For decades, Lakeside Painting has used various sorts of abrasive media to remove grime, corrosion, contaminants, and old paint in commercial and industrial settings throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest. These methods include dry ice blasting, high-pressure washing, and sponge blasting. Most recently, we have started using a technique known as vapor blasting. Keep reading to learn more about vapor blasting and why it is the perfect solution for all of your abrasive cleaning needs.

What is Vapor Blasting?

Also known as “wet blasting” and “liquid honing,” vapor blasting is a wet abrasive technique. It is used to remove dirt, contamination, and corrosion while keeping the surface material intact. The water component prevents abrasive particles from becoming embedded in the surface material, resulting in a finer finish.

One can use all sorts of media with vapor blasting, including aluminum oxide, glass, and even walnut shells. The media and water are combined in specialized machinery that mixes the two into a slurry. The slurry is then blasted via a nozzle onto the surface material. After contact with the surface material, the reusable slurry is fed back into the machine while fine, broken down media and other debris are redirected into the machine’s sedimentation filter.

It is important to understand that unlike some other forms of abrasive cleaning, vapor blasting is not a “dustless” or “dust-free” method. However, because of the water component, dust and other debris emitted into the air is minimized, making cleanup easier.

Benefits of Vapor Blasting

Dust Reduction 

It is important to understand that vapor blasting is not a totally "dustless" or "dust-free" method. However, because of the water component, dust and other debris emitted into the air are dramatically minimized. Combining water with the use of less harmful media allows for "open air blasting" which is not allowed with most dry basting methods. This saves money by reducing the need to construct expensive dust containment structures.

Smoother Finish

Because of the flushing action of the water component, vapor blasting results in a finer and smoother finish than other abrasive cleaning methods. The water also serves as a lubricant between the media and the surface material, decreasing the likelihood of scuffs and unwanted abrasion.

Environmentally Friendly

Vapor blasting uses vapor instead of water. That allows us to cut back on our water consumption. It also protects the surrounding environment from becoming overwhelmingly wet or moist – something that is very important if you are working in a setting with a lot of sensitive machinery. The media can also be recycled during the cleaning process, cutting back on the amount of media that needs to be purchased as well as the debris at the end.

Easy Cleanup

While vapor blasting is not a dustless method, cleaning up the resulting debris is fairly straightforward. Since the water that is mixed with the media evaporates quickly, cleanup is simple. It allows the painters to sweep up the mess as dry or slightly moist debris instead of clumps of wet slurry.

Versatile

Vapor blasting can be used to treat a number of surfaces, including interiors and exteriors.

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