1991-02-01

Plastic Media Blasting - The Maturing of the Technology 910925

Plastic media blasting (PMB) is a process for the rapid, economic and safe removal of coatings from almost any product without the use of toxic chemical strippers, burn-off systems, sandblasting or hand or mechanical abrasion methods.Although resembling sandblasting, PMB does not use hard abrasives, such as silica sand. Rather, the process employs recyclable plastic particles, which are pneumatically applied at low pressures of 20 to 40 psi. The plastic particles vary in hardness from 3.0 to 4.0 Mohs, as compared to hard abrasives which are in the 7 Mohs range.Since the plastic granules are harder than coatings but softer than underlying substrates, PMB can quickly remove primers and topcoats without harming sensitive substrates such as aluminum, brass, copper, magnesium, thin steel and titanium. Additionally, the process can be utilized on surfaces where chemical strippers cannot be used, or must be applied with caution, such as panels of honeycomb construction, engineered plastic, fiberglass and advanced composites.The PMB technology has been in use for over six years, principally for the stripping of aircraft and aerospace components. However, with the increase in environmental awareness and stricter environmental regulations, the process has matured into a distinct technology, applicable to the depainting requirements of a broad range of industries. Indeed, in the years to come, PMB may become the method of first choice for many surface preparation tasks.

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