We have been doing some sandblasting at the factory, so here is a little update on that. We are working with steel, which gets a thin layer of surface rust fairly quickly. So when working with steel, we must protect it from rust, but we have to remove any rust before applying the protectant.
Sandblasting is basically what it sounds like. We use compressed air to forcibly blow sand onto the surfaces that we are cleaning. The abrasive sand is able to clean the surface of any rust without digging deeper into the structure of the steel. There are different types of sand depending on the materials that it is being used on, but for this application, we are using Black Beauty sandblasting sand which is healthier for the environment, and most importantly our employees, who of course are using the proper protective equipment.
We have built a separate area at the factory to do our sandblasting to keep the stray sand and dust from getting stuck in our fiberglass adhesive work. Also, with the setup we are using, we can capture a good amount of the sand and after filtering it, we can use it several times to help cut down on waste.
This process takes about one hour for each two-meter section of steel tube. So we are able to get up to seven or eight sections sandblasted and painted with the protectant per day. Of course, saltwater is very corrosive to steel so this process is very important to ensure that the steel that is used in construction will be able to withstand the environment that it will be used in.
Be sure to check back to the blog frequently for more updates from the Ocean Builders factory!