What is Shot Blasting ?
Captive shot blasting is one method to clean subfloors and for the removal of coatings and contamination from all kinds of concrete and metal surfaces. It has been used for many years now in the abrasive removal of friable surfaces in many industries and industrial applications.
Working with DC Flooring as your shot blasting concrete partner, you can speed up the surface preparation process and also prepare your floors comprehensively by using a heavy profile or a rough surface finish, whatever the demands of the project may be.
Benefits of Floor Shot Blasting
Shot blasting comes with many benefits:
- Used in almost every industry, it is an extremely quick method of preparing large floor areas.
- Different sized shot can be used to create different profiles and textures.
- The speed of the stream of abrasive can be varied, allowing heavy or very light abrasion.
- Great for cleaning of rust or oxide from metal decks, so perfect for preparation for rail cars and the shipbuilding industry.
- Metal floors derusted and deburred without damage. Leaving free of rust to epoxy coat, once your metal deck is clean, coating it is an effective method for protecting your base.
- The compressed air in the system creates a dust free solution.
How Does Floor Shot Blasting Work?
Steel shot is placed in the “shot hopper” or “shot chamber.” From here the shot feeds the blast wheel. A shot blast turbine, also known as a turbine wheel or impeller, is a key component of this type of machine. It is responsible for propelling the abrasive material, such as steel shots or grits, at high-velocity onto the surface being blasted.
The shot blast turbine or “wheelabrator” consists of a rotor, blades, and a housing. The rotor is connected to a motor or drive system which provides power, rotating a turbine wheel. The blades are strategically placed on the rotor to create a controlled airblast of shot media.
When the rotor spins, it generates centrifugal force. This force pushes the abrasive media towards the outer edges of the turbine, creating large amounts of accelerated metal sphere shaped objects.
As the abrasive media enters the shot blast turbine, it is captured by the rotating blades. The curved shape of the blades imparts a tangential velocity to the particles, accelerating them and directing them outward.
This abrasive blasting method allows the operator to capture the debris and friable surface material in a dust collector that is attached to the waste nozzle of the shot blasting machine. Built in magnets are used in the recycling system to separate the unwanted debris from the recyclable shot, meaning that the machine does not need to be constantly filled with the ferrous metal balls.
How to get the best results from shot blasting concrete?
When it comes to shot blasting concrete floors, a number of considerations need to be taken into account in order to have desirable results. For instance, shot blasting different subfloors will each take different considerations into account.
Furthermore, the humidity in the environment, the underlying properties of the subfloor, the type of shot and granulometry, the machine itself, its working speed and width, the vacuum cleaner’s capacity, etc. – all need to be analysed carefully.
Different machines may be used for different projects, so working with a flooring expert is essential as they will ensure that the correctly specified machinery is used to deliver optimal results. Most commercial or industrial-grade shotblasting machines eject metal pellets into the floor surface at high velocity, ‘fracturing’ it along with the dirt, paint and contaminating residue that reside in it.
The machine’s capacity to remove the above depends on a number of factors – such as, the shot’s impact force, its size and concentration, and the movement speed of the machine. Our in-house team has access to the latest shotblasting concrete machines, all built to handle a variety of concrete surfaces.
Our highly trained team will move the machine slowly and consistently across your surface, thereby removing the most amount of debris and achieving optimum results. Our teams only use the machines we provide them with as we also oversee floor coating and finishing process afterwards, taking extra precautions not to damage the floor.
Unfortunately, many businesses have learnt the hard way when subbing shotblasting out to other contractors – they have a tendency to be too aggressive in order to do the job quicker, which does not yield the best results and, in some case, even leave the floor surface damaged or vulnerable to defects. Our expert team, combined with our leading-edge floor shotblasting machines and decades of experience in the flooring industry make us the “go to” guys when it comes to shotblasting concrete.
Whether you need to prepare and clean your floors prior to applying special paints or coatings, want old coatings removed, need to renovate roads, walkways, warehouse floors or parking lots for improved safety, or simply want to get rid of old paint marks from industrial floors, highways or airport runways, e.g. – DC Flooring is here to advise you on the best shot blasting equipment for the job along with our dedicated team who never rush through any project.
