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Shot Blasting Systems: Flat Bed Rollers vs. Overhead Conveyors

 

Shot blasting is a method of descaling, derusting and deburring unfinished metal components. It is often a necessary step prior to assembly, or finishing touches like painting or coating.

 

In a previous post, we looked at the difference between two common shot blasting machine configurations: batch finishing and continuous finishing systems. To summarize:

  1. Batch finishing involves processing a load of parts into the shot blasting machine at once, then pausing the machine to remove the finished batch and add the next volume.
  2. Continuous finishing involves loading parts at one end of a machine one-by-one without pausing the machine, then offloading them at the other end. Parts move continuously down the line until they’re finished.

In short, batch finishing is stop-and-go, while a continuous system can keep going on and on for as long as you’re loading new parts. It’s not a competition ‒ both methods have clear advantages in different applications. But when it comes to processing large orders, continuous finishing often has the edge in terms of efficiency.

 

Today, we’ll take a closer look at two types of continuous finishing systems we use to process thousands of parts a week here at Latem Industries: flat bed roller conveyors and overhead conveyors.

 

Flat Bed Roller Conveyor

 

In a flat bed roller conveyor system:

  1. Components are loaded onto a massive roller conveyor outside of the shot blasting machine.
  2. When activated, the roller conveyor moves components into the machine and through one or more shot blasting chambers.
  3. The parts are processed using a 360 degree shot blasting pattern, treating virtually every exposed surface.
  4. The parts exit onto another roller bed on the opposite end of the machine. There, the parts are removed.

 

Roller conveyor shot blasting systems are ideal for treating long, flat components prior to welding, cutting and machining operations. Large parts can be effectively descaled, derusted or deburred using a flat bed roller conveyor system. It can also be used to remove paint or for general surface preparation.

 

At Latem Industries, our roller conveyor can accommodate parts as large as 7 feet wide and up to 30 feet long. Its design allows us to process steel plates, profiles, cast iron and galvanized steel pipes, and rolled steel H-beams and I-beams for structural steel construction.

 

Overhead Conveyor

In an overhead conveyor system:

  1. Components are loaded individually onto large racks hanging from an overhead conveyor.
  2. The conveyor moves along a rail, carrying parts into the machine and through one or more blasting chambers.
  3. Parts are shot blasted in a 360 pattern for complete surface coverage.
  4. Finished parts exit the machine at the opposite end of the rail, where they are unloaded.

Unlike flat bed roller machines (which are ideal for flat pieces) overhead conveyors can handle large components with unusual or complex shapes. These systems can be used to remove rust or scale, recondition stamped metal, or prepare components after die casting.

 

At Latem Industries, our overhead conveyor can accomodate parts weighing anywhere from 10lbs to over 300lbs. We’ve found it ideal for castings, welded constructions, forged and stamped parts, and complicated forms like large springs.

 

Choosing the Best Mass Finishing Method

When Ontario’s top manufacturers need to get rid of rust, edges, scaling or excess oils, they turn to Latem Industries. We use a wide range of shot blasting systems to meet your needs - including our overhead conveyor and flat bed roller conveyor systems. Get in touch today to find out what we can do for you!

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Shot Blasting Methods: Tumble Blast vs. Index Table Blasting

 

Have a big batch of metal parts that need finishing? Here’s a solution: let’s get blasted!

 

Well, we don’t mean that literally, of course. Our brand of blasting is all about cleaning and strengthening the surface of metal parts! We offer a wide range of metal finishing and surface preparation processes, including shot blasting ‒ one of the fastest and most effective ways to clean metal to a mirror-shine.

 

Shot blasting is a set of technical processes designed to remove various impurities from metal surfaces. We use it to clean contaminants like dirt and oil from mass quantities of parts at once. It’s also a highly efficient method of removing metal oxides like rust or mill scale.

 

Shot blasting is an important step in preparing metal parts for painting, powder coating or other coating methods that require a clean surface in order to stick. It is practically mandatory in many industries, including the automotive, metal manufacturing, aviation, shipbuilding industries, as well as foundries and the production of welded structures.

 

Latem Industries utilizes various methods to meet our customers’ specific shot blasting requirements. Here, we’ll compare the applications and advantages of two of the shot blasting methods we offer: tumble blasting and index table blasting.

 

1. Tumble Blasting

Tumble blast machines are comprised of either a rubber or steel belt that’s driven within an enclosed blasting cabinet. Metal components are placed into the blasting cabinet in batches, where they are continuously impacted by one or more high-pressure streams of abrasive materials (called shots or blasting media.) 

