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History of Soda Blasting
HISTORY OF SODA BLASTING
Soda blasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. An early use was to restore the Statue of Liberty in the 1980’s. It is a very mild form of abrasive blasting, much milder than sandblasting.
Soda blasting is a non-destructive method for many applications in cleaning, paint & varnish stripping, automotive restoration, industrial equipment maintenance, rust removal, graffiti removal, molecular steel passivation against rust, oil removal by saponification and translocation, masonry cleaning and restoration, soot remediation, boat hull cleaning and for food processing facilities and equipment.

Applications
Soda blasting can be used for cleaning timber, wood, oak beams, oak floors, doors, stairs & banister's, cars, boat hulls, masonry, and food processing equipment. Soda blasting can also be used to remove graffiti and to clean structural steel. Soda blasting is very effective for mold and fire/smoke damage cleanup as it cleans and deodorizes.

Equipment
A soda blaster is a self-contained system that includes a blast generator, high pressure compressed air, moisture decontamination system, blast hose, and a blast nozzle. The blast nozzle in soda blasting applications is not a typical wear part, as a result nozzles can be ceramic or metal, such as tungsten carbide. The pressures used are very low compared to sandblasting e.g. 20 psi as opposed to 120 psi.

The blasting material consists of formulated sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda). Blasting soda is an extremely friable material that has micro fragmentation on impact, literally exploding away surface materials without damage to the substrate.

Differant Types of Blasting Media

It is important to know the differences in blasting media, since different abrasive blasting media are required for different applications.

Blasting media can be used for purposes such as cleaning, stripping, etching, strengthening and polishing. In addition to the media type, grit or mesh size is another factor to consider for your application. The final choice of media depends on the nature of the work required and on the blasting equipment that is employed. The blasting media selection guide below contains a list of the common blasting media and the differences in blasting media.

Aluminum Oxide

Aluminum oxide is the most widely used abrasive in blast finishing and surface preparation Aluminum oxide is an extremely sharp, long-lasting blasting abrasive that can be recycled many times. In addition to the standard brown, aluminum oxide is available in 99.5% pure white grades. Hardness 8-9; Grit size range 12-220; Angular shape.

Crushed Glass Grit

The angular nature of crushed glass grit allows for aggressive surface profiling and removal of coatings and surface contamination. Crushed glass grit contains no free silica, is non-toxic and inert and contains no heavy metals typically found in coal and copper slags. Since crushed glass grit is lighter than many slags up to 50% less media can be used. Hardness 5-6; Grit size range Coarse to Extra Fine; Angular shape; Consumable.

Glass Beads

Manufactured from lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no free silica, glass beads are manufactured into preformed ball shapes. Glass beads produce a much smoother and brighter finish than angular abrasives. Glass beads can be recycled approximately 30 times. Hardness 5-6; Grit size range 50-325; Round shape.

Silicon Carbide

As the hardest blasting media available, silicon carbide is has a very fast cutting speed. Manufactured to a blocky grain shape that splinters, silicon carbide grit can be recycled many more times that other blasting media. The hardness of silicon carbide is ideal for etching of glass and stone. Hardness 9-9.5; Grit size range 16-240; Angular shape. Compare

Plastic Abrasive

Plastic abrasives are available in a variety of types that deliver quick stripping rates and consistent performance. This media is ideal for stripping coatings and paint from substrates, including aluminum and other delicate metals, composites and plastics. The relative softness of plastic abrasive media makes it ideal for automotive and aerospace blasting applications. Hardness 3-4; Grit size range 12-80; Soft, angular shape; Urea, Melamine, Acrylic compositions.

Pumice

Pumice is a light, natural mineral that is used chiefly as a mild abrasive. Pumice is ideal for less aggressive operations where protection of the surface is of supreme importance. Hardness 6-7; Grit size range 14-325+ Compare

Steel Shot

Blasting with steel shot is a popular method for cleaning, stripping and improving a metal surface. Steel shot is manufactured into a round ball shape that results in a smooth and polished surface. The peening action of the steel shot produces improved compressive strength to metal surfaces. Hardness 40-51 HRC; Grit size range S-70 to S-780; Spherical shape.

Steel Grit

High-demand, aggressive applications are ideal for steel grit. Steel grit offers a very fast stripping action for many types of surface contaminants from steel and other foundry metals. Softer than aluminum oxide but still angular in shape, steel grit will not fracture as easily making it perfect for creating an etched surface on metal. Hardness 40-65 HRC; Grit size range G-12 to G-80; Angular shape.

Corn Cob

Corn cob is an organic, soft blasting grit that is safe for delicate parts and soft substrates. As the preferred blasting media for log homes and other wood surfaces, corn cob offers excellent cleaning and stripping properties without damage to the substrate. Hardness 4-4.5; Grit size range Extra Coarse to Extra Fine; Ground, Angular shape.

Walnut Shell

Walnut shell grit is used for applications that require aggressive stripping or cleaning without damage or effect on the underlying substrate. Organic and biodegradable, walnut shell is extremely durable, angular in shape but is considered a soft abrasive. Walnut shell sees utility in applications such as cleaning hard woods and aircraft and automotive stripping. Hardness 4.5-5; Grit size range Extra Coarse to Extra Fine; Angular shape.
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