A Brief History of Early Sandblasting

Sandblasting has a longer history than you might expect. The absolute furthest it can be traced back is 1870, when Benjamin Tilghman invented a machine for paint and rust removal. Of course, this was primitive and rudimentary, but it set the framework for future improvements. Then, Thomas Pangborn took Tilghman’s initial idea and ran with it, adding compressed air in 1904. Another substantial innovation took place in 1918, when the first enclosure was built. This enclosure contained a clear screen for sandblasters to surround the worksite and prevent dust from hitting workers’ faces.

By the 1930s, sandblasting was well-known in manufacturing fields. However, despite plant managers’ knowledge of the process, the majority felt the method was too messy. A change in attitude about sandblasting occurred when the U.S. Navy needed more efficient ways to prolong the service life of their coating systems. After simple scraping and sanding did not bring about satisfactory results, the Navy attempted sandblasting. Upon completion, the Navy realized that sandblasting was necessary for proper adhesion and performance of the coating system they would apply. Hence, this successful project set the foundation for the protective coating industry and numerous future success stories.

Sandblasting has evolved significantly, becoming safer and causing fewer cases of the lung disease silicosis. As sandblasting has emerged, so has blasting, in general, as a restoration practice for a variety of surfaces. More sustainable processes such as sodablasting and vapor blasting have become available as potential options and better substitutes.

Contact us today to see whether your project would be a good fit for sandblasting, sodablasting or vapor blasting!

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?A-History-of-Sandblasting,-1870—Present&id=5546355

Differentiating Sandblasting and Sodablasting

Sandblasting and Sodablasting Services in Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana

In addition to the revolutionary, green method of vapor blasting that McCahill Painting offers its clients, there are two classic methods that may also be the most suitable option for many projects. These methods, sandblasting and sodablasting, are mentioned elsewhere on our website. To minimize any confusion about the similarities and differences of sandblasting and sodablasting, we decided to post a blog about this.

What is sandblasting?

Sandblasting, sometimes spelled ‘sand blasting,’ is a blasting method that oftentimes uses sand, or another dry material, at high pressure toward a surface. Sandblasting is the common term for different types of abrasive blasting, including dry blasting. In addition to sand, other dry abrasives can include glass beads, coconut shells, and walnut shells. A well-known utilizer of sandblasting techniques was the U.S. Navy.

What is sodablasting?

While sandblasting is considered ‘abrasive blasting,’ sodablasting is thought of by many to be non-abrasive. Sodablasting uses sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, to remove contaminants and/or to smooth the surface. Whereas sandblasting uses extremely dry abrasives, sodablasting incorporates baking soda for both gentle and extreme effectiveness. A well-known project that incorporated sodablasting was the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.


Sandblasting and Sodablasting: Side-by-Side

Sandblasting Sodablasting
Preferred for institutional blasting Preferred for industrial blasting
Effective at removing rust Effective on plastic, wood, and chrome
Less environmentally friendly More environmentally friendly
Quick cleaning Gentle cleaning
Lower cost Higher cost
Simply blasts Deodorizes and sanitizes
Materials can be reused Materials can only be used once
Wide areas Condense areas
Requires more safety precautions Requires fewer safety precautions
Often used for metal and machinery Often used for mold, smoke and other damage


We hope that this information is helpful! Please feel free to call us or e-mail us at info@mccahillpainting.com with any questions!

Source: https://turbofuture.com/industrial/What-is-the-Difference-Between-Sand-Blasting-Soda-Blasting

The Green Factor of Vapor Blasting

blog3Although the popularity of sandblasting is known, the positive environmental effects of vapor blasting are still being uncovered and gaining acceptance by the mainstream. As the importance of becoming greener is increasing, vapor blasting may be the more suitable option for your project.

The clear, positive effects of choosing vapor blasting over dry blasting should be made evident. For one thing, vapor blasting equates to a 92% reduction in dust over sandblasting. The large volume of dust makes sandblasting a dirty job. Operators and workers on sandblasting projects must wear the proper and necessary protective gear to guard themselves from a mini sandstorm. On a project where we sandblasted a metal staircase, some people from a distance thought there was a fire in the building because of all the smoke elevating in the air! Because of the dust factor and other reasons, vapor blasting is a more sustainable process to restore surfaces to their original youth.

