Surface preparation is essential prior to the painting, coating or lining of a substrate, to ensure that the material is applied evenly and consistently, free from contamination or debris affecting the quality of the final product.
Grit blasting and ultra-high pressure (UHP) water jetting are common choices for producing a clean surface and both methods produce comparable high-quality results, so knowing which is best for your project can be tricky.
High-pressure water is used successfully in a variety of domestic and industrial applications, but if you’re considering using either UHP water jetting or grit blasting, it’s important to consider the following points:
Water Jetting Is More Expensive
Cost is a central concern for most businesses, although it’s important not to compromise quality for profits. However, when the same standard of blast preparation finish can be achieved by using a more cost-effective method, it makes perfect sense to shy away from any process that eats into the budget more heavily.
Water jetting is more costly than grit blasting, with high water consumption and prohibitive equipment costs, whereas grit blasting media and equipment is a more economical choice.
Also, whereas grit can be recycled several times, water must be cleaned before it can be reused in the next treatment cycle, or else it may lead to contamination and ineffective results. This will only increase your costs further.
Water Jetting Is More Complex
Achieving high-quality results from blast treatment is, of course, the main goal, so it’s important to keep the process as simple as possible. The more complex the process, the more difficult it may be to obtain the perfect finish.
Ultra-high pressure water jetting requires several additional steps that not only complicate the treatment process but also lengthen the time taken to complete each stage. For example, adequate draining and drying methods need to be created, which are unnecessary when grit blasting.
Also, after water jetting the product will need time to dry fully before it can move onto the next stage. With grit blasting, these stages can be avoided, shortening treatment time and simplifying the process considerably.
Water Jetting Causes Noise Pollution
Within all industries, managers need to be aware of the impact of noise pollution on colleagues and neighboring properties. With health and safety legislation regulating the work of operatives who are subjected to extreme levels of noise on a regular basis, it’s important to be aware of ways to mitigate the damage that industrial noise can cause.
UHP water jetting is a noisier process than grit blasting. As well as impacting the health of employees, this can also affect productivity in the workplace overall, so a relatively quieter option, such as grit blasting, is a preferable choice.
Water Jetting Will Not Produce A Profile For Coating
This is the most important consideration when you want to produce a clean surface for coating or lining. Coatings and linings require a surface profile. If there is no surface profile on the substrate, a coating will have little to ‘anchor’ to and will likely fail.
Water jetting should not be considered over grit blasting where there is not already a sufficient surface profile present.
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Overall, grit blasting is a superior choice of blast treatment method to standard UHP water blasting, offering more cost-effective, less complex, and quieter benefits that water jetting cannot – without impacting the quality of the finish.
For more information on our grit blasting services, get in touch.