Shot blasting is a process that is often used to clean the surface of a material. The process usually involves a gun that is used to shoot various types of media, or shot, at the object being blasted. This is a particularly effective method for removing scale, rust, paint, and minor surface flaws from metal objects. Depending on the shot blast equipment and the type of shot that is used, various surfaces finishes or textures can also be applied to a work piece for decorative purposes, or to prep the surface for paint or powder coating.
A basic shot blasting set up includes an air compressor, a shot blaster gun, a blast booth or cabinet, and a hopper to deliver the shot to the gun. Once the hopper is filled with shot and the system is turned on, a pull of the trigger is all it takes to get things going. When the trigger is pulled, compressed air flows through the gun. The moving air creates a vacuum that pulls shot from the hopper, which exits the gun at high speed and blasts the work piece. The cabinet is often equipped with a recovery system that returns the shot to the hopper to be reused. Shot blasting media is widely varied and specialized.