Furthermore, blasting is becoming a legal issue in certain parts of the country, and will surely make its way to the Midwest. California and New York City are the early adopters in becoming environmentally friendly because of their legal implementation of blasting projects being performed only by Tier 4 Compressors, which are the most eco-friendly. McCahill Painting uses the very latest technology in the form of Graco EcoQuip 2 Vapor Abrasive Blast Equipment. Graco is a leading manufacturer of such equipment, giving us the best tools for the best results. Please see below to visualize what the equipment looks like.

Choosing McCahill Painting to perform your vapor blasting work will be the most eco-friendly choice in Chicagoland! Please contact us to discuss your blasting project in more detail!


Sand Blasting Metal – Asset Preservation in Chicago, IL

We all know the importance of proper surface preparation. There is no better surface preparation than sandblasting all of the old paint, rust or other contamination off the metal. Very importantly, in addition to cleaning the metal extremely well, sandblasting metal also creates a surface profile for new paint adherence. It’s a win-win situation. McCahill Painting uses Graco Tier 4, which is environmentally friendly equipment. The video demonstrates vapor blasting, which is the same as sandblasting except there is a 92% dust suppression rate. This is the greenest method to complete this transformation process. This is by far the best surface preparation method available today! Contact us today to learn more!


Soda Blasting on Metal – The Perfect Solution for Paint Removal

soda blasting on metalWhen paint is applied to any surface, you need to achieve either a mechanical bond or a chemical bond to the substrate being painted. At this large shopping center, neither type of bond was attained when the metal was painted. The white metal had a factory finish on it and was very slick. A contractor applied paint directly to the slick metal without proper surface preparation leaving behind a paint film that had marginal adhesion. Soda blasting on metal was not only the best solution to remove the paint, but also the only remedy to remove this failing paint. Vapor blasting, along with using baking soda on the media, accounted for the miraculous, 100% removal of the failing paint. The soda blasting on metal achieved incredible results, as you can see in the video. Most importantly, adjacent surfaces are not damaged whatsoever. Soda blasting was the perfect resolution for our client.


Importance of Cleaning Metal Silos

painting silosCleaning metal silos, storage tanks or other equipment is important for the simple reason that the contamination on the existing paint film actually starts the degradation/corrosion process of the metal. If the metal is left uncleaned, eventually, but sooner than later, the metal will start to rust. It makes sense, especially economically to power washed/chemically clean the metal prolonging the lifetime of the original paint application.

McCahill Painting is certified/experience in using Ariel lift equipment which is required in the majority of these type of industrial cleaning applications. The really important piece of equipment we use are tow behind power washers, with 520 gallon water tanks that heat the water to 250°. In this type of cleaning application, water volume is much more important than water pressure/psi. Combining the 250° hot water with the right biodegradable/environmentally safe cleaner is the key to a successful industrial cleaning project. In this video you can see heavy contamination being completely removed which of course stops the paint film degradation/corrosion process from starting. It is time and money well spent to extend the life of the original/previous paint job. Besides that, from an aesthetic standpoint, the equipment looks much nicer.

Steps for Painting a Factory Finish Metal Facade

Painting a factory finish metal facade is a sensitive painting application. Since you’re starting with an existing coating that has excellent adhesion qualities, when you’re complete, the paint system you applied must also have great adhesion qualities.

Asset preservation and aesthetics are the main reason to paint a building (usually shopping centers) factory finish metal facades and the roof of the pedestrian walkway overhang. The sun’s ultraviolet rays degradate the factory finish metal causing it to color fade, oxidize and lose the mil thickness of the original coating opening up for rust contamination. Of course you’ll be able to see rust on this metal façade which must be addressed, or the corrosion will get worse.

Please keep in mind when you’re watching the video there are both people and lots of cars involved that need to be protected. The wind is also an important factor in this type of coating application. This shopping center is located on the northeast corner of 63rd and Fairview in Westmont. We actually completed the project in 2011 and if you drive by tomorrow, it still looks great.

