it’s called delamination, and this has a real impact on manufacturing processes. Each job that comes in is visually assessed to establish the correct pressure for sand blasting and this can be determined by substrate, thickness of the part and the end coating to be applied. Doing this means we can give precise instructions to our dedicated blaster ensuring once your parts gets back to you, they can be installed and your manufacturing lines run without interruption.
Is there a difference between sand blasting and abrasive blasting?
The phrase sand blasting is often used interchangeably with other forms of surface preparation that use similar principles, with ‘abrasive blasting’ often being used in the same context. However, abrasive blasting is considered an umbrella term which encompasses sand blasting, amongst other techniques. Others include shot blasting, soda blasting, and ice blasting, to name a few.
Each of the aforementioned methods rely on abrasion of the surface, but utilise different materials and equipment based on the context of their use. It is therefore important to understand when sand blasting is best used, and if it’s right for your product.
Find out more
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To discuss any coating requirements in more detail and receive specialist advice on what’s best for you, call our knowledgeable team of experts today on 01543 419 904.