When it comes to surface preparation, particularly concrete, the common equipment is the floor grinder, floor scraper, scarifier, and of course, the shot blaster. All four of these are important to have because just one of these can not do everything you may need – for example, the shot blaster is going to get a much different surface profile than a floor grinder. To help you know when you should use a shot blaster, we’re breaking down what a shot blaster can do and, also, what it can’t.

What Is a Shot Blaster

If you’re not familiar with a shot blaster, think of it like a sand blaster, only instead of sand, it uses small steel balls, called shot. The shot is poured into a hopper, and centrifugal force spins an arm inside the hopper, launching the shot at a surface at high speed and force. Then, the debris and shot is vacuumed up and the debris and dust is moved to a dust collector while the reusable shot is recycled back into the hopper.

What a Shot Blaster Can Do

When you need to profile concrete, whether to create a non-slip surface, add texture, or increase surface area to improve the bond of an epoxy coating, you’ll want to reach for a shot blaster. Shot blasters are ideal for creating a rough surface profile, ranging from a two to a seven, depending on the size of the shot and the speed of operating the machine.

Additionally, they are used for cleaning concrete and metal, specifically removing rust, old paint, dislodging dirt deposits, and removing oil and chemical stains from a concrete or stone surface. This “cleaning” also applies to removing thin coatings that are less than 20 mils, including urethane, enamel, and thin epoxy.

What a Shot Blaster Can’t Do

While shot blasters are incredibly versatile, like we said, they aren’t for every job. If you plan on polishing a concrete slab, you probably wouldn’t use a shot blaster, even if you needed to remove a coating or paint, first.

You wouldn’t want to use a shot blaster to remove a thick epoxy or mastic coating because the rubber-like texture will actually cause the shot to bounce, and it won’t break through to remove it. For something like this, you’d be better off using a grinder. Similarly you wouldn’t want to use a shot blaster to remove glue as the shot often can’t break it up. Instead a floor grinder with carbide tooling is a better option to getting the results you want.

Removing the paint from asphalt with a shot blaster is also not ideal as it’s a thermoplastic material. Instead you can use a scarifier to mill the top layer of asphalt up and remove old paint.

Get a Quote for a Shot Blaster Today

If you need to profile concrete, remove coatings, and clean surfaces effectively, a shot blaster is a necessity in your equipment inventory. To learn more about them and find out which option is the right choice for your business, reach out to our team today at  (815) 472-9735 or fill out our contact form to get started!