Piscataway, NJ • Cleaning layers of time off delicate ferrous artifacts used to be the job of electrolysis equipment and wire brushes. But according to historian and archeologist Robert Perry of Pell City, Alabama, the method of choice is now blasting away years of rust, grime and grunge with walnut shell and corn cob grit.
Perry is the president of a full-service cultural resource management firm that assists federal, state, local governments and private-sector firms in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.
“Although electrolysis is still required in certain cases,” says Perry, “I now depend on blasting grit from Kramer Industries to get the job done. The people at Kramer helped me select the appropriate grit size and the specific media to be used. In our case, grit made of walnut shells and corn cobs works best.”
Kramer Industries is a leading supplier of cleaning and polishing media, related chemical compounds, and the vibrating, tumbling and blasting equipment specifically designed to take on dozens of cleaning and restoration tasks. Kramer’s line of cleaning and polishing grit includes everything from recycled bottle glass to granulated corn cob, and they work closely with their customers to develop time-saving methods of cleaning and polishing surfaces less abrasively and with little if any environmental impact.
According to Steven Schneider, sales manager of Kramer Industries, “The correct media and size of the grit depends on the size and shape of the objects that need cleaning. We get our corn cob grit from the hard woody ring of the cob, and the walnut shell grit from crushed shells.”
“In the field of historical restoration, grit is now being used to clean everything from nails to rare coins,” says Robert Perry, who has been preserving bits of history for more than 12 years. “All you need is a good piece of blasting equipment and the right grit to remove surface build up without damaging the artifact itself. What used to take hours using electrolysis can now be done in a matter of minutes.”