One of the questions we get asked pretty frequently here at BMD is “Do I need a shot blaster?” or something similar like “What are shot blasters used for?” To those questions we answer, “Yes,” and “Everything.”

Shot blasters are one of the more effective and useful pieces of equipment you should invest in if you work with metal, concrete, or surface preparation. To give you a better idea of how and why you need one, we’re sharing a more in-depth look at their versatility and functionality.

What Is Shot Blasting?

At it’s most basic, a shot blaster is a machine that is generally equipped with a wheel inside that is fitted with paddle-like blades. Steel pellets, or “shot,” is added to the hopper and as the wheel turns at a high speed, it’s able to eject the shot out through centrifugal force. The shot makes contact with a surface with such force, it blasts away dirt, paint, rust, and other materials from a surface.

As the operator propels the machine forward, or drives it forward in the case of ride-on shot blasters, an attached dust collector sucks up dust, paint chips or bits of rust or coating, and damaged shot, while the rest of the shot is pulled back into the machine and reused. This reduces cleanup time and limits the amount of dangerous dust in the air.

Using a Shot Blaster for Surface Preparation

Shot blasting is generally the preferred method of removing a coating from concrete or metal. It’s especially effective to remove paint, adhesive, and epoxy or to clean rust, caked on dirt, and oily grime from a surface. Once the surface is free of paint or old coatings and is cleaned of rust and grime, it’s ready for a new coating of paint or epoxy.

While a floor grinder can often be used to remove coatings and paint on concrete, it often takes several passes. Meanwhile, a powerful shot blaster can do the same job in just one or two passes.

Using a Shot Blaster to Change a Concrete Surface Profile

A concrete surface profile (CSP) is the standard measure of how rough a concrete surface is. The scale is one to 10 with the rougher the concrete, the higher the CSP. While concrete with a CSP of one is very smooth, a CSP of nine or 10 is incredibly rough with high peaks and valleys along the surface.

Floor grinders are often used to get the smooth surface profile. However, if a non-slip surface is needed for safety, such as around a loading dock, or a larger surface area is necessary to ensure a mastic coating adheres properly, a shot blaster is used. Depending on the size of shot and the amount of force, shot blasters are used to achieve a CSP between three and nine.

When Are Shot Blasters Not Used

While shot blasters are highly versatile, easily able to remove paint, rust, and adhesive with ease, it’s not ideal for every situation. We mentioned the need for a smooth concrete surface profile requiring a floor grinder. If you are trying to remove thick rubber coating, the shot will most likely not be able to penetrate the material. In this case along with removing carpet or hardwood flooring, a ride on floor scraper may be the better option. However, most surface preparation tasks related to metal, brick, stone, or concrete can be completed with a shot blaster.

Contact Us for the Right Shot Blaster for Your Business

If you’re ready to invest in a shot blaster, the experienced sales team at BMD can help. We have a great variety of both Blastrac and IMPACTS brand blasters, as well as the shot blasting parts and accessories you need to get the job done right. To learn more about our selection and determine which one is right for you, reach out to us by filling out our contact form or calling  815-472-9754.