Any industry that uses metal requires shot blasting technology. It is a technology that helps the metal building and the steel structure industry protect and maintain steel and metal products. Today, with the advancement of technology, one can find a plethora of shot blast machinery to perform this task. However, before looking at the functionality of these machines, one should have an idea of how these machines can be beneficial for industries. It will help a person understand why shot blasting makes such an essential part of the metal industry.
. What is Shot Blasting?
Shot blasting is a technique that helps the manufacturers to clean, induce strength and polish the steel and metal surfaces. Industries such as aerospace, construction, automotive, foundry, rail, ship-building, and many more can function by incorporating this technique. Shot blasting includes two different processes such as wheel blasting and air blasting that are explained below.
By rotating a turbine wheel, wheel blasting converts electric motor energy into abrasive energy. Each wheel blasting wheel can endure the capacity of approximately 60 kg per minute to 1200 kg per minute. This technique is common when big parts or large areas of metal or steel require cleaning or polishing. It can derust, descale, deburr, desand or simply clean metal and steel surfaces. The type of machine wheel blasting technique requires may vary depending upon the method of transportation of the components to be blasted. Some wheel blasting machines are below:
- Table Machines
- Manipulator Machines
- Thorough or Roller Conveyors
- Strip Descaling Systems
It is a technique of shot blasting that sends compressed air through the nozzle for a pneumatic acceleration of abrasive media on the surface. Wet blasting is another technique of air blasting that uses a media-water mix to blast components. There are various methods of using air blasting or wet blasting techniques. One can either install the blast nozzles in fixed positions or operate the blast nozzles manually. One can also use automatic nozzle manipulators or robots as the shot blast machinery. The choice of abrasive media plays a vital role in determining the air blasting task. Usually, one can use any type of dry or free running abrasive media for air blasting or wet blasting.
Advantages of Shot Blasting:
Here are some advantages of shot blasting, which can help industries protect and maintain metal and steel surfaces.
1. Removal of Corrosion:
To remove all forms of rust and corrosive materials from steel and metal surfaces, shot blasting is an ideal technique. Some common types of corrosives that develop on metal and steel surfaces are rust, chemical stains, mill scale, faded or chipped paint, and heat treatment scale. The main advantage of shot blasting is that it makes sure that the strength of the product will not reduce and the base of the product will not be affected.
2. Preparation of Surface:
Every industry that uses metal prefers shot blasting because it is by far the most effective and efficient process of preparing surfaces. Before painting or coating metal surfaces, shot blasting ensures a lot of advantages. It makes sure that the blasted surface and the protective coating have an extremely powerful bond. Also, shot blasting helps to reveal any type of defects and errors on surfaces. Finally, shot blasting helps to increase the lifespan of the surfaces and enhances the endurance of any future coating on them.
3. Environmental Benefits:
The removal of corrosion and preparation of surfaces can be done easily with shot blasting. However, if someone is worried about the impact of shot blasting on the environment, the person should know that it is an environment-friendly option. Shot blasting uses abrasion to clean the surface of the metal products, which is safe for the environment. A usual shot blasting process does not involve the use of chemicals or acids. The shot blast machinery only requires a cleanup of the physical pellets. Proper blasting machinery consists of a powerful vacuum and dust collecting system that blows away all the blasted steel or dust of media. The biggest advantage of blasting for a safe environment is that it gives industries the freedom and convenience to recycle the materials used in the process.
. Safety Requirements of Shot Blasting Technique:
Though shot blasting is an effective and efficient way of preparing metal surfaces for the industries, the workers or professionals who perform this task should be aware of a few safety requirements. Blasting different surfaces can produce numerous hazardous situations that the professionals need to be constantly exposed to. For instance, airborne dust particles can lead to various health issues. Also, lead, manganese, and calcium are some toxic metals that can arise health issues. Therefore, they must wear protective gear to save their lives from health hazards. Some common health issues that may arise from an unsafe shot blasting process are mentioned below.
- Irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs
- Respiratory issues from dust particles
- Health issues from the contact of lead, manganese, and calcium particles
- Mild to severe hearing problems
For all these above reasons, shot-blasting professionals must wear protective clothing, masks, and shoes. While handling the shot media, one must wear leather leggings, aprons, and gloves. Also, one should carry out the media blasting procedure under medical supervision. Shot blasting environment may create a constant noise. Therefore, besides ensuring these conditions, one should also be careful about the protection of hearing or ears.
Shot blasting is one of the best techniques for preparing steel and metal surfaces for construction. It ensures proper cleaning, strengthening, and polishing of hard metal surfaces. Shot blasting can be carried out indoors as well as outdoors. Usage of proper shot blast machinery ensures the efficient performance of the technology. Hence, one should get the machines and other equipment from a reliable manufacturer. Depending upon the quality, design, and updated technology of the machinery, the process can get easier to perform. Also, the companies should ensure the protection of the professionals who carry out the hefty task.