Benefits of Quality Abrasive Material
Many of the abrasives used in sandblasting are the same as the ones used in sandpaper, sanding pads, abrasive belts, and virtually every type of grinding wheels. Not to be confused with actual sand and softer slagswhich are only used once. A helpful adage to remember this is that there is no “sand” involved.
Sandpaper disintegrates quickly if it is made of softer abrasive. This leaves a lot of dust in your work area and tons of worn paper. Blasting doesn’t differ much. The process simply eliminatsthe paper used to convey the movement of abrasive grains. Using compressed air to move the same grains around, this is like a looped sanding belt that uses the abrasive over and over.
It is crucial to keep in mind that blasting cabinet dust collectors are designed to collect the material being removed, not to receive large amounts of abrasive that is spent. When you use poor quality abrasive in your blaster, you will overwhelm the dust collector and its capacity to store softer abrasive. Soft abrasive can no longer be used when it breaks down on impact.
Lower quality abrasive turns to dust and its ability to clean and perform properly is greatly diminished. This means that it can no longer clean these same parts, and visibility in the cabinet is compromised. Slower cleaning rates in smaller machines are due to lower compressed air usage, lower frictional heat, and lower abrasive delivery. These machines normally have very small dust collectors. These are just some reasons why quality abrasive materials are worth the price.
Higher quality abrasives do the work and can be used again and again. When you use quality abrasives like aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, glass beads, and others, you will see the benefits of improved visibility inside your cabinet. Media use will be greatly reduced, you will spend less time cleaning the dust collector, and your work area will be cleaner. The costs will be made up by your saved cost on the quality abrasive that you use. In addition, the number of times you recycle quality abrasives will save you more money. In the long run, investing in quality abrasives is the way to go.