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Abrasive Blasting Techniques for Concrete Surfaces

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The perfect concrete surface appeals to the eye and stands out as a job well done. Perfect finishes require attention to detail and follow-up to get rid of any unwanted material that found its way into the concrete during the initial stages of construction. Luckily, exquisite concrete surfaces are within your reach if you are willing to subject the surface to abrasive blasting

During the process, skilled personnel blow abrasive media over the concrete surface to remove unwanted material and smoothen the surface. The media travels under high pressure, forcing impurities, old paint and other materials from your concrete finish. Here are some functional abrasive blasting techniques you can use on your concrete surfaces.

1. Bead Blasting

Bead blasting involves the use of fine glass beads to remove unwanted deposits from a concrete surface. Generally, glass beads work well in this process because they are gentle on the concrete surface. It is easy for the technicians to control the level of smoothing compared to a case where they use naturally rough material such as sand. Additionally, your contractor can use water or air pressure to shoot the glass beads over the concrete surface. This gives you more control over the cost of the project. 

However, bead blasting is not ideal for extremely contaminated concrete surfaces because glass is not hard enough. It works well for naturally smooth surfaces such as tiles. 

2. Dry-ice Blasting

Dry-ice blasting is the best technique when you wish to leave minimal destruction in your way. The contractors use dry ice and air to get rid of the unwanted material from your concrete surface. The contaminants on your concrete surface are dislodged by frozen carbon dioxide particles travelling under high pressure and high velocity. Moreover, contractors also count on the low temperature of the abrasive media to freeze the contaminants and destroy the adhesive forces keeping them on your concrete surface. After the blasting process, the dry ice sublimates and only leaves the blasted material to be cleaned up. 

3. Bristle Blasting

Bristle blasting is the only process that does not require a separate media moving over the concrete surface at high velocity. Here, blasting specialists treat the concrete surface using rotary tools with tough, brush-like bristles made of steel. The tools are capable of dynamic tuning to allow consistent and repeated motions of the brushes over the concrete surface. The movements result into localised impact and form crater-like areas, ultimately removing unwanted material from your concrete surface. This is the best technique for localised abrasive blasting.