Shot-blasting is a versatile process with a wide range of uses and applications. But shot-blasting is a tool, and like any tool, there are uses it is well equipped for and uses it is not equipped for. Knowing what can and can’t be shot-blasted will help you make the most out of your shot-blasting equipment.
When it comes to things that should be shot-blasted, the focus should be on heavy and durable materials. Therefore, metal is a prime candidate for the shot-blasting process. Metal, whether small parts or full vehicles, can go through shot-blasting machinery with little problem to help remove tough rust and come out the other side with little (if any) damage. Even new metal can be prepared for painting and other processes with shot-blasting.
Although the intensity of shot-blasting usually is the process of choice for more durable metals like steel, shot-blasting can also be used for softer metals such as aluminum. It is all a matter of adjusting the type of shot and its speed.
Shot-blasting is designed to completely clear material off the surfaces of metal, like rust and contaminants. Because of this, the paint will also be cleared off the surface in little time in a shot-blast machine. If you are wanting to clear a metal surface of preexisting paint, then loading it in a shot-blast machine is a good idea. However, if you are wanting to maintain the paint, you will want to find a different process.
People often mistake shot-blasting for sandblasting or think the two terms are interchangeable. Due to this, they may be lead to believe that if something can be sandblasted, it can also be shot-blasted. Glass and procaine are an example of this. As we mentioned, shot-blasting is an intense process made for more durable materials. As such, more sensitive materials such as glass or porcelain would not do well in a shot-blast machine
We treat wood surfaces with abrasives all the time on the domestic front. Sandpaper and sandblasters are used to smooth out wood to prepare it to be painted or stained. However, wood, though durable, would not stand up well in a shot-blast machine, even with milder shots and lower speeds. This is another material better left for sandblasting.
Tools are only as effective as the ones who are using them. Shot-blasting is an incredible tool but being unaware of what can and can’t be shot-blasted can render this tool ineffective in even the most capable hands.