Blasting & Cleaning

Abrasive Blasting: Is it the same as Sandblasting?

Sandblasting, bead blasting or abrasive blasting…Is it really the same thing?
The short answer is yes! For many years the term sandblasting was used simply because the abrasive choice was sand. Well, times have changed! We do not recommend using sand in any of our blasters.
The first reason is a health and safety concern. Sand contains silica which can cause serious respiratory illnesses. The use of a proper respirator with most abrasives will reduce your health risks.
The second reason is due to the high moisture content and the impurities in sand. It can cause equipment blockages, blast equipment, and contamination (rust) of the blasted surface.
The third reason is sand just does not work as well as other abrasives. Sand used once in a blaster turns into a powder and loses its abrasive capabilities. Using the correct abrasive can make the job go quicker and using the right abrasive can give you a more desirable finish to the item you are blasting.

An abrasive blaster works on the principle of high pressure compressed air being used to force a mix of air and fine abrasive through a nozzle. The abrasive particles will quickly remove paint, rust, corrosion, dirt, and discoloration from many different types of surfaces. Just as there are many surfaces to be cleaned there are many different types of abrasive materials that can be used.

When choosing the right abrasive for the job, the size, hardness, mass, sharpness break down rate and reclaim capabilities should be considered.
The most important element of any coating project is surface preparation. You need the surface roughness to achieve maximum bond strength of the coating system. Inadequate surface preparation is the major cause of all coating failures.

The following are a few common types of surface preparation operations.
Abrasive Blasting
Single Use & Recycle Media
Wet Abrasive Blasting
Steel Shot Peening/Cleaning
Sponge Jet Blasting
Bicarbonate of Soda Blasting
Power Tool Cleaning (SP3)
Hand Tool Cleaning (SP2)
Solvent Cleaning (SP1)
Water Washing and Jetting

Painting & Coating

Coatings provide protection to steel by one or a combination of three mechanisms yielding the following coating types:
Sacrificial coatings, which are rich in zinc. Whenever a scratch or other damage occurs to the zinc to expose the steel, then the zinc acts as a sacrificial anode and corrodes to protect the steel surface.
Barrier coatings, which keep moisture away from the steel surface. This removes one of the elements of the corrosion cycle, the electrolyte, thus preventing corrosion.

Inhibitive coatings, (usually only primers) which, in addition to acting as barriers, actively assist in the control of corrosion by using pigments which can provide an inhibitive effect (similar to corrosion inhibitors). Examples include red lead and zinc phosphate. These pigments react with the absorbed moisture in the coating then react with the steel to passivate it, thus decreasing its corrosive characteristics.
Therefore, 1) zinc coatings would be considered a sacrificial coating,
2) epoxies would be a barrier coating (however, epoxies will chalk over time due to ultraviolet light),
and 3) urethanes provide color and gloss to protect chalking of epoxy coatings (urethane is not a barrier coating, as moisture can penetrate its surface).

There are two major types of spray application equipment:

Conventional airspray: The coating is atomized by a stream of compressed air and semi-floats to the surface on a current of air. Both the air and coating enter the gun through separate passages, are mixed and are driven through the air cap in a controlled spray pattern.

Airless spray: The coating is atomized without the use of compressed air. The coating is pumped under high pressure to an airless spray gun, where it is forced (under high pressure) through a precisely shaped and sized opening at the front of the valve, called the orifice or spray tip, as it is being driven to the surface.
Flame spray coating is a process in which melted (or heated) materials are sprayed onto a surface. The “feedstock” (coating precursor) is heated by electrical (plasma or arc) or chemical means (combustion flame).

During the coating process, there is no Distortion of the part being coated. The part temperature generally is below 250° F (121° C) during the spray operation. The substrate of the part that is coated does not metallurgically get altered.
Virtually any material can be applied to any metal substrate, and some plastics; including ceramics, carbides, pure metals, alloy metals, and much more.
Coating buildup can exceed .100 (2.54mm) in thickness, with some materials able to be applied over .200 (5.08mm) thick.
The application time is very fast, unlike plating applications that take hours to accomplish a minimal buildup. This can reduce downtime during repairs.
Flame sprayed coatings will increase component life, helping to extend the life cycle of equipment, therefore reducing maintenance costs. When necessary, the coating can be removed with virtually no degradation to the part base material, and reapplied to restore and place the component back in service.
Finished parts are protected by masking, so that only the surface requiring coating buildup gets coated, with the rest of the part remaining free of any coating attachment.
For some painting jobs, conventional spray equipment is not appropriate. In these cases, a more sophisticated solution may be your answer, and that answer is plural component coatings and paints.

The unique chemistry in the 100% solids epoxy, polyurea, & polyurethane blends commonly used in Plural Component Coatings allows for these properties that allow them to succeed where other paints would fail. Our skilled employees have the experience to use the specialized tools needed to apply these Plural Component paints correctly for optimal performance, and fast refill times will make sure that your project keeps moving. This application procedure is pivotal to the technology, we can guarantee that our workers will apply the material safely and according to the specifications.
Plural component painting has properties that may be beneficial to your painting needs. These include:

Fast curing times/Fast return to service
Solvent/VOC free
Shock resistance
Severe corrosion protection
Chemical, Environment and Atmospheric Resistance
UV tolerant

Ideal markets for these technologies include Public Utilities and Potable Water, Water and Sewage Treatment, Petrochemical Storage & Refineries, Manufacturing Facilities, and Chemical Facilities. Our workers extensive safety training and management will make sure that your projects are done as quickly and safely as is possible, as evidenced by our award winning safety policies. Global Coatings LLC works on plural component coating projects with many different manufacturers willing to provide extended warranties on our coatings.