After years of dreaming about that 1956 Chevy Bel Air in Grandpa’s garage, you have decided to dive in. You have the time. You have the garage space. Let the restoration begin! No doubt about it, you have a big job ahead. But the benefits of abrasive blasting in car restoration make the job accessible.
You could spend hours and hours with sandpaper and cleaning solvents, painstakingly sanding and cleaning the interior and exterior. Blasting, on the other hand, offers a safer, faster and more effective option. Whether you need to remove paint or clean delicate engine components, abrasive blasting gets the job done.
Safe and Speedy Paint Removal
Classic cars typically come complete with layers of old of paint, body filler and often rust. Hand sanding, though cost effective, requires a significant time commitment. Chemical stripping can damage the environment and pose a health hazard. With the proper abrasive media, on the other hand, you can strip an entire car in hours while protecting the underlying substrate.
For example, traditional sandblasting or blasting with glass beads can cause warping or pit the metal surface. Gentle abrasive powders like soda, however, work well even on aluminum, fiberglass, chrome and rubber. And because the micro abrasive blasting process uses air instead of water, it does not cause flash rust. Soda provides additional, temporary, rust protection.
Advantages Under the Hood
Cleaning the engine adds additional complexity. Over time, grease, carbon deposits and other contaminants build up on sensitive engine components. You need a method to remove those contaminants without damaging surrounding wires or distorting delicate parts. In addition, you must be careful not to leave debris in crevices to cause serious problems later.
Soda blasting effectively removes grease, dirt, paint and even minor rust, leaving surface characteristics and dimensions intact. Because it is water soluble, it leaves no harmful residue. More abrasive media, like glass beads, will cut through deeper rust.
Using a professionally manufactured blast cabinet, you can clean individual components with greater precision and operator safety. The attached dust collector removes abrasive media from the blasting area, providing increased visibility and reduced clean-up.
The Right Media for Car Restoration
To achieve optimal results with abrasive blasting in car restoration, be sure to choose the best abrasive powder for the application. Some options include:
- Soda blasting – Yes, we are talking about sodium bicarbonate (essentially baking soda)! Both highly effective and gentle to surfaces of all types, soda blasting offers an environmentally-friendly blasting option. Use for removal of graffiti, surface rust, paint and stains, grease and more.
- Plastic media – Popular for use on thin-gauge sheet metals. Plastic media lifts the paint, leaving the substrate undamaged.
- Crushed walnuts – Particularly effective for removing carbon build-up in cars with direct injection engines. Carbon coating that collects on the inside of your engine can reduce your car’s efficiency, resulting in a loss of power. For abrasive blasting in car restoration, crushed walnuts offer another great alternative to chemicals.
- Aluminum oxide and silicone carbide – Great for deburring bores and machined parts. This more aggressive media also works well on heavy rust spots.
Abrasive Blasting Options in Car Restoration
Airbrasive offers a selection of tools and media suitable for a variety of car restoration tasks. From blasting units and blast cabinets to custom nozzles and media, we have the tools you need. Whether you are a machine shop or a DIY hobbyist, we will help you find the right solution, backed by our 100 percent commitment to customer satisfaction.