Sandblasting Equipment: Soda And Sand

sand and soda blasting equipment

Sandblasting and soda blasting are both types of abrasive blasting, which involves applying an abrasive material to an object at high pressure. Sandblasting is the colloquial name for the wider field of abrasive blasting, which can involve the use of materials such as walnut shells, coconut shells, and garnet, as well as sand. Soda blasting, on the other hand, uses granulated sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as the abrasive material. This makes it a more environmentally friendly and biodegradable option than sandblasting, as well as being gentler on surfaces. However, soda blasting also tends to be more expensive due to the fact that the sodium bicarbonate shatters on impact and can therefore only be used once.


Soda vs. sand blasting

Soda blasting and sandblasting are two of the primary ways to clean or prepare a surface for industrial coatings. While they are similar in terms of their processes and equipment, their materials and applications differ.


Sandblasting, also known as abrasive blasting, is the older and more popular option. It involves using compressed air to force abrasive material at a surface to remove rust, paint, or debris before applying an industrial finish. Sandblasting is typically used on metal surfaces, such as steel, iron, aluminium, brass, tungsten carbide, titanium, and graphite. It is an efficient method for rust removal and surface preparation, as it cleans surfaces quickly and can be used with a variety of media.

However, one of the main downsides of sandblasting is the health risk associated with it. It creates a large amount of dust, which can cause respiratory problems, and the pressurised application can cause burns on unprotected skin. Sandblasting also creates heat through friction, which can lead to warping or damage to softer materials. Additionally, the inhalation of sand particles can cause silicosis and other respiratory illnesses.

Soda Blasting

Soda blasting is a newer, milder form of abrasive blasting that was invented in the 1980s. It uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and blasts the particles against a surface to clean it, remove rust, or prepare it for coating. Soda blasting is ideal for softer or more delicate surfaces that require a gentle touch, such as wood, chrome, plastic, and aluminium sheets. It is also effective for mould removal, fire damage clean-up, deodorisation, and sanitisation.

One of the benefits of soda blasting is that it prevents flash rusting by creating a protective film over the surface. This allows for more time to pass between surface preparation and coating. However, this film needs to be removed or neutralised before applying paint or epoxy, as it can cause issues with adhesion.


When choosing between sandblasting and soda blasting, the type of project, surface material, and specific application should be considered. Sandblasting is generally better suited for stronger, heavier materials like steel, aircraft parts, and concrete, as it uses more durable media. It is also more effective at removing grease and heavy build-up.

On the other hand, soda blasting is ideal for softer, more delicate surfaces like wood and masonry, as it is less likely to cause damage. It is also a more environmentally friendly option, as sodium bicarbonate is water-soluble, biodegradable, and non-toxic. However, soda blasting may be more expensive due to the recurring cost of sodium bicarbonate and the initial investment in equipment.

In summary, both sandblasting and soda blasting have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best method depends on the specific requirements of the project.

Dekezel: Revolutionizing Sand Blasting

You may want to see also


Eco-friendly soda blasting

One of the key advantages of soda blasting is its softness and mild abrasive properties. With a rating of 2.4 on the MOHS scale of hardness, it is harder than surface contaminants but softer than the substrate, allowing it to remove contaminants without damaging the underlying material. This makes it ideal for cleaning and restoring delicate surfaces such as antique furniture, vintage cars, and even food-grade products.

Soda blasting is also a versatile technique that can be used on a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, stone, and plastics. It is effective in removing paint, rust, grease, mould, and dirt from surfaces, leaving them clean and ready for repainting or refinishing. Additionally, soda blasting can be used in food processing facilities as it is non-toxic and will not cause food contamination.

Another benefit of soda blasting is its eco-friendliness. Unlike traditional sandblasting, soda blasting does not use heavy, hard materials that can damage substrates. The process is dustless, and the soda media is biodegradable, water-soluble, and environmentally safe. Soda blasting is also non-hazardous and does not require the use of harsh chemicals, making it a safer option for both the user and the environment.

While soda blasting offers numerous advantages, there are some limitations to consider. Firstly, it may not be suitable for creating a surface profile, which is necessary for certain types of paint to adhere effectively. Additionally, soda blasting may not be as effective in removing strongly adhered coatings or contaminants. However, overall, soda blasting is a gentle, effective, and environmentally conscious solution for cleaning and restoring a variety of surfaces.

Boat Bottom Sandblasting Costs

You may want to see also


Soda blasting equipment types

Soda blasting is a mild form of abrasive blasting that uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as its abrasive media. It is considered a safe, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly method for cleaning and removing paint and grease from surfaces.

