What is Soda blasting?
Soda blasting offers a non-toxic, non-abrasive and environmentally friendly way of cleaning, stripping and degreasing almost any coating from any surface without causing any damage to the original surface. These include wood, masonry, glass, fibreglass, stone, brick, rubber, most plastics and all metals. It is also a great way of removing paint, soot, dirt and grease from the most sensitive materials and restoring it back to its original condition.
How is Soda blasting different to other techniques?
Unlike sand blasting and chemical cleaning, which is toxic, slow and abrasive, soda blasting leaves the surface fresh and clean with no damage by propelling baking soda via compressed air onto the surface to be cleaned.
How and when was Soda blasting developed?
Soda blasting was developed in New York in 1972 when engineers were trying to find a way to clean the Statue of Liberty. They were concerned about damage to the environment, how to dispose of waste, and how to protect the statue from any further damage. The concern was that abrasive substances would damage the statue as well as contaminate the water in the harbor. It was then that soda blasting was invented and used to clean the Statue of Liberty.
How does Soda blasting work?
Soda blasting propels sodium bicarbonate particles, via compressed air, onto the area to be cleaned. This process removes paint and other contaminates without harming the underlying surface. Blast material is specially formulated sodium bicarbonate (baking soda); a non-toxic, non-hazardous food-grade material that is 100% water soluble and an environmentally friendly product. Soda blast particles remove surface contaminate by the energy released as the particles explode when pressure-driven into contact with the contaminate surface. The resulting release of energy disrupts the contaminate surface – thus leaving the substrate completely unaffected.
Is Soda blasting environmentally safe?
Absolutely! Bicarbonate of soda, otherwise known as baking soda, is used in everyday cooking, has no impact on the environment and is completely safe. Its alkaline properties could harm plants and vegetation if not rinsed properly and all areas should be washed down with water during the clean up process. Remnants of the paint or other contaminates may need to be collected or filtered. Soda blasting is endorsed by the USDA (United States Dept of Agriculture) and the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and is Kosher approved.
Does Soda blasting cause damage?
The likelihood of the soda blasting causing damage is highly unlikely if used correctly by a trained operator. Using Soda blasting on a surface that is softer than the soda, i.e. some plastics, soft wood, leather, vinyl etc will cause scratching and surface removal. However Soda-Tec will always make enquiries to establish whether certain surfaces are suitable for the process.
Is water used as part of the Soda blasting process?
Soda blasting can be done both wet and dry depending on the application and use case. Water is mostly used as a dust suppressant, to activate the baking soda or on softer substrates such as wood, to reduce cutting action and prevent substrate damage.
Does Soda blasting clean engines, grease and oil?
Sodium bicarbonate breaks down hydrocarbons, which makes it an excellent method of cleaning engines and engine parts, or areas where oil and grease are present. With soda blasting there is no need for sanding, soaking, scrubbing or abrasive cleaning and it also does not harm seals, bearings, gaskets, glass or metals or cause sparks when contact is made with any surface.
Does Soda blasting remove graffiti?
Absolutely! Soda blasting is a quick and cost effective alternative to conventional graffiti removal methods which are difficult, timely and often costly. Soda blasting is non-abrasive so it can be used to remove graffiti from painted surfaces, without damage to the base paint. On wood, brick, sandstone, marble and other sensitive surfaces, it will remove the graffiti without leaving any evidence of its use behind.
What about preparation, clean up and waste disposal?
Preparation is usually minimal as the soda causes no damage to the surrounding environment and leaves very little residue as it disintegrates on impact. As it has a pH of 8.6 sodium bicarbonate can be disposed of in most wastewater treatment systems. Depending on the contaminant being removed, disposal regulations will always be followed. Normally only the hazardous material removed needs to be disposed of in special areas.
What about paint and other left over deposits? (E.g. oil, grease, waste etc…)
The soda dissolves in water when you spray the area down so clean up is easy. The waste product that is left behind is in such small particles that when it dries, the dust can be vacuumed up.
Is Soda Blasting noisy?
Put simply, yes it can be. A large compressor is forcing low pressure air and media out of a relatively small exit, so operators and anyone else in the immediate vicinity should wear ear protection.
How much does it cost?
Soda blasting is typically charged at an hourly rate. A job that takes less than one hour is still subject to a one hour charge as travel and preparation will likely be included. Marine vessels are often charged by the size and may include some preparation and cleanup time as all blast material is contained. The many benefits of Soda blasting including but not limited to the quality of surface finish make the operation cost effective. Call Soda-Tec for up-to-date pricing or a quote.
How long does it take?
It depends on the requirements and size of the job. In most applications, preparation and cleaning time is minimal, and the actual soda blasting process cleans in a fraction of the time compared to other methods such as sand blasting.