July 04th, 2019
Despite inhibitions surrounding the use of silica sand, the term sandblasting is still widely-accepted in the vernacular of surface roughening applications. This stems back to the origins of artificial abrasive blasting technologies. The very first sandblasters were based on the natural weathering effect of aeolian erosion, which occurs when wind pervasively blows sand particles against a surface. It is a rudimentary process that has, nevertheless, persisted for over a century despite the comparative inefficiency of silica-based blasting media.
Innovating blasting media for the modern age requires a commitment to improving product quality and efficiency without inordinately increasing production or operating costs. Even the most rugged finishing markets are now looking to step away from silica-based blasting media for several reasons. First: there are myriad health concerns associated with free silica. Second: it is a rudimentary material that has long-since been eclipsed by various alternatives in terms of both efficiency and performance.
Some of the most common industry-standard blasting media include:
• Coal Slag
• Alumina (Al2O3)
Each of these blasting media has distinct benefits and drawbacks when compared to one another, with varying performance levels in terms of efficiency, recyclability, and safety. Although generally free of silicate materials, coal slag contains various contaminant trace elements that may be hazardous to health. Garnet is preferable from a safety perspective, but blast finishing with garnet will still produce high volumes of dust that may impair operator visibility. Alumina is the highest performance option of the three.
Saint-Gobain Abrasive Grains has engineered a new solution for the blast finishing sector that puts this cross-section of innovation at the forefront: Spartan Blasting Media.
With a focus on personnel safety, process productivity, and material reliability, Spartan Blasting Media performs in all key areas for blast finishing applications. It is a stronger and more angular product than coal slag and garnet, with a uniform size and much narrower distribution (PSD) than many competing materials. Comparative testing has demonstrated how important these properties are in achieving the most consistent coverage of substrates and ensuring an extremely clean finish. This guarantees a high surface peak density to improve the final coating process after surface roughening.
Spartan Blasting Media boasts 3-5x less breakdown than competitor materials, improving recyclability while reducing consumption to increase the number of heavy-duty use cycles. This is a key performance indicator for the modern blast finishing sector, as recyclable materials often come at a significantly increased price point. This encourages operators to settle for poor performance blasting media that is often incapable of running for multiple cycles. The productivity and ongoing operating costs of this result in a catch-twenty-two situation. Spartan Blasting Media is the ideal solution for blast finishing specialists aiming for a higher level of performance at an affordable price point. It also provides low-dusting performance with 0% crystalline silica, guaranteeing safe working conditions and significantly reduced cleaning costs.
With a focus on recyclability, productivity, and safety, Spartan Blasting Media has been recognised as the best-in-class blast abrasive material for a range of applications. If you need any more information, simply contact a member of the Saint-Gobain team today.