There are various types of soda blasting equipment available, from mini-blast pots to large-scale, complex, all-in-one soda blast systems. Here are some of the commonly used soda blasting equipment types:

  • Soda Blast Cabinets: These are enclosed cabinets that provide a contained working environment, protecting the operator from dust and contaminants. They are designed for manual cleaning and can quickly remove paint, grease, oils, carbon, and other soils from surfaces. Soda blast cabinets come in different sizes and specifications to suit various applications. They typically include features such as safety door interlocks, pressure vessels, air regulators, ceramic nozzles, and safety glass windows.
  • Mobile Soda Blasting Equipment: This type of equipment is designed to be portable and easy to move to different job sites. They are often mounted on trailers or flatbed trucks and can be used for soda blasting, wet blasting, and dry blasting applications. Mobile soda blasting equipment offers versatility and is ideal for businesses offering mobile blasting services.
  • Dustless Blasting Equipment: This equipment is designed to minimise dust during the blasting process. It can perform dustless blasting with a special nozzle that surrounds the baking soda with water as it exits the nozzle, providing maximum dust suppression. Dustless blasting equipment can be used for both wet and dry blasting applications and is suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • Multi-Media Blast Equipment: This type of equipment offers versatility by allowing the use of different blast media, including baking soda, garnet, and other abrasives. It provides flexibility to choose the appropriate media for the job, depending on the substrate and the desired finish. Multi-media blast equipment streamlines operations and increases the value of your investment.
  • Turn-Key Mobile Packages: These are portable, compressor-ready packages that include blast pots and air dryers. They are easy to set up and use, requiring only a small air supply. Turn-key mobile packages are ideal for small body shops or occasional field restoration work.
  • Industrial-Sized Systems: These are large-scale systems designed to handle significant blasting projects. They can hold a large volume of media, up to 10.0 cubic feet at a time. Industrial-sized systems are suitable for heavy-duty applications and can be used in various industries.

When choosing soda blasting equipment, it is important to consider the specific application, the type of surface being treated, and the desired finish. Additionally, ensuring the equipment is safe and properly maintained is crucial to protect both the operator and the environment.


Sandblasting safety

Sandblasting is a hazardous process that requires extensive training and safety equipment. It is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and others when performing sandblasting operations. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

Secure the Environment

It is crucial to eliminate potential hazards in the blasting area. This includes removing any unnecessary items that could cause tripping or falling. Ensure that no one is eating, drinking, or smoking near the blasting area, as blasting particles pose serious respiratory and health hazards. Verify that all ventilation systems, air compressors, power supplies, and wash stations are fully functional before starting the operation.

Inspect the Blasting Equipment

Regularly check the blasting equipment for any damage or leaks. Look for cracks in the abrasive blasting stations and blast hoses to prevent the leakage of toxins into the air. Use less toxic abrasives whenever possible and ensure proper containment practices by keeping the equipment in enclosed structures or restricting access to non-enclosed blasting areas. Daily testing of breathing filters and carbon monoxide monitors is essential to ensure proper ventilation and reduce toxicity.

Provide Protective Gear

All workers involved in sandblasting must be provided with the appropriate protective gear, including helmets, coveralls, gloves, safety footwear, earplugs, and safety goggles. Respiratory protection is critical, and anyone using the blaster should wear an abrasive blasting respirator that covers the head, face, neck, and shoulders. Ensure that the respirators are NIOSH-certified.

Implement Proper Cleanup Procedures

After sandblasting, clean the area using water-based methods or HEPA-filtered vacuuming systems. Avoid using compressed air as it will disperse dust into the environment. Regularly decontaminate the equipment and blasting areas to remove any residual toxins.

Ensure Thorough Training

All personnel involved in sandblasting operations, including blasters and support staff, should receive comprehensive training on sandblast safety standards and protocols. They should understand the risks and necessary safety measures, including the proper use of machinery and personal protective equipment. Review safety data sheets provided by abrasive media manufacturers to identify potential hazards associated with specific blasting materials.

Sandblasting can be performed safely by following these safety guidelines and adhering to OSHA regulations. It is important to prioritize the protection of workers and ensure that the equipment, environment, and safety gear are inspected and maintained properly.

Sand Blasting Pros at Hendricks

You may want to see also


Sandblasting cabinets

When choosing a sandblasting cabinet, it is important to consider the intended use, frequency of use, price range, and location of use. Other factors to consider include the type of blasting system (siphon or direct pressure), the material and construction of the cabinet, the inclusion of interior lighting, and whether the cabinet comes fully constructed or requires assembly.

Some reputable companies that offer sandblasting cabinets include Eastwood, Cyclone Blasters, Skat Blast, and Raptor Blaster. These companies provide a range of options, from affordable benchtop units to large industrial-sized cabinets, ensuring that you can find the perfect sandblasting cabinet for your needs.

Campbell Hausfeld Siphon Sand Blast Gun

You may want to see also

Frequently asked questions

Soda blasting is a relatively new technology in the field of abrasive blasting. It uses granulated sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to remove contaminants or smooth a surface. It is much gentler than sandblasting and can be used on plastics, chrome, and wood.

Soda blasting is environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and non-toxic. It does not produce excess heat and will not warp or pit metal surfaces. It can also be used to sanitise and deodorise.

Sandblasting is often used to strip paint from machinery and metal but has many other uses. It is effective at removing rust and can be used to etch glass or sandstone.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment