Blast cleaning is a cleaning technique in which mechanical energy is used for cleaning, with cleaning materials being directed at a surface to clean with a powerful blast of mechanical energy. Air blasting is a very common blast cleaning technique used in many regions of the world, and there are other types of cleaning systems available as well. Some companies offer blast cleaning services, for a fee, and it is also possible to purchase or rent the equipment to perform this type of cleaning independently.
In blast cleaning, a variety of cleaning materials can be used, depending on the surface which needs to be cleaned. Some common options are wire clippings, silicon carbide, ice, walnut shells, glass, baking soda, sand, and steel grit. These materials are directed at a surface to be cleaned with the assistance of a jet of air, a rapidly moving wheel, or a similar system. The cleaning device usually provides the ability to adjust the focus and intensity for the purpose of controlling the cleaning very precisely.
When a surface is blasted with an abrasive material, it is scoured. People can use blast cleaning to remove dirt and other materials, and it can also be used in materials finishing, to remove burrs and other materials which may have been left behind during materials processing. The level of abrasiveness needed depends on the material being cleaned and the reason for the cleaning; a soft stone such as that which might be used in cladding, for example, needs a gentle abrasive, while hard metals can be cleaned with harsher materials.
Iceblast cleaning and sandblasting are two popular and commonly available cleaning options. One advantage of hiring a company to perform blast cleaning is that they have skills and experience and they are more likely to do the job effectively and well. They can also select the method and abrasive which is most appropriate for the conditions, minimizing the risk of damage or other problems. Companies also have access to very high quality cleaning equipment, which may be better than that which can be purchased or rented independently.
However, people who feel confident can do their own blast cleaning. Equipment rental is a good option for most people, as it allows them to access good equipment without requiring a significant outlay of cash. When renting equipment, people should confirm that it is well maintained and ask if there are any specific recommendations or warnings which should be followed while the equipment is in use.