 

We can vary the type, shape, size and density of the abrasive materials to achieve different results. The metal abrasives we utilize in tumble blasting include steel grit, copper shots and aluminum pellets.

 

During the tumble blasting process, the metal components are also continuously bumping against each other to help knock off surface contaminants and defects.

 

Advantages of Tumble Blasting

One of the biggest advantages of tumble blasting is the ability to deliver a consistent finish. The combination of tumbling and blasting ensures that even components with difficult geometry (deep recesses or tight angles) receive a perfect surface preparation.

 

Tumble blasting also allows components to impact each other, accelerating the removal of burrs and sharp edges.

 

2. Index Table Blasting

Index table blast machines are comprised of a blasting chamber with a large, circular turntable and several smaller ‘satellite’ tables attached to the turntable’s surface. 

 

One or more metal components can be attached to each satellite table. As the large table rotates on its axis, the satellite tables move along within it. Each table can rotate on its own axis independently.

 

The Index blast table machine we use at Latem Industries is divided into thirds, with a satellite table in each section. A typical blasting operation using this equipment goes like this:

 

One section of the turntable is loaded with components for shot blasting. The table then indexes or turns, moving the loaded table into the blast chamber for finishing.
As the first section enters the chamber, the second section moves from the chamber into the loading area. The second section is loaded with another set of parts. This step is then repeated to move the second section into the chamber and expose the third and final section.


When the table indexes a third time, completing a full rotation, the first section emerges from the blasting chamber with a stack of finished components. The processed parts are removed, and the is section loaded with a fresh batch of components.

 

This process is continually repeated until all of the parts that require processing have been finished.

 

Advantages of Index Table Blasting

Index table blasting allows us to process rotationally symmetrical shapes in large batches. The operation is well-suited for components that are fragile and cannot withstand the impact of hitting against each other in a tumble blasting operation. Some of the common applications include cleaning, finishing and deburring of axles, draft shafts and gear assembles.

 

Tumble Blast vs. Index Table Blast: Which One’s Right For You?

We deliver solutions to most every metal finishing challenge with industry-leading results. To learn more about tumble blasting and index table blasting and find out how we can reduce your processing costs, contact the experts at Latem Industries today!

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Getting the Rust Out - Humidity and Corrosion

During the hazy, lazy days of summer, most folks are thinking of relaxing on the beach or by the pool. 

 

Not us. 

 

At Latem Industries, our summer focuses on removing rust that has unexpectedly occurred on our customer’s parts and equipment.

 

Why? When the atmospheric conditions are right, rust can form on unprotected metal from the humidity alone. Humidity-based corrosion is something that keeps us busy all summer long.

 

Unfortunately, many of our customers aren’t even aware of humidity-based corrosion until the rust has already occurred. Don’t let it happen to you! Here’s what you should know about preventing and removing rust and corrosion caused by humidity.  

 

How Humidity Affects the Rate of Corrosion

How does humidity cause corrosion? That’s an important question in the mass metal finishing and parts coating industries. To prevent and manage humidity-based corrosion, we have to first understand how it works.

 

Metal corrodes at a much greater rate under humid conditions. This happens because the moisture-saturated air reacts with oxygen and electrons on the surface of the metal. The longer metal components are exposed to humid air, the faster they will generally corrode.

 

This type of atmospheric corrosion can occur when the amount of moisture in the air reaches critical humidity, which is the point at which water no longer evaporates or gets absorbed from the atmosphere. In most conditions, this happens at 80% relative humidity (RH). 

 

But it’s not simply the humidity that causes corrosion; it is the change in temperature along with a significant increase in humidity that causes moisture to form on parts. There are two ways this can happen.

 

First, the relative humidity increases along with the temperature. Humidity changes during the day largely depending on the temperature. You’ve surely experienced this first-hand on a muggy summer afternoon. Every 50°F (10°C) increase in the temperature can double corrosion activity.

 

Second, when a surface cools below the temperature of the surrounding air, moisture will form on the surface as condensation. This is likely to happen in most manufacturing facilities as the temperature within the facility cools overnight. Later, when the sun comes up and the temperature rises again, humidity causes moisture to condense on cool, metal surfaces.

 

The higher the relative humidity, the smaller the temperature difference needed for condensation to form...which sets the stage for corrosion to occur.

