Soda Blasting FAQs
Soda blasting is different than traditional abrasive blasting because it is environmentally friendly, soft, water soluble, and does not generate heat. It works great because the soda crystal is angular and sharp, which provides tremendous cutting power for paint and surface rust removal. Beyond that, Soda is also the only blast media that is capable of absorbing odors (i.e. fire restoration) and perform true degreasing (Soda encapsulates the grease – other abrasives just push it around – this is called translocation). Lastly, because it is classified as a soft abrasive, it will not create a profile on fragile substrates or soft metals.
I’ve seen soda blasting equipment listed in mail order catalogs – will it do the same thing as larger, more costly equipment?
Mail order soda blasting equipment works under the same principle as our equipment: deliver a stream of baking soda under pressure. These small scale pots work great for hobbyists, and only require a small air compressor to operate. However, if you are considering a pot for commercial or industrial use, a larger pot with the appropriate air drying equipment attached to it will increase your productivity and efficiency dramatically.
Since Baking Soda is water soluble, very dry air is needed. It is not recommended to use this product without advanced air drying equipment. Soda is also less dense than other blasting abrasives, so make sure the pot you use has a vibrator to “shake” down the media as your blasting, and also a metering system that is designed for “fine” media. If not, a lot of soda can get wasted in a small amount of time.
Variations in particle size will change the aggressiveness of the media. For instance, a large particle size is more aggressive and used for heavier duty applications such as removing paint off a car. For lighter duty blasting such as removing char off of wood, a smaller particle size preserves soft substrates better and will actually boost your productivity by increasing the number of “hits per second” on the surface.
Anything soda blasted needs to be properly blown off and rinsed (we recommend using hot water) before applying any type of new coating.
Soda blasting will not etch or ruin glass.
Baking soda will not peen, pit, embed or lodge itself in any seam, nook, or cranny of the parts you are working with. By properly rinsing the parts all of the soda will dissolve and simply wash away, eliminating any future problems that residual glass or plastic bead could cause. Also, glass or plastic do not remove grease or oil from a surface – soda does.
Soda blasting will remove a light layer of surface rust from the substrate but we would recommend other blast media for substrates with medium or heavy corrosion.
After a part is blasted with soda, a thin layer of soda “residue” is left behind on the surface. This prevents the stripped part from oxidizing, enabling a part to be stripped without having to worry about recoating it right away.
NDT checks the integrity of metal structures and components, including all welds and joints. Soda blasting removes any paint and oil from a surface without altering the dimensions of the substrate. Please click here to learn more about how one company extended the life of their roller coaster frames by choosing Soda Blasting over Sandblasting for their NDT work.
It depends on many variables, including shape and size of part or vehicle (flat plain surfaces cost less than curvy and intricate surfaces); # of layers of paint or coating; etc. Usually we can provide industry guidelines over the phone (per square foot costs; per part cost; etc.). It always helps to review pictures of the project or items to be blasted, so we encourage people to forward them to us whenever possible.
Baking soda is a wonderful eco-friendly product with a PH of 8.2, which can affect the landscape. This phenomenon is the same one that occurs on roads that are salted. You will notice the first foot or two of the grass is dead during the first few weeks of Spring, and then grows back with the rest of the grass. Any potential damage is easily preventable by pre-watering the ground before blasting begins and covering up any ornamental or special bushes and groundcover.