The reason manufactured metal products seem somewhat smooth when touched is largely related to shot blasts. Shot blasting is a method carried out on a piece of metal or metal construct before any painting job or surface coating is done on it. This term is especially applicable in an industrial setting. Shot blast is basically a technological polishing procedure carried out in order to eliminate totally or to the barest minimum, impurities. These impurities could include dust or residue from another metal which was not intended to remain on the surface of the product.
Abrasives used in Shot Blast
Shot blasting as a finishing method involves the use of abrasives. Some of these abrasives used as shot blast include:
- Copper shots
- Aluminium pellets
- Glass beads
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and some other synthetic material
- Steel grit and many more.
However, the most common materials used as abrasives are copper shots, aluminium pellets and steel grits. The choice of material used as abrasive is dependent on the available funds, the product to be polished as well as the expected result.
However, after every shot blasting session, the polished material tends to look lustreless or matte. This is why it is carried out before any further shining job, coating or painting is done. Moreover, shot blasting makes it easier for the paint to adhere to the surface in question.
Benefits of Using a Shot Blast System
First and foremost, the shot blast is essential in eliminating impurities or unwanted materials from the surface of metal products or constructs. This is the primary function of any blasting technique (whether dry or wet).
Second, as we mentioned earlier this procedure makes the metal in question hold any further coating or painting more closely. The coating used on a metal which has been subjected to shot blasting adheres more than in regular cases. This is because the process adds texture to the surface of the steel and other metal products. Simply put, the shot blasting serves to prepare the material for the follow-up manufacturing procedures which include coating and even further welding.
Lastly, shot blasting serves a sort of surface protecting function. This is because, in the process of forcing out the impurities, the entire shot blasting process makes the surface more compact. So there is very little space left on the surface for any stray material to lodge indefinitely or permanently.
How Does Shot Blasting Work?
Shot blasts makes use of pressure and the earlier mentioned abrasives. The shot blasting machine functions by making use of a centrifugal wheel to propel the abrasives at high speed onto the surface metal product. This high impact motion is repeated. This sort of beats out the impurities as well as a layer of the surface from the metal product.
These machines are the most suitable option for industrial steel surface finishing. The machines are automatic and can be used for mass steel products such as beams, pipes, plates of various shapes and sizes, as well as other metal products.