 

How to Prevent Humidity from Creating Corrosion

In a perfect world, we would keep all our precious equipment in a climate-controlled facility that is never affected by the humidity. Of course, most of the metal parts we process aren’t meant to stay in a bubble, so we have to find other ways to protect them.

 

The simplest and most cost-effective way to protect parts from humidity-based corrosion is to seal them against moisture. This can be accomplished by placing large quantities of parts in Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor packaging, which slowly releases an anti-corrosion compound to protect exposed metal surfaces from corrosion. 

 

Humidity is also an important factor in the surface preparation and application of protective coatings. A high-quality powder coat can seal the surface to guard against corrosion. However, many coatings are not designed to protect metal from high humidity and may even be detrimental in some cases. 

 

How to Remove Humidity-Based Rust

What if the corrosion has already occurred? There is a significant expense and loss of revenue when you are forced to scrap processed parts due to rust.

 

Fortunately, scrapping parts is seldom the only solution! It’s possible to clean rust from almost any manufactured metal part quickly and cost-effectively, then treat them with a rust inhibitor to prevent it from happening again.

 

Latem Industries uses various processes to remove rusted areas from processed parts:

  • Shot blasting (often the most efficient method of rust removal)
  • Vibratory finishing
  • Barrel tumbling
  • Ultrasonic washing

The best process for removing rust from mass quantities of parts usually depends on the extent of corrosion and the geometry of the part. Latem has the capacity to clean away rust from millions of parts daily. Whether the part is the size of a thimble or as large a sheet of stainless steel, we have the best processes available to quickly and cost-effectively remove rust.


So, when rust impacts your operations, call Latem (Metal spelled backwards!) or use the easy Get a Quotation link here.

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Shot Peening - Strengthening the Surface of Parts

Shot peening is a time-tested method of enhancing and strengthening the surface of steel. It is employed as a practical and cost-effective way to extend the lifespan and performance of metal parts in numerous industries.

 

By introducing residual stress on the surface in a controlled manner, shot peening creates a compressive pressure layer that is more resistant to cracking, fatigue, and oxidation.

 

How Shot Peening Works

Shot peening entails blasting the part with shot (small beads of metallic, glass or ceramic particles) with sufficient force to create tiny indentations in its surface. Each shot acts as a tiny ball-peen hammer loaded with enough kinetic energy to cause plastic deformation - meaning the metal bends slightly on impact but doesn’t chip or fracture.

 

When this happens, an area of stress is created on the surface of the part. The material directly beneath the indentation, meanwhile, resists and becomes compressed. Each indentation makes the surface of the material stronger and more resistant to cracking.

 

This process repeats thousands of times during shot peening, gradually building up a strengthened stress layer that encases the entire component!

 

Shot peening is typically a cold working or cold forming process, meaning the metal is shaped at room temperature or at least below the recrystallization temperature. Other cold working processes include burnishing, roll forming, embossing and extrusion. 

 

Shot Peening or Shot Blasting?

Shot peening is similar to shot blasting...but differs slightly in process and end result.

 

Both operate by the mechanism of plasticity, changing the surface of the part while minimizing the amount of material removed in the process. However, shot blasting is most often used to clean and prepare components prior to coating. Shot peening, on the other hand, is used to make components stronger.

 

How Shot Peening is Applied

Shot peening is used to compensate for tensile stresses that occur during machining. Parts that have been through processes like grinding, milling, bending and heat treatment can often benefit from shot peening.

 

Compressive surface stresses can protect machined components from numerous performance issues, including:

  • Resistance to stress corrosion cracking: Microcracks do not form so readily in materials that are under compressive stress.
  • Improved fatigue resistance: Depending on the geometry and material of the part, shot peening and improve fatigue resistance by up to 1000%.
  • Improved oxidation resistance of nickel-based alloys: These alloys have wide applications in the aerospace, marine and chemical industries.

Parts that are commonly shot peened include:

  • Crankshafts
  • Gear wheels
  • Connecting rods
  • Automotive gear parts
  • Coil springs
  • Turbine blade
  • Airframe components
  • Suspension springs

How to Measure Shot Peening Results

Shot peening results are measured using an Almen Strip test. 

 

A flat test strip is placed in the shot chamber to absorb the intensity of the blast, causing it to deform into an arc shape. The height of the arc directly relates to the intensity of the peening blast and the resulting compressive stress. 

 

The intensity (i) of the shot is critical, as overpeening can lead to detrimental effects. Other shot peening parameters include:

  • velocity (v) (for wheel machines) or the peening pressure p (for air blast machines)
  • peening intensity (see results section)
  • mass flow (ṁ)
  • coverage
  • exposure time (t)
  • impingement angle

Our Shot Peening Services

We understand and appreciate that when our customers are faced with a finishing challenge, they look to Latem for an immediate solution.

