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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Abrasive blast media
Keywords USF Vacu-Blast, Abrasives, Blasting
"Dramatic" savings in time, materials and labour costs can be achieved, claims USF Vacu-Blast, when using its recently introduced "Magic" abrasive blast media for depainting aircraft panels and other airframe or engine parts during maintenance and overhaul procedures. The new media reportedly strips paint up to four times faster than conventional plastic or starch abrasives, with no damage to the substrates.
"Magic" media is already being used by Boeing Military Aircraft Division in Texas, where the company has converted its giant depainting facility to the use of the product for stripping cargo aircraft - with a reported 50 per cent reduction in labour and materials.
Engineered specifically for high-performance aerospace blasting - where fast depainting is always a priority - "Magic" is a nanostructured composite abrasive media made up of blended thermoset resins and reinforcing fibre, and replicated nanostructure molecular components with a size of 10-9. The media was developed in the USA by US Technology Corporation and is available exclusively in the UK from USF Vacu-Blast, a member of the USF Surface Preparation Group.
According to USF Vacu-Blast the new media enables highly controlled stripping at low pressures to be carried out, and will remove paint from thin-skinned and delicate aluminium and composite airframe components, without adversely affecting their inherent material properties. It is said to be far less sensitive to moisture than wheat starch and can be used in existing abrasive blasting equipment with only minimal adjustments to media delivery and recovery systems.
"Magic" is available in mesh size of 30/60 (US Standard Sieve), and is an inert virgin material tested to Mil Spec standards. The material has a density of 1.40 to 1.46 and a maximum pH of 8.
Comprehensive technical support data for the new media is available on request from USF Vacu-Blast, who will also undertake stripping trials for potential users at its Slough demonstration facility, or on site.