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Precision Blast Systems Ltd

Soda Blasting Facts

Facts about soda blasting, equipment and Armex Soda Blasting Media

“Soda blasting is a process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. It is a very mild form of abrasive blasting, much milder than sandblasting.

Soda blasting is a non-destructive method for many applications in cleaning, paint & varnish stripping, car restoration, industrial equipment maintenance, rust removal, graffiti removal, molecular steel passivation against rust, oil removal by saponification and translocation, masonry cleaning and restoration, soot remediation, boat hull cleaning and for food processing facilities and equipment and teeth cleaning at the dental office.

Soda Blasting Applications
Soda blasting can be used for cleaning timber, wood, oak beams, oak floors, doors, stairs & bannisters, cars, boat hulls, masonry, and food processing equipment. Soda blasting can also be used to remove graffiti and to clean structural steel. Soda blasting is very effective for mould and fire/smoke damage clean-up as it cleans and deodorizes.

Soda Blasting Equipment
A soda blaster is a self-contained system that includes a blast generator, high pressure compressed air, moisture decontamination system, blast hose, and a blast nozzle. The blast nozzle in soda blasting applications is not a typical wear part, as a result nozzles can be ceramic or metal, such as tungsten carbide. The pressures used are very low compared to sandblasting e.g. 20psi as opposed to 120psi. View our full range of Microstrip Soda Blast Equipment.

The blasting material consists of formulated sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda). Blasting soda is an extremely friable material that has micro fragmentation on impact, literally exploding away surface materials without damage to the substrate.”

With over 15 years experience in supplying soda blast equipment and blast media, we have an unrivalled knowledge in the use of this technology, here are some of the common questions we are asked.

You could, but this would give very poor results, for efficient soda blasting each crystal should impact on the surface being cleaned, this requires very precise metering of the media which is not possible through standard blast equipment, excess soda consumption would also be very costly and increase the clean-up time. Our Microstrip equipment is designed to give very precise metering of abrasive and blast pressure to give the most efficient and cost effective blasting.

A Microstrip blast system and a clean dry air supply are the main requirements, the Microstrip is supplied complete with a blast hose and nozzle ready for dry or wet blasting, the water is only used to suppress dust and can be supplied from a normal tap. The air supply will depend on the size of system but should be dry and at a pressure of around 7 – 8 bar with sufficient volume for the machine.

Yes, mobile systems are very popular, for this you will need a mobile compressor and in order to remove the moisture from the air, an aftercooler will be required. The Microstrip systems can be supplied fitted with an air powered water pump which can draw water from a tank when wet blasting.

The Microstrip, aftercooler and tank can be supplied separately for van mounting with the compressor either towed or also van mounted, alternatively we can supply a complete self contained package such as our Mobile 40 machine.

This depends on the type of work you wish to do, the speed of work is related to the size of blast nozzle,(the size of the vessel is irrelevant) a larger nozzle requires more air volume hence a larger compressor, for mobile systems this is limited to the size that can be reasonably towed or mounted in a van so that will determine the most suitable system.

Yes if the cabinet is designed for it, soda is not re-usable and blasting with soda creates large amounts of fine dust which standard cabinets cannot cope with hence the visibility is so poor work is impossible, the Gritco Glovebox systems are designed to work with soda and have excellent visibility with low abrasive consumption.

Yes, all the blast equipment we supply is manufactured in Europe and conforms to the "European Pressure Equipment Directive"(PED). This is a legal requirement for blast equipment supplied in the UK and is confirmed on the Certificate of Conformity supplied with every blast machine. We also provide an operator training course free of charge when supplying blast equipment.

Not quite, ARMEX® is sodium bicarbonate that is specifically formulated for abrasive blasting, that is why is says "blast media" on the bags. The crystals are angular and the media contains flow aids and moisture inhibitors not present in ordinary soda, this makes ARMEX® far superior than just soda when used for blasting. If it doesn't say "blast media" on the bag then it isn't made for blasting!

That depends on the application, soda is a soluble soft abrasive used for non-destructive blast cleaning and is excellent for many applications such as some building cleaning & graffiti removal, monuments, food industry, machinery & component refurbishment, fire damage, aviation, coatings removal from delicate substrates. However in some applications, the use of a very fine specialist hard abrasive such as Archifine, used at low pressure is more suitable and cost effective, this is particularly the case for cleaning brick & sandstone or for paint stripping from steel vehicle body shells.

Yes, the Microstrip machines are designed for use with fine abrasives such as ARMEX® Blast Media, Archifine and other fine media's. Optional nozzles are available to allow wet blasting with hard abrasives.

To make a successful, competitive blasting business it is essential to be able to operate with more than one abrasive.

All blasting can create dust and it is a fact that soda blasting can be quite dusty due to the fine nature of the abrasive, this can be reduced by wet blasting (all Microstrip machines are supplied with a wet nozzle) but it is essential when carrying out a job, that consideration is given to containment of dust and collection /disposal of waste.

The Blast-mate EXC machine is designed for contractors who don't blast with soda but who want to use conventional abrasives including fine ones such as "Archifine" with much lower abrasive consumption and greater control than traditional blast equipment. Compared to a standard blast system, the EXC has precise control of blast pressure and can use up to 75% less abrasive per hour, this results in less waste to dispose of, less dust and the ability to undertake fine work.

Yes, we carry stock of equipment and abrasives, we have demonstration facilities at our depot and would advise anyone thinking of purchasing a machine to come and see our equipment and talk to us. Our advice costs nothing.

Please contact us for further information about any of our services or products.

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