The Advantages of Using Stainless Steel Shot in Abrasive Blasting.
Abrasive blasting is a commonly used process for cleaning, finishing, or preparing surfaces like metal or concrete. It involves forcibly propelling a blast medium against a surface using compressed air or wheels. Traditionally, materials like sand, glass beads, plastic pellets, and metal shot have been used as blast media. However, in recent years, stainless steel shot has emerged as an advantageous alternative for many abrasive blasting applications.
The Durability and Reusability of Stainless Steel Shot
Stainless steel shot is highly durable, dense, and resistant to breaking down on impact. Unlike other media that degrades rapidly with repeated use, stainless steel abrasives maintain their shape and size. This allows stainless steel shot to be reused many times over for multiple blasting jobs, significantly cutting down media costs.
Improved Surface Finish from Stainless Steel Abrasives
The spherical shape, hardness, and uniform sizes of stainless steel abrasives create finer surface profiles and finishes. Surfaces blasted with stainless steel shot have lower surface roughness than alternatives like sand or slag. This is crucial for achieving smooth finishes needed for paint adhesion or making products more corrosion and wear resistant.
Reduced Hazards and Environmental Impact
Stainless steel abrasives are non-toxic, reusable, and recyclable. Stainless steel shot produces very low dust levels during blasting unlike materials like sand or slag which contain silica dust. This improves visibility and reduces respiratory hazards for blasters. Spent stainless steel abrasives can also be continually reused or sustainably recycled, reducing waste.
Specialty Stainless Steel Shot Abrasives
There are specialty variants of stainless steel shot tailored for different metal finishing needs. For example, stainless steel shot peening improves fatigue life on metal components in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Cost Savings from Reusability of Stainless Steel Abrasives
While stainless steel shot has a higher upfront cost than expendable blast media, it pays for itself several times over through reuse, recycling, and improved productivity. Industry estimates indicate stainless steel shot maintains 75% of its original size and shape after being reused 150 times.
Stainless steel abrasives deliver increased durability, reusability, improved surface finishes, reduced hazards, and cost savings versus traditional blasting media. With the rise of stainless steel shot, industries can now blast clean more efficiently and safely. Given its many benefits and widespread applications from metal finishing to food processing, stainless steel shot adoption will continue growing.