Sand blasting is the process of combining an abrasive media with air and forcibly propelling it in a stream onto a surface to create an abrasion of the surface. Combined with the use of a masked area on the surface you can etch a pattern /image onto almost any surface. Sand blasting is used for engraving purposes as well as surface cleaning and pain removal. ProBlast only supply products for the purpose of engraving.
For engraving aluminium oxide is primarily used as the abrasive and photopolymer resist masks are used to create the stencils so as to etch an image into the surface of any material except for rubber.
In the engraving industry sand blasting combined with photopolymer resist (SR3000) is used to engrave crystal and glass trophies and glassware. It is also used as an excellent solution for metal engraving. Sand Blasting provides a very fine detail etching on to any surface
Why Sand Blasting
Sand Blasting provides the most versatile engraving solution available and at very low cost compared to other engraving processes. You can engrave almost anything that is non-rubber and any shape.
Crystal and Glass
It provides a far superior result than any other glass engraving process available. You get very fine detail work and sharp crisp lines. It is by far superior to laser engraving methods which a) gives a duller finish with not as sharp line edges and b) does not like hi-led content crystal or cheap grade glass. With sand blasting it does not matter about the quality of glass you get exceptional results on cheap glass right through to high quality lead crystal.
Laser is sometimes considered to be quicker than sand blasting as sand blasting needs the exposure, wash out process and clean up but in reality they take about the same amount of time. Lasers need wet paper laid on glass to prevent chipping and so this needs to be cleaned up. Lasers also take quite some time to do the etching compared to sand blasting seconds to etch the same area. So in the wash of things the time taken is about the same.
Sand Blasting provides a superb solution to metal engraving needs. Whilst it does not produce depth but rather a surface etching that when paint filled looks fantastic and becomes permanent.
Sand blast etching stainless steel is a very profitable process as it is much quick than traditional cutter engraving style. For example an A4 opening ceremony plaque which typical text and logo can be etched paint filled and cleaned up in just 40 minutes.
Of course laser engravers can etch timber but they leave a streaky finish based on the variable density of the grain. With sand blasting you get sharp edges and good depth which is then paint filled which makes it look like the best laser engraving you’ll ever see in timber as the paint (normally black) looks like a burnt laser finish but does not have the streaky look.
Sand Blasting does a magnificent job of stone etching. Granite, marble, rocks can all be etched easily with high definition detail