Abrasive sandblasting is used by many different industries, including the auto, shipbuilding, and construction industries (among others).
But how long has this process been around? Here is a brief history of the sandblasting process.
The first and foremost form of sandblasting can be traced back to Mother Nature herself. Humans throughout time would observe how the constant contact of naturally flowing water and sand wore against surfaces over time, and in turn, smoothing down their imperfections.
This became the inspiration for the first man-made blasting tool. The Industrial Revolution introduced a myriad of metal products that needed to be systematically finished, which led to the creation of blasting equipment.
Benjamin Tilghman from Pennsylvania filed the first patent for a sandblasting piece in 1870. His sandblasting cabinet was a revolutionary invention that ultimately made the process of finishing surfaces much quicker— offering a real solution for industrial manufacturing. The downside to this initial sandblasting innovation is that it lacked the frictional head which is needed to further accelerate the blasting effect. Additionally, its requirement of water did not make it flexible for the use of different (and more effective) sandblasting media.
Therefore, dry sandblasting, which utilized high-pressure air streams, was officially introduced to industrial manufacturers before wet sandblasting. This made using different types of abrasive media much easier, and this process was six times faster than its wet sandblasting counterpart. On the downside, dry sandblasting resulted in a messy, dusty residue, which posed a greater risk for complication when left uncontained. To remedy this, the industrial dust collector was invented shortly after. This attachable piece of equipment connects to both siphon and direct pressure cabinets (the two main types of sandblasting cabinets) and helps preserve visibility and mitigate dust accumulation.
Today, industries can choose from a wide range of top-tier abrasive blast cleaning equipment, from portable siphon cabinets to large direct pressure systems.