We start the project by power washing the buildings metal façade using 250° hot water and an environmentally safe/biodegradable cleaning chemical removing any oxidation or other contamination. We then completely hand sanded the metal using a combination of 50 grit and or 120 grit sandpaper depending on the degree of the corrosion. The sanding is done to remove loose paint, rust and mil scale but also to create a surface profile for the new paint to adhere to. After that we re-clean the metal removing all sanding/preparation contamination. McCahill Painting then spots prime all of the areas that had any rust or previous mil scale using an industrial grade rust inhibitive metal primer. This is when we have completed the preparation process.

Now all masking required is completed so that paint overspray doesn’t hit substrates not intended to be painted. Next the building metal façade receives a bonding prime coat followed by two finish coats of a high grade acrylic satin coating. Any color can be used except for we discourage using black or darker colors whenever possible. The building metal façade now looks is good is it does when it was originally installed. Besides looking good, all corrosion has been stopped. That’s a win-win in the painting world.


How to Remove Paint from Brick

remove paint from brickThe brick on this commercial building was improperly applied and had marginal adhesion. The only way to correct this shoddy application is to remove the paint and start over. Using 250° hot water, 4000 psi and a Roto tip combination you can see the paint is easily removed from the brick. We’re getting 100% removal and not causing any damage, whatsoever to the brick or mortar. This is an awesome system to remove paint from brick.





Benefits of Electrostatic Painting of Metal Equipment

electrostatic-paintingThe electrostatic painting of metal equipment is a unique application process. The paint is chemically manufactured to be sprayed using a specialized electrostatic gun, the piece of metal being painting is grounded and when the paint is being sprayed it is pulled/drawn to the piece of metal your painting.

As with any painting project most important part of the work is the preparation. Since this was existing equipment in a manufacturing plant with lots of oil contamination we power washed equipment using 250° hot water removing all oil residue or other contamination. Even though we are electrostatically spraying we still need to mask off items on the metal carts that we do not want to paint such as the wheels.

Now it’s time to sand the metal removing any contaminants/loose paint, etc. We are also sanding to create a surface profile for the new paint to adhere to. After that we dust down and solvent cleaned the metal getting it ready to be electrostatically spray. At this point the preparation process is complete.

The benefits of electrostatic painting is up to 98% of the sprayed material going directly to the metal surface being painted, making it very efficient with minimum overspray. Electrostatic painting also creates a very smooth factory finish on the metal being painted, it looks great.

Importance of Structural Steel Painting

mp-video-stills-roofPainting structural steel beams is an asset-preservation based project. The importance of these beams cannot be overstated, as they ensure the overall structural integrity of any given building.

As steel begins to corrode, it thins and gradually loses strength. Everyone has seen rusted doors and railings that corrode to the point of having to be replaced. Needless to say, one doesn’t want such a thing happening to that which holds their entire building together.

The first step in refurbishing structural steel beams, depending on the severity of the corrosion, is usually to sandblast them. Sandblasting, as its name implies, is a cleaning technique in which high-abrasive sand is blasted at a contaminated surface. In this instance, sandblasting the structural beams wasn’t necessary. The building’s proactive owners ensured that the structural steel required only hand and power tooled preparation.

The first part of the preparation process begins with power grinding the metal to remove any loose paint, rust, or mill scale. This creates a fresh surface profile for the new coating system to adhere to.
The next and final step in the preparation process is solvent cleaning the metal. If you look closely in the video, you can see the immediate impact that this step makes.

For the prime coat, we are using a two-component epoxy mastic industrial primer. This primer chemically converts Iron Oxide (rust) into a solid, paintable surface. You can observe that we pour the A & B components together followed by thoroughly mixing with a drill. Under normal circumstances we would then spray-apply the prime coat. For this job though, site conditions required to us brush/roll instead. Regardless of the method, all of the manufacturer’s application specifications are strictly followed.

Lastly we apply the finish coat, a two-component industrial urethane. The same catalyzing system is used for this coat as with the prime coat. This particular finish coating is abrasion resistant, has excellent adhesion, can be used for water immersion applications, and possesses long-lasting color/gloss retention qualities. We apply two coats of this product to ensure good mil thickness protection on all of the horizontal members of the structural steel.

After the implementation of our coating system, the structural steel beams look great and are guaranteed to be rust-free for years to come. View our video below to see the entire process: