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How Do Sandblasters Work? Three Sandblaster Types to Consider


Sandblasters are valuable in numerous commercial applications. When key sandblaster parts are replaced or updated regularly, these units can function optimally for many years.

All sandblasters use finely ground silica sand to help abrade and clean a variety of surfaces. Whether the area is coated with rust, old paint or layers of accumulated debris, a sandblaster can take care of it much more efficiently than when using manual methods.

Same Principle, Different Configurations

Sandblasters utilize a pressurized air-powered mechanism that fires the finely ground silica sand at extremely high velocity to the target surface. A pressurized gun-like attachment with a ceramic interior coating or barrel prevents its abrasion or erosion over time.

While the basics of sandblaster mechanics are the same across all models, there are three different types of sandblaster. Each will require different sandblaster parts and components for replacement over time as the sandblaster is maintained or repaired.

Pressure-Based Sandblasters

Pressure sandblasters are favored by commercial organizations and are the easiest of the three types to use. However, they also tend to be the most costly. Their functioning is based on a large canister of silica sand that is under a high amount of pressure, somewhat like an aerosol can.

A substantial-sized gun (usually requiring two hands to operate) connects to the top port of the canister with a specialized, reinforced hose. When the gun trigger is pulled, sand and air are forced rapidly out together. Pressure-based sandblasters are easy to clean and maintain. However, the sand cannot be reused, and once a canister is empty, it must be replaced.

Gravity Fed Sandblasters

There are three components to the gravity fed style of sandblaster: a hand-held pressure gun with air hose, a pressurized air tank or air compressor, and a hopper located at the top of the sandblaster gun. The hopper is filled with the silica sand, and the hose is connected with the air tank.

When the gun trigger is pressed, compressed air moves through the gun rapidly, and a path to the hopper opens. The airflow force along with gravity moves the silica sand through the gun and shoots it at high pressure out of barrel.

Siphon Sandblasters

Siphon sandblasters are the most common type and are often owned by handymen, contractors and even homeowners. They can strip, abrade and clean large surfaces, and they are relatively affordable. A siphon sandblaster utilizes a standard air compressor or pressurized tank, as well as a reservoir of loose sand in a bucket or container.

Its other sandblaster parts include a sandblasting gun with two hoses; one hose connects to the underside of the barrel, and the other the bottom portion of the handle. When fired, suction is created, pulling sand up and shooting it out. With this model, the sand fired can be collected and reused.

Sandblasters can make work easier in a range of construction and commercial applications. Which model is right for you?

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