Soda Blasting Equipment

Hi Everybody!  Welcome to my blog about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

In my earlier postings, I explained what soda blasting is, what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process, and some basic information on air compressors. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, and safe, cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

Today, I want to discuss some of the basics about soda blasting equipment, or soda blasters, and what you need to know to get the right setup for your soda blasting job or business.

There are two general kinds of soda blasters: soda blast cabinets and portable soda blasters.

A soda blast cabinet is a stationary enclosure that is typically used in shops, garages, and factories for specific kinds of work, for example, cleaning automotive parts like cylinder heads and carburetors; engine and transmission rebuilding; rapid prototype cleanup; pump and electric motor refurbishing; or any type of similar work.

A portable soda blaster can be moved to any location and is typically used for jobs like stripping paint from cars, trucks, boats, farm and industrial equipment; mold and fire/smoke damage remediation; graffiti removal; historic building restoration; cleaning food processing and preparation equipment; stone, brick, statuary and swimming pool cleanup; stripping various finishes from wood; cleaning anilox printing press rolls; cleaning various types of dies or molds; or any type of similar work.

The first step in picking a soda blaster is determining whether you need a soda blast cabinet or a portable soda blaster (or both) for your job or business.  Once you do that, there are a number of different soda blasters on the market from low quality imports to very expensive rigs with all the bells and whistles.  You can basically spend any amount of money that you want to spend on a soda blaster.  The real question is “will this equipment function well enough to do my job in an efficient manner, and will this equipment last?”

Another important consideration is the level of customer support you will receive before and after you buy the equipment. Are you buying from a company that knows soda blasting equipment, and has experience in using that equipment for the type of work you want to do? What happens if you have a question or an issue pop up in the middle of a job?  Are you out of luck, or can you call the company from the job site, and receive knowledgeable technical support to finish your work?

How easy is the equipment to use and maintain?  Does it come with an easy to understand Operating Manual, or do you have to attend a class to figure out how it works?  Can you maintain or repair the soda blaster yourself with your tools, or do you need to return the machine or call out a technician with special tools to do that?

All of these considerations are important in deciding what kind of soda blasting equipment is best for you.

I have had great results with soda blasters made by ACE Automotive Cleaning Equipment.  I have used the ACE Model 2-PS Heavy Duty Portable Soda Blaster for years.  It does a great job for me, is easy to use and maintain, and their technical support is top notch.  It’s a great value for the money.  Check it out.

I hope this helps you.  In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business.  Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy

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Soda Blasting and Air Compressors

Hi Everybody!  This is my second blog posting about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

In my first posting, I explained what soda blasting is, and what makes soda blasting such a unique cleaning process. Once you understand how soda blasting works, it is much easier to appreciate why it is such an effective, and safe, cleaning method for many different types of jobs.

Today, I want to discuss some of the basics about air compressors, and what you need to know to get the right setup for your soda blasting job or business.

All soda blasters use an air compressor to provide compressed air to blast or shoot the soda blast media through the soda blaster.  Air compressors are rated by two factors: pressure and volume.  Pressure is expressed as psi (pounds per square inch) and volume is expressed as cfm (cubic feet per minute).

In general, the volume of air (cfm) will dictate the size of the nozzle you can use with your soda blaster.  Different soda blasters have different cfm requirements, depending on the size of the nozzle used.  You will not be able to use a large nozzle size if your compressor doesn’t put out the necessary cfm.

What about tank size?  A tank stores compressed air.  If your nozzle size is calling for more cfm than your compressor is capable of providing, you will drain your tank completely.  Once that happens, your compressor will not be able to provide the necessary cfm, and you will experience a pressure drop, which may be too severe to allow you to do your job.

For example, if you are soda blasting paint off of a metal surface, and you set your blasting pressure at 90 psi, you may experience a pressure drop of 20 to 40 psi if your compressor’s cfm output can’t keep up with the cfm requirements of the nozzle size.

All good soda blasters are equipped with an adjustable pressure regulator, which allows you to vary the final blasting pressure to suit the job you are doing.  For practical purposes, most soda blasting jobs require a final blasting pressure somewhere in the 25 to 100 psi range.

Since most air compressors can easily provide that much pressure, you can begin to see why the cfm rating, or volume of air, is such an important factor in the soda blasting equation.

This is a pretty basic explanation. I hope it helps you out.  In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business.  Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy

Soda Blasting Overview

Hi Everybody!  This is my first blog posting about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

What is soda blasting?

Soda blasting uses a form of ecofriendly sodium bicarbonate to remove most types of coatings and soils including paint, carbon, mold, oil, dirt and more, from almost any surface.  The soda blast media is a large, jagged, irregular shaped crystal of sodium bicarbonate.  It is this crystal size and shape, which is responsible for soda blasting’s unique cleaning properties.  When delivered under pressure, through a soda blaster, the crystal shatters upon impact with the item being cleaned.  The shattered crystals are reduced to a fine powder once used.  As a result, soda blast media is a one-time use media.  It cannot be reclaimed and reused.  The soda residue is water soluble.

Since it is a one-time use media, it is very important that soda blast media be used through a soda blaster designed to maximize the cost efficient use of the media.  Sand blasters and most multi-media type blasters are not designed to do this efficiently.

Soda blast media is a relatively soft crystal, and when used properly, is very gentle to the underlying substrate material being cleaned.  It is non-sparking, and the process produces very little heat.  As a result, soda blasting will not warp thin metal panels, and will not change dimensional or surface characteristics of metal parts, since it does not remove any of the underlying material.  Soda blasting leaves a fresh looking surface on metals, and does not harm chrome, glass, bearings or rubber seals.  By using a soda blaster, equipped with an adjustable pressure regulator, soft materials like wood and fiberglass can also be soda blasted.

Some popular uses for soda blasting  include auto, truck, boat, motorcycle and various equipment restoration; mold and fire damage remediation; engine and transmission rebuilding; rapid prototype cleanup; pump and electric motor refurbishing; graffiti removal; furniture restoration; pool, statue and concrete cleanup, and much, much more!

In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business.  Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy