Sandblasting has a variety of industrial applications. In the automotive restoration world, it's usually used to prep the surface of car bodies for restoration by removing rust. A common question among car owners is whether sandblasting is a safe and effective rust removal method for car body parts. Read on to get answers to this question.
How Sandblasting Works
To understand why the use of sandblasting as a rust removal technique for cars is favoured, it's important to learn how the process works. Sandblasting involves aiming a high-speed stream of projectiles at the surface to be treated using a sandblasting machine. The projectiles are ejected through the nozzle of the sandblaster and they're propelled by pressurised air.
The work procedure is very similar to pressure washing, only that pressures are much lower and the abrasive particles used are a lot more abrasive than water. Some of the most commonly used abrasive media include aluminium oxide, glass beads, plastic beads, and ground-up walnut shells. Sand is the traditional abrasive material used for sandblasting applications – that explains where sandblasting gets its name. However, sand is no longer used because of the health hazards associated with inhaling silica particles found in sand.
Sandblasting can complete the toughest cleaning jobs fast and efficiently. That's why they're highly effective at ridding of rust from the metal surfaces of cars.
Sandblasting is an inherently dangerous task, but it can be done safely. The high-speed stream of particles that are directed at the surface to be treated can potentially cause serious injuries to the operator of sandblasting equipment, as well as other people working around the car.
For that reason, safety should be the number one priority for anyone looking to tackle a sandblasting task. In auto body repair shops, sandblasting is done inside a dedicated sandblast room to minimise occupation hazards resulting from the operation of sandblasters.
If you're considering sandblasting at home, you can rent a blasting cabinet to contain the mess and protect other people from getting hurt by particles flying off the surface of your car. Also, make sure you wear the personal protective equipment that comes with the cabinet.
Sandblasting is a highly effective method of removing rust from car body parts, but steps must be taken to ensure the job is done safely. If you're not well-versed with how to undertake the task safely and effectively, it's advisable that you leave the job to a sandblasting contractor. They'll take the guesswork out of this important task.