 

Contact us to learn more about shot peening and our other metal finishing services.

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Removing Mill Scale from Steel Surfaces

Steel surfaces can sometimes exhibit residual mill scale as a side effect of the production process. Though not harmful in and of itself, the presence of scale is detrimental in conditions where corrosion is likely to occur, and it must be removed before a workpiece can be given a protective coating.

 

Shiny steel parts

 

This post discusses the role of mill scale in the steel production and coating process, including the fastest way to remove mill scale from surfaces.

 

Identifying Mill Scale

Mill scale (often known simply as ‘scale’) refers to the thin, flaky texture that forms on the outer surface of hot-rolled iron oxides and metals. It is a by-product of manufacturing hot-rolled metal plates and sheets, occurring as the surface oxidizes during the heating, conditioning and hot rolling processes.

 

Scale has a distinctive blue-grey colour and a flaky or powdery consistency. It is not a continuous layer, but rather a thin, uneven coat (1mm thickness or less) of mixed iron oxides that chips easily on contact.

Unlike rust, which forms over a long period of exposure to oxygen and moisture, scale forms on all steel and iron products that are hot rolled. The only way to prevent its appearance would be to manufacture them in an inert atmosphere.

 

Mill scale is not in itself harmful to the workpiece. In fact, in the short term, a layer of scale helps to protect the metal’s surface from corrosion and other negative atmospheric effects. The problem begins when the mill scale breaks – which, given its brittleness, is practicably inevitable during handling, storage or transportation.

 

Why Mill Scale Must Be Removed

Scale is very fragile, and the moment it cracks, it turns from a protective barrier to a detriment.

 

Mill scale is less reactive than the steel surface it covers, acting as a cathode to the more reactive material underneath. Once the scale coating breaks (which occurs easily) and moisture comes through, the presence of the scale iron oxide accelerates the corrosion process at the breakage point.

 

The presence of mill scale is also a hindrance to applying paint or powder coating, which adheres poorly to scale. Left in place, the scale will eventually chip and break the coating’s surface, allowing moisture to penetrate.

 

It is wasteful to apply a protective coating over a workpiece covered with mill scale. For this reason, scale removal is an indispensable step in the pre-coating process.

 

Removing Mill Scale from Iron or Stainless Steel

To achieve a smooth, durable coating, mill scale must be removed from an iron or steel workpiece before application. This is true for powder coatings, paints and other finishing techniques meant to protect the surface from corrosion.

 

Shot Blasting, a method used to clean, strengthen and polish metal, is a fast and cost-effective way to remove mill scale. This service is normally carried out to prepare the surface of steel before applying any coating. Having the steel prepared by shot blasting is generally considered to be the most important factor affecting any corrosion protection system or coating.

 

At Latem Industries, our diverse line of wheel/suction shot blasting equipment includes monorail, tumble blast, swing table and conveyor to suit your blasting needs.

 

Latem carries a wide range of shot and grit to service your needs, including:

  • Scale Removal
  • Shot Peening
  • White Metal Cleaning
  • Rust Removal
  • Deflashing of Castings
  • Commercial Clean
  • Uniform Finish
  • Prep Prior to Paint

For further information on shot blasting, or to request a free quote for shot blasting in Southern Ontario, please contact us.

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Getting the Rust Out: Metal Finishing Solutions for Rust or Corrosion

Imagine processing and shipping thousands of parts to your customer – only to discover your shipment was rejected due to rust.

 

Rust or corrosion is a significant issue in manufacturing facilities large and small, impacting resources and increasing operating costs. Rust is difficult to prevent and nearly impossible to anticipate on manufactured parts.

 

Remove rust and corrosion

 

When rust occurs, leading manufacturers look to Latem Industries for metal finishing solutions. Here’s how we can help.

 

So, What Exactly Is Rust?

Rusting is the common term for corrosion of iron and its alloys, such as steel.

 

Rust is an iron oxide (usually a red oxide) that forms when iron and oxygen react in the presence of water or air moisture. There are several types of rust that form under different circumstances and are distinguishable visually and by spectroscopy.

 

Surface rust can be spotted or flaky and does not protect the underlying iron, which enables the oxide to grow. With enough time, oxygen and moisture will eventually convert an iron part entirely to rust and disintegrate it.

