Ian's Guide to Industrial Manufacturing

Ways to Control Dust When Sandblasting

If you've got something that can't be moved but that does need sandblasting, you must make sure dust does not become a problem. You can have a sandblasting company come out to your property, but ask them before you sign any contracts to describe their dust control methods. They could use one of a number of options.

Area Barriers 

The simplest form of dust control for something that can't be moved into a blast cabinet is the area barrier. Tarps, for example, can be taped up around the item being blasted. As long as the edges are sealed well and the tarps are thick enough that they won't be pierced by high-speed debris, that can be a cheap and effective form of dust control. If the sandblasting company uses this method, they'll likely have frames to hold the barriers steady, too. What you want to see is containment — any dust blown into the air should stay within a small radius.

Wet Abrasive Blasting

There are techniques for sandblasting that use a wet medium now, which helps control dust. These media are generally a blasting abrasive mixed with a little water, and the resulting spray acts like a combination of sandblasting and pressure washing. The technique still sends out debris but contains it in a smaller space as there's no loose, dry dust that can be carried away on a breeze. It's best to use air-quality monitoring with this form of dust control to ensure nothing is flying out farther than anticipated.

Creating a Temporary Blast Room

Similar to setting up barriers around the area is the creation of a temporary blast room. There are companies that offer modular blast rooms and booths that you can fit around the item you need to work on. Anyone inside the room will need to wear safety gear, of course, but the blasting debris should be contained, keeping anyone outside the booth safe. These modular booths can be small or building-sized, so don't assume that you won't find one that works for you. An advantage of using these booths instead of tarps is that the booths/buildings are stronger and not prone to moving about when the wind hits them. Tarps will move and can come loose.

Sandblasting is fast and effective. But that dust control is so important for keeping everyone nearby safe from the effects of the dust generated during the process. Good dust control is a sign of a good sandblasting company.

Contact a sandblasting service to find out more.