Aluminum Sandblasting Process

Aluminum Sandblasting

KDM provides custom aluminum sandblasting services based on your request!

Aluminum Sandblasting

Aluminum sandblasting is a powerful and flexible procedure that can be used in a variety of applications and industries. It is the procedure used when material needs to be cleaned, deburred, powder-coated, de-rusted, shot-peened, or otherwise have its paint removed.

These methods are useful in the automotive sector, ship and rail yards, and a variety of other industries. Depending on your intended application, a certain level of competence and safety training is essential to operate a sandblaster properly.

A sandblaster can fully remove oil, paint, or any unwanted veneer off a surface, restoring it to its original condition. Sandblasters can smooth an object with sharp burrs left behind from machining until it is easy to handle.

KDM provides an excellent aluminum sandblasting process to meet your sheet metal fabrication needs. We have the sandblasting media, advanced equipment, and solutions you require to complete your project.

Our custom-designed systems result in a comprehensive turnkey finishing solution. We work not only on aluminum but a wide range of materials such as brass, copper, titanium, steel, etc.

Today, KDM is famous throughout the industry as a professional manufacturer that provides remarkable finishing solutions and products. We serve the sheet metal fabrication needs of large and small companies worldwide. Message us now.

KDM Aluminum Sandblasting Process Project

Aluminum Sandblasting Parts
Sheet Metal Case
Sheet Metal Case Parts
Electronic Housing
Electronic Metal Housing
3 Products Found.

Aluminum Sandblasting: Ultimate Guide

This guide will take you through the fundamental about aluminum sandblasting.

Whether you want to learn about the technique, benefits or aluminum sand blasting process – you will find all information right here

What Is Aluminum Sandblasting?

It is simply a process whereby loose paints, coatings, or debris are knocked off a surface.

An abrasive material is thrusted at a high speed towards the aluminum surface to clean it.

It’s a common process done before painting or repainting a metal, machinery, or any other surface.

Here are reasons for sandblasting:

  • To remove the initial paint on the aluminum
  • To remove corrosion or grime
  • Necessary if you want to repaint or powder coat aluminum
  • If you want to get down to the original metal surface and polish it.
  • If you want to alter the shape of aluminum, smoothen rough edges or roughen the smooth edges of a surface

Sandblast aluminum finish

Sandblast aluminum finish

Dry Blasting Aluminum Vs Wet Blasting Aluminum

Aluminum components can be cleaned either by dry or wet blasting techniques. Here’s the difference between them;

Dry Blasting Aluminum

This is an intense process that must be approved by the city or permitted by people living around the blasting site.

It’s an aggressive procedure as there is no water to soften the abrasive medium.

They ricochet at a sharp angle creating deep marks on the aluminum surface. The process is noisy; it sounds like continuous gunshots.

It’s commonly used in outdoor spaces preferably to blast large surfaces like a boat, automobile, etc.

Advantages Of Dry Blasting Aluminum

i. It’s faster than wet blasting

ii. It doesn’t cause aluminum to rust

Wet Blasting Aluminum

This technique is also known as vapor blasting and vapor honing.

Here abrasive media is mixed with water before the compressor forces the mixture out onto the aluminum surface.

Unlike dry blasting where sparks occur, wet blasting is gentle. Adding water cools down the compressor hence making the environment safer for the machine operator and the substrate.

Advantages Of Wet Blasting Aluminum

i. The water diffuses and eliminates the dust produced during the process creating a conducive working environment for the machine operator.

ii. The water also adds mass to the particles, making them more effective at removing contaminants and coatings without damaging the underlying material.

iii. The process is gentle and effective. The water acts as a cushion protecting the substrate from harsh marks

iv. The end result is satin or polished texture

v. The process is slower than dry blasting

vi. The process can be handled by a non-professional

vii. There is less noise causing fewer hearing problems

Aluminum Sandblasting Process

Sandblasting process

Sandblasting process

So now that you understand the term, let’s dig into the process of sandblasting. A sandblasting setup has 4 main components:

  • Air source/compressor
  • Sandblasting cabinet
  • Dust collector
  • Blasting media

Sandblasting in layman’s language is meant to replace hand-sanding and all the mess the process comes with.

It quickly and effectively does what manual sandblasting does in days.

i. First thing first before you begin the process it’s advisable to wear protective clothing.

