With over 20 years experience in manufacturing soda blast equipment and the ARMEX media, we have an unrivalled knowledge in the use of this technology. Here are some of the common questions we are asked. Also have a look at the typical applications of soda blasting.
"Can I use soda through my sand blast equipment?"
You could, but this would give very poor results, for efficient soda blasting each crystal should impact on the surface being cleaned, this requires very precise metering of the media which is not possible through standard blast equipment, excess soda consumption would also be very costly and increase the clean-up time. Our MicroStrip equipment is designed to give very precise metering of abrasive and blast pressure to give the most efficient and cost effective blasting.
"What equipment do I need to start up?"
A MicroStrip blast system and a clean dry air supply are the main requirements, the MicroStrip is supplied complete with a blast hose and nozzle ready for dry or wet blasting, the water is only used to suppress dust. The air supply will depend on the size of system but should be dry and with sufficient volume for the nozzle.
"Which size system should I choose?"
This depends on the type of work you wish to do, the speed of work is related to the size of blast nozzle,(the size of the vessel is irrelevant) a larger nozzle requires more air volume hence a larger compressor, for mobile systems this is limited to the size that can be reasonably towed or mounted in a van so that will determine the most suitable system.
"I only want to clean small items, do you have a small system?"
Yes we do, the Pequena-MS is designed for small users who only have a workshop compressor. This has all the features of a full size MicroStrip system but is fitted with a 3 or 4mm nozzle requiring only a small air volume. This is a professional pressurised machine and not to be compared to the "fire extinguisher" type of suction venturi units sold for do-it-yourself use.
"Is ARMEX just soda?"
Not quite, ARMEX is sodium bicarbonate that is specifically formulated for abrasive blasting, that is why it says "blast media" on the bags. The crystals are angular and the media contains flow aids and moisture inhibitors not present in ordinary soda, this makes ARMEX far superior than just soda when used for blasting. If it doesn't say "blast media" on the bag then it isn't made for blasting!
"Is soda the best abrasive?"
That depends on the application, soda is a soluble soft abrasive used for non-destructive blast cleaning and is excellent for many applications such as some building cleaning & graffiti removal, monuments, food industry, machinery & component refurbishment, fire damage, aviation, coatings removal from delicate substrates. However in some applications, the use of a very fine specialist hard abrasive, used at low pressure is more suitable and cost effective, this is particularly the case for cleaning brick & sandstone or for paint stripping from steel vehicle body shells.
In our test center, we can always determine if soda blasting really is the right solution for your application.
"Can soda remove rust?"
Only very light "flash rust" can be removed. As soon as you need to change the structure of the object's surface, like is the case with rust removal, soda is not the right abrasive. For this it is too soft and friable.
"Can I use other abrasives through my machine?"
Yes, the MicroStrip machines are designed for use with fine abrasives such as ARMEX soda and other fine media's.
To make a successful, competitive blasting business it is essential to be able to operate with more than one abrasive.
"Does soda make a mess?"
All blasting can create dust and it is a fact that soda blasting can be quite dusty due to the fine nature and friability of the abrasive, this can be reduced by wet blasting but it is essential when carrying out a job, that consideration is given to containment of dust and collection /disposal of waste.
"Can I see & try soda blasting?"
Yes, our distributors carry stock of equipment and abrasives and have demonstration facilities at their depot. We would advise anyone thinking of purchasing a machine to come and see the equipment and talk to the experts.
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Together with ARMEX we will be at the ReMaTec exhibition on 16-18 June. This event is dedicated to the automotive, industrial and heavy duty remanufacturing.
We will be showing you what soda blasting can do for your business.
If you want to visit us then please register here.
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Our New Zealand distributor posted a nice YouTube video of soda blasting an old Land Rover. For this demo they used the small Gritco Pequena-MSÂ with just a 4 mm nozzle. The soda media is the ARMEX Maintenance XLÂ formula.
For commercial use you can work even faster using large nozzles together with our MicroStrip machine!
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We have appointed a new exclusive distributor for the United Kingdom.
For all your Gritco blasting equipment (MicroStrip and BlastMate), accessories, spares, abrasives and service you can now contact:
Precision Blast Systems
New Manor House
Rudston - East Yorkshire
Tel: +44 (0)7816 09 23 33
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Gritco Equipment BV
2984 BB Ridderkerk