In 2019, students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields in the United States earned over 700,000 post-secondary degrees. Many of those students spent long hours each semester in college laboratories. For those at properly equipped schools, micro-abrasive blasting provides the power and precision required to build delicate prototypes and conduct valuable research.
For example, in one university lab, mechanical engineering students experiment with advanced turbine and piston engines to study energy transfer while developing more efficient transportation solutions. In another, graduate students in aerospace engineering design and build satellites for space research. And in another, electrical engineering students design advanced microprocessors.
Students training for careers in industrial design and production, aerospace, microelectronics, and other STEM fields rapidly learn to appreciate the usefulness of micro-abrasive blasting for precision cutting, surface preparation, and other processing of delicate and complex components.
Ensuring Aeronautics Safety and Efficiency
For aerospace applications, micro-abrasive blasting helps ensure that precision parts operate at peak performance in flight. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner uses 50% composite materials and only 20% aluminum. However, the safety of the hundreds of passengers inside the plane depends on thousands of complex parts performing within design tolerances.
Abrasive blasting is an ideal method for removing surface contaminants like oxidation or preparing smooth surfaces for increased adhesion.
For the Dreamliner, as well as for science and communications satellites developed in aerospace laboratories nationwide, abrasive blasting can be an important tool in preparing for safe flight, cleaning and repairing various parts, and compliance with strict regulations.
Automated Blasting Solutions for Complex Machining
When small components of complex machines require accurate drilling or deburring, an automated solution ensures the level of consistency and precision required. Some laboratory projects demand a level of exact control that human operators cannot deliver.
For many laboratory applications, micro-abrasive blasting can be automated using programmable logic controllers and robotics.
In college laboratories, that automation provides engineers the ability to fine-tune details on a model or prototype, for example. Those details can be reproduced exactly in subsequent iterations of the project, allowing for accurate control over important variables.
Precision for Delicate Electronics
Likewise, micro-abrasive blasting offers several applications for the electronics lab. For example, printed circuit boards include a conformal coating that protects the electronic circuits from moisture and chemicals that may contact the surface. Technicians must carefully remove the coating when the part needs to be repaired or reconfigured.
However, solvents traditionally used to remove conformal coatings may contaminate the environment. Micro-abrasive blasting provides a cost-effective, fast, and environmentally friendly alternative to solvents.
Abrasive blasting offers greater precision in the electronics lab, allowing workers to accurately target the coating removal area.
In addition to removing conformal coatings, abrasive blasting is also extremely effective for trimming capacitors and cutting circuit board conductors. It also works well for cleaning or stripping magnetic wires and related tasks. The ability to process electronic components without heat and shock makes blasting an ideal solution for many laboratory applications.
Dependable Micro-Abrasive Blasting Solutions for College Laboratories
College laboratories on the leading edge of science demand effective solutions for complex problems. From drilling micro holes for improved drag reduction to modifying circuit boards or cleaning small mechanical components, micro-abrasive blasting is a valuable tool for the well-equipped laboratory.
The laboratory experts at Airbrasive have spent 67 years developing solutions for industry and educational institutions around the world. They apply decades of experience as they select the best machines, nozzles, and abrasive powders for every laboratory task. And they back all the equipment with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.