Abrasive particles can irritate your eyes, and skin and even cause respiratory diseases like silicosis.

To be safe, put on safety goggles to guard your eyes, protect your hands using gloves, and a mask is important to sieve the air you breathe.

Don’t go dressed up in your best outfit instead wear an old garment or overall that you won’t mind if it gets dirty.

ii. Identify your working space and clean it up to ensure no residue will react with aluminum.

Analyze the angle at which you will be working with.

Next, determine the materials and equipment necessary for the project, this includes abrasive media and tools.

Ensure all safety pieces of equipment are within reach. We have different abrasive mediums that can be used which include:

  • Silicon carbide is the toughest and so far the best abrasive material for removing surface finishes that are hard to come out of. It has varieties of colors and purities and is used for general purpose and heavy-duty applications.
  • Steel shot and grit– is tough, highly recyclable, and cost-effective. It can easily be used on a variety of surfaces to remove contaminants and to give texture to a surface for a coating to adhere easily.
  • Starblast- is a multipurpose blasting abrasive with low levels of silica. It is best for removing corrosion on metallic surfaces. Also doesn’t produce a lot of dust and ensures visibility.
  • Walnut shells is a hard naturally occurring material made from crushed walnut shells hence its name. it’s gentle and best for cleaning softer surfaces that can’t endure tough abrasives ie polishing soft metal, wood, plastic, etc.
  • Corn cobs– it’s a soft natural occurring abrasive used for cleaning, and de-flashing applications. It’s used for the removal of debris from wood brick and stone.
  • Glass beads– is a gentle blasting media compared to others like silicon carbide. It leaves a soft bright finish on the surface. It can be reused severally
  • Aluminum oxide– is known for its strength and hardness. It can easily engrave an aluminum surface hence can only be used for surface composition before the actual coat or painting is done on the metal

Other than the metal it can be used to blast other substrates like; glass, granite, marble, and steel.

Sandblasting process

Sandblasting process

iii. Lay down a trap or surface that can hold the abrasive media if you are working in an open space. It will be easier to collect and re-use the media. If working with a cabinet, there is no need for a trap, the media will remain inside.

iv. Use a funnel to add the abrasive media to the hopper.

v. Carefully attach the hose from the compressor to the hopper. Ensure they securely join. The compressor provides pressurized air to the hopper and propels abrasive media at a high rate.

vi. Turn on the compressor and blast a scrap aluminum piece. Using an aluminum sample will help you know how the metal will react with the abrasive media before blasting the actual substrate.

vii. Hold the nozzle at an angle of 45 degrees. Be sure to stand 15cm from the aluminum surface. Being too close may warp the metal while being too far the blasting can be ineffective.

Ensure you place duct tape on every single area of the Aluminium you don’t want to be blasted.

viii. Blast the material back and forth evenly to remove all the residue. Move all around the aluminum surface. Inspect to see if you have achieved the desired results. If not, revisit the sports that are yet to clear.

ix. Pick the aluminum surface, wipe it and use it as desired. Clean the working space after the process.

Sandblasted aluminum surface

Sandblasted aluminum surface

Tips For Successful Aluminum Sandblasting

i. Select the correct sandblasting media. Ensure the media used does not react with aluminum resulting to corrosion

ii. Begin blasting with low pressure and increase gradually. This reduces the chances of warping aluminum metal. Set the blasting pressure at 50-60PSI.

iii. To ensure your restoration process is fortunate, choose sand that won’t warp the aluminum metal, can easily be recycled, and is not rough to clog the machine.

iv. Ideally, air compressors were not meant for blasting, it’s advisable to take breaks in the process to give it time to cool down. This way you will prolong its lifespan otherwise it will get heated and break.

Benefits Of Aluminum Sandblasting

It comes with the following advantages:

i. It improves the mechanical properties of Aluminium

ii. It upgrades the fatigue resistance of the aluminum profile

iii. It increases adhesion between aluminum and the respective coating on the surface

iv. Aluminum is durable sandblasting makes it more durable

v. It is easy to paint or decorate sandblasted aluminum as the paint flows gracefully

vi. It removes dust and other debris on the metal leaving a smooth finish

vii. It saves time and is efficient compared to hand-sand paper.

For all your high quality aluminum sandblasting needs, KDMFAB is here to help – contact us now.

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