Media Blasting: Quickly Remove Rust & Old Paint from Your Classic Car
Is Rust Ruining Your Restoration Project?
Burdened by rust, road salt stains, or grime that detergents just can’t seem to remove? When it comes to the toughest cleaning, media blasting is your ticket to a fully restored classic car. Media blasting is capable of smoothing metal, and stripping paint without causing any harm to the base material.
How Media Blasting Works
Media blasting is similar to pressure washing; however, instead of shooting highly pressurized water droplets, media blasting cleans surfaces by shooting tiny pieces of material using pressurized air. The materials used are far more abrasive than water droplets; therefore, they need to be contained.
Media blasting is typically performed inside an enclosed cabinet. The classic car part that needs cleaning is placed inside the cabinet along with a blasting gun and a pair of heavy-duty gloves that can be used from the outside. We also contain the cabinet behind a larger enclosure. This helps us maintain temperature to prevent flash corrosion, and the spread of harmful microscopic dust. While blasting, our team takes safety measures by wearing breathing masks.
Types of Blasting Media
The classic car part, and what needs to be cleaned, determines the material we use for media blasting. Some of the materials we use to media blast include:
- Walnut shells – Strips paint; removes minor rust; eco-friendly; inexpensive; one-time use
- Plastic beads – Strips paint; removes minor rust; reusable
- Glass beads – Strips metal; removes most rust; smooths surface
- Aluminum oxide – Most powerful; smooths scratches; leaves a coarse finish; lasts the longest
- Corn cob – Removes grease
- Dry ice – Removes tar & ink
Media Blasting Procedure
When media blasting, our goal is to use the lightest material and lowest air pressure necessary to clean the classic car part. To determine this, we test the material and pressure setting on an unseen portion of the part that needs to be cleaned. Because media blasting leaves a rough finish, polishing may be required before the part is fully restored.
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