So what’s a media blaster?
A media blaster is a simple pneumatic tool that meters media (sand, slag, soda, glass, walnut, etc) into a stream of moving air so it can be used to clean (polish, etch, carve) surfaces. That’s it.
In theory, it is THAT simple. In reality, there is a bit more to it than that.
There are three main elements that come into play when using a media blaster. Air. Nozzles. Media. While each of the three is a separate topic, as you will see, all three are directly related and affect the performance, speed, and quality of the job. We will take a close look at all three, explaining what they mean, how they interact with each other, and some generalizations to help you make the best choice for your needs.
We’ve broken it into three sections.
But I don’t want to read all that. Can’t I just have the meat and potatoes?
OK, but veggies are good for you and you’re really missing out on a ton of brain food.
-Air compressors make pressurized air (psi) and deliver a volume per time or air flow (CFM). Each compressor is different but they all provide a fixed air flow at a specific pressure (CFM@psi).
-The size of the compressor you need is directly related to the size of the nozzle. Larger nozzles require more airflow (CFM), which in turn require larger compressors. Refer to the Compressor Nozzle Match for a generalized guide.
-The size of the nozzle determines how much work you get done in a fixed amount of time. Doubling the diameter of the nozzle does 4 times more work. A 1/4 inch nozzle does 4 times the work of an 1/8 inch nozzle.
-Choose the media based on the project. Choose the grit size based on the nozzle. The nozzle diameter should be five times larger than the largest grit diameter.
-Moisture is the enemy. Compressed air contains loads of water as a result of the compression process. Keep the air coming into the blaster as dry as possible with filter/water separators.
If you need more information or have questions keep reading. Check out the in-depth sections on air, nozzles, and media. There is also a frequently asked questions section and plenty of other resources. So have a look around.
Don’t forget, you can always email, text, or call if you have questions and can’t find the answers.