Floor Shot Blasting is Needed
Shotblasting is necessary when rough or even surfaces must be prepared for a smooth floor coating or paint. This thorough preparation ensures maximum effectiveness of the desired floor surface coating.
Shotblasting can be used on both rough and smooth surfaces:
- Shotblasting rough concrete – Shotblasting is ideal for rough surfaces, as it can easily get into all the various peaks and troughs on the surface. So, no matter how rough your floor may be, the pores can be thoroughly cleaned out, leaving it flat, even and ready for the floor coating to be applied.
- Shotblasting smooth concrete – Shotblasting can be done in a very light and relatively quick way as well, especially where you need to have the floor prepared as soon as possible.
In fact, this is ideal for smooth surfaces, where our shot blasting machine will efficiently prepare and lift all the dust, reducing the risk of air contamination down to almost zero.
Heavy oil contamination – Floors with heavy oil contaminations are not ideal candidates for shot blasting. As with sticky floors, the pellets or beads will again mix with the dust and oil, creating lumps of waste and debris which our machine will not be able to process. In fact, in addition to losing a lot of pellets unnecessarily, the process will be expensive, ineffective, and may also damage our shot blasting machine. DC Flooring’s expert shot blasting concrete team will conduct a free initial survey to determine if your floor is well-suited to shot blasting. If it isn’t, we will always have another solution for you.
When is shot blasting not needed or not useful?
Under some scenarios, shot blasting may not be the best option, for example:
- Rubbery or elastic surfaces – Attempting to shot blast these surfaces would absorb the steel shot and render the shot blasting process completely useless. We, therefore, do not recommend it under any circumstances.
- Sticky floors – As is the case with rubbery floor surfaces, sticky floors will also absorb the shot blasting pellets and materials; even if we were to remove the surface entirely, the steel/plastic balls, beads or pellets can easily stick onto lumps of waste and debris, as well as adhesive and dust, which cannot be sucked away by a vacuum cleaner efficiently.
Losing a lot of shot blasted pellets this way is going to be very expensive and not yield any favourable results either
All subfloor preparation is done in-house using our specialised equipment – shotblasting, scabbling, and concrete grinding.
You’re only a phone call away from investing in leading-class flooring systems, all approved by FeRFA.
Is shot blasting safe?
Yes, however we would only recommend a professional undertaking these works for you. Operators and personnel in the vicinity of the shot blasting area should wear appropriate PPE, including safety goggles, hearing protection, gloves, and protective clothing. This helps protect against potential injuries from flying shot, debris and noise exposure.
What is the reason for shot blasting?
Shot blasting is a surface cleaning process used to remove debris, loose material and provide a clean substrate. Normally shot blasting is used before the application of floor coverings that need to bond to the subfloor. Its profiled and textured surface is ideal for bonding to with levelling compounds, coatings and other flooring systems.
Other preparation methods used such as diamond grinding or scabbling rely on fixed tooling attached to them and are an efficient way to literally smooth an level areas. However it is impossible for these machines to etch the subfloor if it has dips and crevasses in it without removing all of the concrete or subfloor around those small voids. Blasting uses abrasives that are fired into these small voids, so irregularity in the floor is not so much of a problem.
What is the difference between sandblasting and shot blasting?
The primary difference lies in the type of abrasive material used. Sandblasting, as the name suggests, utilises sand as the abrasive media. On the other hand, shot blasting employs metallic small composite or steel balls.
The sandblasting process is normally carried out with smaller hand held, portable machines, or table machines that can be used horizontally and vertically. Abrasive media can be used to clean, descale and remove a coating cleaning smaller and harder to reach areas or objects. Sometimes sand blasting is carried out in a blast room which is a version of a blast cabinet.
Wet blasting can also be confused as a method used in the flooring industry, compressive water used in with a hand held “wand” is also great for objects and small areas.
But as a simple rule, for floor preparation on large areas use shot blasting and sandblasting / wet blasting is used for objects and hard to reach places.
What does shot blasting do to concrete?
Wheel blasting is a controlled process of making dents, also known as shot peening. It provides a textured surface that removes softer material. So a concrete floor that has exposed stone surface, the weaker cement surrounding the hard stone will be reduced and cleaned, but the stone will not.