The Fundamentals of Surface Preparation

Performing surface preparation can be done in a variety of ways. Abrasive blasting, cleaning, and dry tack rags are some of the methods that can be used to accomplish these tasks.

Cleaning

Depending on the surface you are preparing, several considerations must be made in Airblast AFC. This includes the removal of old layers, mill scale, and other dirt, as well as preparation for a new coating.

Choosing the proper surface preparation technique can have a significant effect on the overall performance of your system. For example, properly removing old layers will reduce the possibility of premature failure and ensure a long life for your asset. Likewise, proper surface prep can save you from an expensive repair bill.

A good surface prep can also make your on-site job greener. For example, many modern power tools are designed with a vacuum shroud to keep dust and other particles at bay.

A lot of attention is paid to surface cleanliness, especially when it comes to pipeline coating systems. However, aside from the apparent abrasives, several other tools are available to help you in your quest. For example, non-contact surface characterization equipment can create three-dimensional diagrams that can be printed out for quick reference.

The water above break test can reveal whether your surface is truly cleaned and ready for a new coat of paint. This test should be done before the main event, though. Again, a good quality Scotch-Brite pad will get you closer to the good stuff.

Abrasive blasting

Several types of abrasives are used in abrasive blasting. The most common non-metallic abrasive is silica sand. Some other popular abrasives include steel grit, garnet, walnut shells, and silicon carbide.

The first step in abrasive blasting is choosing a suitable abrasive. The abrasive should be hard enough to penetrate deeper into the surface. It also needs to have a specific profile. This profile is created by impacting the surface, which forms an indentation. The depth of the indentation is measured in mils. The surface profile is then calculated from the bottom of the lowest valley to the top of the highest peak.

The most common metallic abrasive is steel shot. It is effective at removing rust and mill scale. It also creates a rounded profile. The abrasive can be used several times before breaking down.

A newer development in surface preparation is the Bristle Blaster(r) from MontiPower. This innovative technology provides a safe, non-toxic alternative to traditional blasting equipment. This is perfect for use in the industrial and maritime sectors.

Another option is to use a vacuum blasting system. This is done by attaching an air-fed helmet to a specially designed filtration system called an OBE. This removes water vapor and carbon monoxide but does not remove other toxic gases.

The air-to-water ratio should be approximately 60 to 70 percent for best results. This allows for the removal of fine particulates.

Dry tack rags

Using a tack rag is one of the most basic surface preparation methods. It is used to pick up loose particles of dust and debris that other methods cannot remove. It can be purchased from most home improvement stores. It is also available at dedicated paint stores.

Tack rags are designed to be lightweight and inexpensive. They are also easy to use. You can even cut them into small squares for more efficient cleaning. For example, using a tack rag to smooth a painting surface is as simple as wiping it down with a damp rag. They are also ideal for prepping surfaces for painting. In addition, they are perfect for baseboards and trim.

Tack rags are typically made from cheesecloth, which has been saturated with materials that make them stick. These materials can include beeswax, turpentine, and varnish. This adhesive material effectively picks up the smallest dust particles and prevents them from re-depositing.

In addition to removing the dust, a tack rag is also helpful in buffing away dirt. It should be used in light strokes to avoid smearing the paint or finish. It can also smooth a surface before applying a thin coat of clear furniture wax.

Tack rags are a great tool for finishing and painting tasks. In addition, they help to avoid re-depositing contaminates that may interfere with epoxy adhesion.

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