What is Soda Blasting?

While terms like sandblasting may have entered popular parlance with most people having some idea what it is, Soda blasting is a different beast entirely. Outside of the construction and paint stripping industry, Soda blasting remains relatively unknown.

Its comparative anonymity is hardly surprising. Soda Blasting is fairly new to the field of abrasive blasting. In today’s blog, we’re going to explore Soda blasting's short history and outline exactly what soda blasting is and explain its various applications.

The History of Soda Blasting

Soda blasting is a form of sandblasting that’s been used since the early 1980s. As the name suggests, soda or sodium bicarbonate – baking soda – is blasted through a nozzle using air pressure. Soda blasting was developed as a milder alternative to abrasive blasting. The technique is effective at removing everything from the paint on cars to graffiti on concrete. Its main point of difference is that soda blasting doesn’t damage the surface area. This is achieved thanks to the low air pressure used in soda blasting; typically soda blasting uses 20 PSI of air pressure compared to sandblasting’s 120 PSI. Also, soda is a much softer material when compared to the other aggravates typical used in abrasive blasting.

Soda blasting is so effective at not damaging a surface that it was used extensively to remove grime and mould from the Statue of Liberty during the wide-scale restoration project conducted from 1984 to 1986.

What is Soda Blasting used for?

Soda blasting is an extremely versatile abrasive blasting technique. It’s used in various cleaning projects but some of its more popular uses include:

- Vehicles

As stated, soda blasting doesn't damage the surface area while it strips paint. Therefore soda blasting is ideal for removing paint from a vehicle. Soda blasting removes the need for sanders and grinders meaning a car can be completely cleared of its original paint quickly.

- Tiles and Window Frames

Soda Blasting is particularly effective at removing mould and lime from surfaces. This means it can be used on window frames and glass; making it perfect for removing the organic pollutants that form around windows in homes and businesses.

- Graffiti

Unsightly graffiti can spoil the exterior of any property. Graffiti on storefronts can be tough to remove without damaging the surface area. Soda blasting is one of the most effective graffiti removal tools currently available.

Soda blasting is also used to remove road markings.

Disadvantages of Soda Blasting

While soda blasting is an effective solution for the above issues and more, there are a few notable drawbacks that everyone should be aware of.

As soda blasting uses the alkaline mixture of sodium carbonate, it can be dangerous to plants. If allowed to sink into the ground, soda will change the PH balance of the soil. Therefore it’s recommended to thoroughly rinse an application area with clean water after soda blasting.

As soda isn’t as abrasive as the materials used for sandblasting it may require certain surfaces to be primed and profiled to get the most out of the blasting technique.

The limited lifespan of sodium carbonate means it can’t be stored for long. Once soda goes off it begins to congeal. Using old condensed soda can damage soda blasting machinery.

If you have more questions on Soda blasting and soda blasting equipment, please call our offices today. Our experts can recommend the right soda blasting system for your requirements.



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