This first part of our Shot Blasting series will discuss whether shot blasting is feasible or sensible for your floor preparation project. While shot blasting can leave a desired CSP profile and is universally the preferred floor prep method, it is not the only option for floor preparation. Many physical factors and restrictions determine if shot blasting is a viable method of surface preparation. The physical accessibility of an area where your epoxy coating or epoxy flooring is going is the first determining factor. Shot blasting machines are one of the larger machines used in floor prep. They customarily range from 8″ models up to 48″ models, some more portable than others. There are walk behind shot blasting machines and ride on shot blast machines.
Factors to Consider:
- Project Access Points of Entrance
- Power Supply Source and Location
- Restricted access of the Surface Area or Project.
Sometimes Shot Blasting is not physically or economically productive or sensible. If you access point is a basement, possibly confined space, 2nd flooring or above, these limitations can seriously pose a problem. Without an elevator, lull or some serious ramp building skills, your not going to be able to the shot blast machine in the building. These machines are sturdy enough and the larger units to have manufacturers lift points, but this is going to take some planning and coordination.
Next, power supply, most of the heavier duty floor preparation machines run on either 208/220, 440/480 or Propane. For INTERIOR WORK in the North East US, propane has almost been informally outlawed in the vast majority of commercial, pharmaceutical and industrial projects. While there are some exceptions, that leaves good ol’ electric
. These machines require or a “pigtail” that must be hard wired directly in a service by a licensed electrician, this is high voltages stuff, not for the DYI crowd. These service boards must have be located in relative proximity to the area where the flooring preparation is going to take place. If the power source is in excess of about 350 feet depending on the machine/power source and you will see a significant decrease in production and or mechanical performance failure. Portable generators (20 KVA-30 KVA) usually do the trick but, must be stored outside the building as they usually run on diesel.
Our finally item is restricted access. 5000 sq.ft in 100 rooms you say? Yes, that is a serious productivity killer. These are large machines, by the time your edge grinding is done and factoring the turning radius of the shot blast machines you find your productivity plummet. There are other means of mechanical preparation that can be more productive and that leave an acceptable bond profile to apply epoxy coatings, epoxy flooring, decorative epoxy systems or other finished goods.