Micro abrasive blasting machines offers numerous possibilities to jewelry makers. These versatile tools can be used on a wide range of materials, allowing for precise cleaning, texturing, and engraving. This includes work with precious metals, gemstones, and glass.
Abrasive blasting techniques have been used in jewelry making for decades. In the early 1900s, compressed air produced using a foot bellows was used in metal finishing for jewelry and watches. With modern technology, micro abrasive blasting units offer high levels of precision, delivering outstanding results.
Using small nozzles, these machines deliver a high-velocity jet of compressed air and abrasive media at a surface. This can be used to clean and smooth materials used in jewelry making, such as removing excess metal from silver after casting. The air pressure and the coarseness of the abrasive powder can be adjusted depending on the softness and level of detail of the jewelry. For example, to preserve the intricate details of a piece that requires only a light cleaning, an abrasive containing finer particles can be used.
These cleaning techniques are also valuable in the restoration of vintage jewelry. Metals like bronze and copper are susceptible to oxidation and corrosion over time. This can result in the formation of a patina, a tarnishing green film that obscures the shine of the metal. Micro abrasive blasting can remove patina and other imperfections from old jewelry, returning items to their original splendor.
In addition to cleaning and smoothing, abrasive blasting can be used to create attractive matte finishes to metal surfaces. The technique results in a smooth texture and a frosted, non- or semi-reflective appearance that is especially popular for male wedding bands, though it can be applied to a variety of wearables for both genders.
Jewelers working with jade and other semi-precious stones often use blasting techniques to sculpt the gemstones. The high degree of precision and flexibility offered by micro abrasive blasting units allows for the creation of unique and appealing shapes that can be set in rings, pendants, earrings, and other trinkets.
This precision also makes micro abrasive blasting ideal for etching and engraving. The units give jewelry makers the ability to create highly detailed designs on almost any surface, from precious metals to crystal and glass. This can be done quickly and with ease, and produces stunning results.
Airbrasive® has over 65 years’ experience in the production of micro abrasive blasting devices for use in a variety of fields, including jewelry making. Get in touch to find out more or request a quote today.