When micro sandblasting, controlling the abrasive is critical to controlling the overall process. The use of the right abrasive is essential for effective results and also the life of your equipment.
Some things to keep in mind in selecting the right abrasive:
Hardness The hardness of the abrasive relative to the cleaning task at hand is important. Many cleaning applications require the abrasive be softer than substrate. While there are exceptions to the rule, it is a good guide to start with softer abrasives and work up to harder materials.
Size A larger abrasive particle delivers more kinetic energy to the substrate than a smaller particle. The typical abrasive range for micro sandblasting is 300 microns or less. Most micro sandblasting applications use abrasives within the 10 to 160 micron range. Larger and smaller particles can be used, but it is outside the norm.
Shape Abrasive particles that have sharp and pointed edges cut or strip away surface material upon impact faster than rounded or spherically shaped particles.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) – Check the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the abrasive powder that you use. This is extremely important for safety and compliance requirements. Typically a micro sandblaster does not recycle the abrasive. Abrasive is used only once. This is because the abrasive breaks down on impact into smaller particles and becomes contaminated. When it comes to micro abrasive blasting, there is no “one size fits all” answer. Feel free to contact us and we will guide you through the process of selecting the right equipment, technology and abrasives.