Plastic Media Blasting Simplifies Aircraft Paint Stripping

There are various ways to handle aircraft paint stripping. Sandblasting has always been popular but comes with health concerns in sand getting in people’s lungs. Another, more labor-intensive option, involves the application of chemicals which is not good for a person’s health or the environment. What could be the best solution for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) people to use in the aviation industry for aircraft paint stripping? The best choice is plastic media blasting.

What Is Plastic Media Blasting?

Plastic media blasting involves employing soft, plastic particles within a small cabinet or other carefully ventilated and enclosed space. The particles are “blasted” through a nozzle at designated target at a rather low pressure to strip it of the paint.

A reclamation system carefully separates the paint chips from the reusable plastic blast media. The latter is then returned to a blast pot. It can then be utilized in future applications.

Why Plastic Blast Media?

Plastic blast media is well suited for aircraft paint stripping. The process has very little impact on the subsurface, yet it completely removes all the paint. The soft but effective blasting media is authorized for use upon various metals. This even includes aluminum. Certain plastic blast media is even MIL-SPEC approved and used in the Airforce and other arms of the military.

Two other favorable aspects of using plastic blast media are:

  • Availability: Companies have access to several different types of blast media, including those authorized specifically for military use.
  • Recyclability: Plastic blast media is reusable for several cycles and then recyclable. Typically, it may be used up to 12 times before it becomes ineffective as a paint stripper. Often the waste media can be reconstituted into the manufacturing process of other products.

Aircraft Paint Stripping

Although sandblasting remains a popular means of stripping paint, it lacks the advantages found in employing plastic blast media. The right blasting media process with plastic results in the complete removal of the paint without damage to the subsurface. As a result, the integrity of the aircraft remains intact.

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