Working with new parts and components or restoring and repairing older equipment parts starts with preparing the surface. For new parts, it is often cleaning the components of any oil or grease that may be present from fabrication, but the same is also true with old parts that may have years of accumulated grease and grime.
After removal of these types of oils and grease deposits or films, the next step is to remove any surface irregularities. This can include burrs and slight variations in the surface, or for old parts it can also include removing remaining areas of existing chrome plating, paint or other types of surface finishing.
Working with a commercial sandblaster is always the easiest way to address these issues. While sandblasting can be done as a do-it-yourself type of projects for repairs and replacements, it is has to be done correctly to achieve the desired end result.
Small Part Problems
A commercial sandblaster has the tools and the system to be able to effectively sandblast even small parts. This typically includes having racks or holders to secure the parts in place throughout the process.
Trying to do on your own is a challenge. Not only is it difficult to secure the parts to stand up through the process, but there is also the need to have the actual space to complete the sandblasting.
A professional metal plating company will have a range of different sizes of commercial or industrial blast cabinets within the facility, which allows for easy cleaning of smaller to larger sized parts in a very short amount of time. As everything is contained in the cabinet is very safe and secure for use, but these are not inexpensive and are not practical to have on hand for occasional use.
Using the right type of sand in the system is another important factor. There are different types of sand products, some which need to be used only under very controlled conditions. Silica sand, which is often used in these processes, is very dangerous if inhaled and should only be used by professional services using a commercial sandblaster system.
Today, there are even tiny plastic grains that can be used as a sandblasting media. This is typically used when the metal is very soft and the surface is very flat. Understanding the correct type of media and the correct pressure to use during the blasting process will remove just the required surface irregularities without any damage or denting to a smooth flat area, a corner or a complex shape.