Sandblasting is a very important part of our production process here at the Ocean Builders factory in the ever-humid Panama. Our steel develops a layer of surface rust pretty quickly so we have to remove that layer of corrosion so that when we apply our surface protectant, it will be applied directly to bare steel instead of rust. This protectant will help protect the metal from corrosion in the salty ocean environment.
We use a specific type of sand called Black Beauty. It is specifically selected because it is better for the environment and safer for the people who are working with it. When we buy the sand, it comes in 1-ton bags which we then load into the machine.
Part of being eco-friendly, efficient, and saving costs means that we are always looking for ways to recycle and reuse materials at the factory. Luckily for us, we can get a few uses out of this sand before we get rid of it.
When working with the sand, we lay down a large tarp that catches most of the sand after it comes out of the sandblasting gun. When we are finished, we collect all of the sand from the tarp so that we can sift all of the other materials out of it and have clean Black Beauty sand again. We can then put it back in our bags and use it up to three times.
Recycling this sand cuts down on waste and cost so that we can be more efficient and also save some money along the way. We can get quite a bit of sandblasting done with the same sand when we triple the usable life of it. Be sure to follow along as these steel tubes go from being sandblasted to being welded to becoming Ocean Builders TriPod bases.