Sandblasting is commonly used for many industrial processes, such as paint removal, industrial cleaning and the manufacture of frosted glass. The sandblasting equipment used for this process is called a sandblasting machine, and the types of sandblasting machines available are almost as diverse as the machines uses. Among the different types are basic sandblasting machines, a blast cabinet, a pressure blaster and a wet sandblasting machine.
The basic sandblasting machine is a system consisting of an air compressor, a tank to hold the media — silica sand or other abrasives — and a delivery system. The operator of the machine must wear a breathing apparatus and full-body protection when using this type of sandblasting machine because it creates a large amount of abrasive dust in the work area, which could be harmful to the operator. This type of sandblasting equipment ranges in size and is used for a variety of purposes, such as automotive paint removal and implement restoration.
The sandblasting cabinet, or blast cabinet, is the second most common type of sandblasting machine in use. With the built-in dust collector system, this enclosed cabinet keeps the dust and respiratory danger to a minimum. The part to be sandblasted is placed inside the sandblasting cabinet so that all of the sanding takes place within the confines of the cabinet, meaning that the sandblasting cabinet is useful only for items that are small enough to fit inside of it. This type of sandblasting machine is commonly used for the restoration of automotive parts, for the creation of frosted glass art and for home workshop projects.
The pressure blaster is a type of sandblasting machine that sees a great deal of use in industrial cleaning. Designed with portability in mind, the pressure blaster can be moved from one location to another with ease and delivers a high-pressure flow of abrasive that is commonly used to strip paint from buildings as well as to clean sidewalks and curbs. The pressure blaster might incorporate various forms of media, such as baking soda, to provide an environmentally safe form of cleaning in areas where traditional sandblasting media could pose risks.
The wet sandblasting machine is a modified power washer used in situations where the elimination of dust is essential. These machines are generally used in cases of lead abatement and other projects that could present serious health risks to the sandblasting machine operator and those in the area. The wet sandblasting machine is not as powerful as the traditional sandblasting machines when it comes to removing heavy deposits of rust, but it is much safer to operate.