 

How Latem Solves the Problem

Latem Industries uses various processes to remove rust or corrosion from processed parts:

The best process for removing rust from mass quantities of parts is often determined by the extent of the corrosion and the geometry of the part.

 

For minor rust problems around your home or workshop, you can try using this simple home solution: salt + lime. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the rust, then squeeze the lime over the salt until it is soaking. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 hours and then remove the rust with the lime rind. This can also be done with a lemon, but we like the salt and lime a little more because they double as margarita ingredients.

 

Mass Metal Finishing Solutions for Rust or Corrosion

Latem (metal spelled backwards) has the capacity to clean away rust from millions of parts daily. Whether the part is the size of a thimble or as large as a sheet of steel, we have the best processes available to quickly and cost-effectively remove rust.

 

Once the rust is removed, we treat each and every piece with a rust inhibitor.

 

So, when rust impacts your operations, call Latem or use the easy Get a Quotation link on our web page.

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Latem Industries is Proudly an ISO 9001:2015 Certified Metal Finisher

The team at Latem Industries is proud to announce our recognition as an ISO 9001:2015 certified metal finisher. We’ve worked hard to implement processes and produce results that meet these rigorous quality standards.

 

 

For Latem Industries (and our metal coating company Plastico Industries), ISO 9001:2015 certification means:

  • Latem Industries’ top management demonstrates leadership and commitment to upholding a Quality Management System that meets ISO 9001:2015 standards.
  • Our Quality Management System comprehensively addresses risks, opportunities, changes and quality objectives.
  • We have plans and processes in place to meet our customers’ requirements for our services.
  • All our employees have the training and resources they need to support our Quality Management System.
  • The roles and responsibilities necessary to uphold this commitment have been assigned, communicated and understood.
  • We continuously monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate our Quality Management System with an aim to improve wherever we can.

Below, we’ll explain why being an ISO 9001:2015 metal finisher matters to us and our customers.

 

ISO 9001:2015 Certification: What Does it Mean?

The ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, an independent international organization that sets quality, safety and efficiency standards.

 

These standards apply across all industries, products and services, including metal finishing. The ISO is recognized worldwide and endorsed by both the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

 

ISO 9001:2015 is the latest revision to these standards. ISO 9001:2015 provides a clear roadmap to guide companies like Latem Industries in meeting (and surpassing) customer expectations and regulatory requirements.

 

Being ISO 9001:2015 certified is something that matters both to us and our customers. Internally, it demonstrates our commitment to the quality and consistency our customers expect. That means delivering exceptional metal finishing services and customer service that goes above and beyond what our customers expect.

 

When you see that a company has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification, you can trust that their promises are backed by a universal quality management process.

 

Latem’s ISO 9001:2015 Certificate

How do you know if a company is ISO 9001:2015 certified? A Certificate of Registration like this one.

 

This certificate demonstrates that Latem Industries’ Quality Management System and processes passed an independent audit by an accredited certification body. Our audit was conducted by The Registrar Company, a trusted certification body accredited by the ANSI-ANQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

 

ISO 9001:2008 vs. ISO 9001:2015

If you’re already familiar with the previous standards set in 2008, you’ll find few changes in the ISO’s current criteria. What has changed is:

  • New structure (expanding from 8 clauses to 10)
  • Renewed focus on top-level accountability, involving the highest levels of management in implementing and maintaining ISO standards
  • Emphasis on risk management throughout the organization, using the system as a preventative tool that encourages continuous improvements to process
  • More flexibility for organizations like Latem Industries to develop ISO documentation in a format that meets our needs as a industrial metal coater
  • Alignment with other key management system standards

Work with a Certified Metal Finisher

Latem Industries is proud to produce results that meet internationally-recognized quality standards. Start working with an ISO 9001:2015 certified industrial metal finisher today.

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Five Steps to Prepare Metal Parts for Coating

prepare metal parts for coating

 

When given the proper protective coating, metal parts can function more effectively and last much longer. However, before the coating process can start, an important preliminary procedure is necessary. As the effectiveness of the coating depends greatly on the quality of the surface, not performing pre-treatment means the surface is in less-than-optimal shape. That leaves the metal open to corrosion, adhesion, flash rusting, weld pullaway, and impact resistance issues, the very problems that proper coating prevents. Here are five common pre-treatment steps to prepare metal parts for coating.

 

Disassembly

 

Many different types of parts pass through our facility every year. Some are single pieces, while others consist of several different components. In most cases, the latter requires disassembly, because the coating process will not benefit each part (or could even damage some).

