Best value and service in finishing for all our customers

Why do shot blasting?

Shot blasting is a very effective way of preparing metal surfaces before applying treatments to them.

These treatments include:

  • Galvanising
  • Electroplating
  • Enamelling
  • Welding
  • Rubberising
  • Glass coating.

Before applying any one of these treatments to a metal surface, the surface must be suitable for the application.

This requires more than simply cleaning the metal substrate beforehand. While uniformity of prepared surfaces is important, textures will vary, from grades of rough or matt surface, depending on the final finish you will be applying.

Shot blasting offers a range pre-treatment, depending on the type of shot blast materials that you use. There are different techniques involved in shot blasting, making it a versatile, abrasive blasting process.

What are the Benefits of Shot Blasting?

There are certain key benefits that come with shot-blasting as a pre-treatment process:

  • It enables a permanent bond between the shot-blasted surface and the protective coat you apply to it
  • It helps to detect any surface faults or defects
  • Shot blasting provides a surface that is free from chemical deposits, dirt or dust, ready for the coating or finishing process
  • It does this without the need for any harsh or ecologically harmful chemicals
  • Shot blasting contributes to the durability and lifespan of surface coats, as it helps ensure they adhere more effectively to shot-blasted surfaces 
  • It offers increased production rates, and good blast accuracy with a wider selection of abrasives.

Who Uses Shot Blasting?

Basically, any industry that uses metal and works with it will require shot blasting.

One of the most routine uses of this method is for preparing metals for applying a paint or protective coat.

Therefore, you can expect to find shot blasting used in the following industries:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Shipbuilding
  • Foundry and steel
  • Rail

And many more.

What Materials Does Shot Blasting Use?

Shot blasting uses shots, naturally, which are types of blast materials. Different shots will produce different results, depending on the type of pre-treated surface finish you require.

Here are some examples.

  • Steel shots – these small steel balls come in different sizes of between 1mm and 6mm diameter, and the size will determine the type of finish they will give. Smaller shots will provide a more polished finish, while larger shots produce rougher surfaces.
  • Steel grit – for aggressive cleaning, steel grit will remove contaminants from metal, including steel.
  • Chilled iron grit – for general abrasive blast cleaning, this type of shot will remove substances like oxides and paints. This is quite an aggressive form of shot blasting and is not suitable for softer metal surfaces.

Shot Blasting Or Sandblasting?

Both shot blasting and sandblasting are forms of abrasive blasting, but they are very separate processes.

The main difference is that sandblasting uses compressed air to shoot blast material at a surface, while shot blasting uses mechanically-powered centrifugal force to propel its shot media.

The most appropriate method will depend on the surface you are preparing. Sandblasting is less forceful than shot blasting and therefore better suited to more sensitive surfaces.

Shot blasting, on the other hand, is better suited to coarser abrasion, and for penetrating more deeply on denser materials.

You could, for instance, use sandblasting to clean delicate electronic parts; but opt for shot blasting to loosen rust and dirt that is caked onto a metal surface you wish to coat.

What Materials are Unsuitable for Shot Blasting?

Whereas shot blasting is suitable for metal, there are other materials which, while they might feel hard, are unsuitable for this process.

Wood is one example. It can appear very tough to the touch, but if you shot blast it then all you will do is damage the surface, because the shot will be too abrasive for it.

Plastic is another material which can feel hard but will not withstand shot blasting.

Although you can sandblast the exteriors of buildings to clean them, you should not use shot blasting for this. Brick, especially, will display significant wear if you shot blast it.

You can, however, shot blast concrete in certain circumstances. This method is sometimes used in construction to prepare concrete floors for further treatment.

Pre-treatment for Coatings

Shot blasting will remove impurities efficiently and effectively, and is the perfect choice where aggressive, abrasive cleaning and preparation are required. 

For more information about our pre-treatment services, including shot blasting, please contact us.


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Why do shot blasting?

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