Shot Blasting vs Aqua Blasting
For anyone working in an industry that requires top-spec surface cleaning services, two procedures you may have come across are shot blasting and aqua blasting. Both procedures have been around for a long time, and although they aren’t particularly new, they are crucial processes to many industries.
As an example, materials may need to be prepared before undergoing processes such as: welding, electroplating, galvanising, rubberising, glass coating, or even enamelling. In these instances, chilled iron shot blasting would prove the more beneficial than aqua blasting.
Suffice to say, both procedures are different, and of course have different applications in industry.
What Is Aqua Blasting?
Aqua blasting is a specialist cleaning process and surface finishing process that basically uses water to help propel tiny cleaning media and abrasives onto various surfaces that may need cleaning and finishing. Sometimes known as wet blasting, water blasting, or vapour blasting, aqua blasting makes use of 100/150 micron glass media abrasives which are suspended within a high pressure water system, and it is thought to be a much gentler form of cleaning and surface preparation than shot blasting.
Because of the flushing effect that the water provides, aqua blasting provides a much finer finish than other forms of surface prep, due to the fact that there is no dust created as the media breaks up. Also, the media doesn’t have the chance to find itself getting stuck into the surface of the components it is being used to clean.
What Is Chilled Iron Shot Blasting?
Shot blasting is another specialist method which is used to polish, strengthen, or clean various forms of metal. Any industry that works directly with metal may make use of chilled iron shot blasting. Shot blasting in its various forms is a common process in a number of industries, including: foundry, shipbuilding, construction, aerospace, rail, automotive, and many more besides.
There are actually two different types of general shot blasting: air blasting, and wheel blasting. With wheel blasting, electric motor energy is converted directly into abrasive kinetic energy via the rotation of a turbine wheel. With air blasting however, the blast media will be pneumatically accelerated via compressed air, which is then projected, at force, out of nozzles and directly onto the components needing to be cleaned/prepped.
With shot blasting, the types of shot used include: steel shot, steel grit, and chilled iron grit. Chilled iron shot blasting makes use of iron grit, which is good for deburring, removing sand from castings, removing scale and removing paint – thus preparing a surface for treatments such as nickel plating and finishing.