Shot blasting consists of a mechanical process of cleaning that utilizes sphere shaped material to eliminate oxide and other debris from material surfaces. This method is not as commonly used as sandblasting, but it does fall into the category of abrasive blasting. The primary difference between the use of shot blasting media and sandblasting is that shot blasting makes use of a spherical shot as the abrasive element which is propelled by a centrifugal wheel. Sandblasting on the other hand uses sand grains and usually compressed air for the propulsion force.
The Shot Blast Media and Surface Material Used
Shot blasting occurs with shot media, which are the round materials propelled against the surface, effectively removing surface contaminants and enhances its finish. The type of shot media used is an important factor in the process of shot blasting. The degree of surface removal will depend on the hardness and size of the shot blasting media. The effectiveness of the shot blasting process also hinges on the type of material being removed. Usually, shot size and material is chosen based on the surface material composition.
The Propulsion Method Used
An essential part of the shot blasting process is the types of propulsion method uses and the velocity at which the shot material is delivered. A centrifugal wheel is commonly used to propel shot blasting media. The propulsion process in this case begins with the shot blast media being unloaded into the centrifugal wheel. After the shot blast media is accelerated to the desire velocity by the action of the wheel, it is sent from the wheel into the shot blasting gun. Then the operator or machine holding the gun directs the shot media flow to blast clean the surface.
Many times, a recovery system comes with shot blasting equipment. This shot blast recovery system collects the already expelled shot blasting media which has impacted the material surface being cleaned and brings it back into the propelling device for repeated use. A vacuum is typically used to perform the shot blast recovery operation.
An experienced provider of abrasive blasting media can help you determine if shot blasting media is the right material for your application.