 

Cleaning

 

Just as you would not paint a dirty surface in your home, some parts need to undergo cleaning before coating begins. Pressure washing and ultrasonic cleaners are very effective methods. Extra care is necessary when using cleaning solutions as some metals are especially sensitive. Exposure to the wrong chemicals can create damage that is not visible to the naked eye, but serious enough to compromise both the coating process and the life/utility of the part.

 

Our sister company, Plastico Industries, uses proprietary cleaning compounds that produce excellent results, while also being environmentally friendly.

 

Stripping

 

Even after cleaning, it may be necessary to perform this additional step to ensure an entirely clean surface. Some parts are not new and already have remnants of a previous coating still on them. It is necessary to strip any remaining bits of paint, plastic or another form of finish before applying the new coating. Failure to do so means the new layer will not properly adhere.

 

Outgassing

 

The idea is to make sure you reach bare metal before the coating process begins; outgassing is another way to achieve this. It is not obligatory for all parts, but ones made of cast aluminum or cast iron tend to be more porous. That can allow oil and other contaminants to get inside. Applying the coat with those materials still present undermines the part’s ability to perform and last the expected lifespan.

 

Outgassing involves baking the part in an oven at a temperature that causes the oils to burn off. There is often some smoke generated as a result.

 

Shot Blasting and Shot Peening

 

Shot blasting involves the high-speed projection of steel shot at the material chosen for coating. The shot permeates the surface, and this dislodges the foreign matter. The blasting media used varies depending on the type of metal being treated and the desired finish.

 

Shot peening will also clean the surface of parts scheduled for coating. With this process, the shot performs the same function as a ball-peen hammer. Both of these processes have the added benefit of strengthening the metal, thus reducing the likelihood of corrosion, cracking, and stress failure.

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What is the Difference Between Shot Blasting and Shot Peening?

difference between shot blasting peening

 


Shot blasting and shot peening are common processes in the manufacturing world. If the industry uses metal parts, chances are it relies on shot blasting and peening to make things work.

 

What is the difference between shot blasting and shot peening? While similar, the two are distinct processes with different goals. Read on to learn what sets them apart.

 

What is Shot Blasting?

 

Manufactured metal parts aren't ready for use right out of the mould. They often need a coat of paint, powder coating, or welding work. But before this can happen, the surface of the metal part must be clean.

 

Shot blasting prepares metal parts for further processing like painting or powder coating. This step is necessary to ensure the coat adheres properly to the part. Shot blasting can clean off contaminants like dirt or oil, remove metal oxides like rust or mill scale, or deburr the surface to make it smooth.

 

How Shot Blasting Works

 

Shot blasting involves shooting a high-pressure stream of abrasive material (also known as shots or blasting media) against the surface of a metal part. Depending on the application, the shots may be propelled by a pressured fluid (like compressed air) or a centrifugal wheel (known as wheel blasting).

 

The shape, size and density of the shots will determine the final results. Types of metal abrasives used in shot blasting include steel grit, copper shots, and aluminum pellets. Other methods of shot blasting use silica sand, glass beads, synthetic materials like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and even agricultural materials like crushed kernels.

 

What is Shot Peening?

 

To explain shot peening, one must first understand the general notion of peening. It is possible to strengthen the material properties of metal by applying stress to its surface. This expands the surface of the metal, creating a layer of compressive stress and relieving tensile stress in the piece.


Working the surface of metal to increase its strength is called peening. The traditional method involves striking the metal with a ball-peen hammer, which is inefficient in a large-scale manufacturing setting. Today, most industries employ mechanical shot peening instead.

 

How Shot Peening Works

 

Shot peening and shot blasting both involve shooting a stream of material against the part's surface. The biggest difference between shot blasting and shot peening is the end result. Shot blasting uses abrasives to clean or smooth the surface to prepare it for processing; shot peening uses the plasticity of metal to prolong the life of the part.

 

In shot peening, each shot acts as a ball-peen hammer. The process makes the surface of the metal part stronger and more resistant to cracks, fatigue, and corrosion. Manufacturers can also use shot peening to give the piece a textured surface.

 

Like with shot blasting, the choice of shot depends on the application. Shot peening usually involves steel, ceramic, or glass shots. The material is reusable, making it an efficient and cost-effective process for strengthening metal parts.

 

Shot blasting and shot peening are both critical steps in the metal manufacturing process. Often, a part will undergo both before it’s ready for use.

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