Certain standards apply to the surface preparation of steel: normally on the usage of industrial coatings a level of surface cleanliness of SA 2.5 (or SSPC-SP10 or NACE 2) and a specific roughness are required.
The methods predominantly used for this purpose – mostly sandblasting with Aluminum Oxide or other grit blasting mediums – are not always suitable and not always cost effective. Above all, working on smaller areas, e.g. for ex. repair tasks or reworking tasks, and during the refinishing of weld seams or repairs due to transport damage, traditional methods are quickly challenged with the limits of cost-effectiveness.
Renewed blasting of such repairs on material that has already been coated would require significant investments in terms of cost and time due to high preparatory costs, such as the transport of the equipment and the enclosure of the affected area.
Historically, there was a lack of grit-free blasting solutions as an alternative surface preparation method.
Bristle Blaster®; Blasting without grit
The grit-free patented Bristle Blaster® is able to produce a surface quality comparable with sand blasting:
• surface cleanliness of SA 2.5 or SSPC-SP 10
• roughness capability up to 120 μm Rz (approx. 65-83 μm Rz on API 5L steel)
The major advantage of Bristle Blasting compared to conventional blasting methods is its simplicity and cost effectiveness. The surface is worked using a light, handheld machine – the Bristle Blaster®.
Other methods used to work smaller areas (spot repairs), such as grinding using flap discs and roughing discs or manual working using wire brush hand tools, are not able to produce a surface profile suitable for the application of an industrial coating and typically cannot meet the surface cleanliness and roughness requirements. The Bristle Blaster® makes it possible.
Bristle Blasting is ideally suited for portable usage as no protective suits with closed system respiratory equipment are required and no complex machinery or other grit media recovery equipment is needed. Only the application of standard personal protective equipment (PPE) is recommended for the eyes, face, hands and respiratory. Apart from the materials removed, no other additional or environmentally harmful waste products are produced.
Bristle Blasting is therefore ideally suited for spot repairs, however it can also be used for larger areas if the usage of other metal cleaning processes is not allowed or is impractical.