Blast Cleaning

11 October 2023 – 2 Minute Read

What is commercial blast cleaning?

Blast cleaning is a method of preparing a surface, usually made of metal, before it is coated in another material. In a commercial sense, blast cleaning is completed on an object or commercial property either for hygiene purposes, or in preparation for coating with another material.

Blast cleaning involves the propelling of abrasive projectiles at the surface to remove scale, sand, paint, rust, or other materials. This is done with either compressed air or centrifugal wheels, using specialist equipment to create the velocity required to project the abrasive material in a manner that it will cleanse the surface sufficiently. The projectiles being propelled to clean the surface can be sand, tiny beads of glass or metal shot, and can be used wet or dry depending on what is required. Occasionally, the particles used can be recycled or reused after the cleaning process is complete.

What is brush off blast cleaning?

Brush off blast cleaning is a form of blast cleaning that is gentler than a full industrial blast clean. Brush off blast cleaning still projects abrasive particles at a surface (again, usually made of metal) but with the aim of allowing as much of any existing adherent to remain, along with additional particles from the blast cleaning equipment. This roughens the surface feel prior to application of any coating, rather than smoothing it, as with a normal blast clean.

Would you clean a bearing using sand blasting?

Some types of sand blasting are illegal in the UK. Sand blasting is not always an appropriate cleaning or preparation method, depending on the type, size and strength of a bearing. Sand blasting can be particularly abrasive and dangerous and is likely to cause irrevocable damage to a bearing. What’s more, it can damage the person carrying out the blast cleaning; the inhalation of sand blasting particles can cause lung disease.

How long does blast cleaning last?

The duration of the effect that blast cleaning has on a surface is dependent on the surface itself and the type of blast cleaning used. In order to maximise efficiency, the surface should be prepared for coating, and the process should be done as close to the coating application as possible, to avoid any unnecessary debris or material sticking to the surface in the time period between. Keeping smaller surfaces or equipment covered or isolated can help reduce any further surface contamination.

How much does blast cleaning cost?

The price of blast cleaning is usually charged either per metre squared of the surface to be blasted or by hours’ worth of work. Many suppliers will not provide a quote for their services without first seeing the surface/s to be blasted. Blast cleaning services start at around £45 per hour plus the cost of the abrasive material. Different types of blast cleaning have different associated costs, and you can expect to pay more for a heavily damaged or covered surface.