|Soda-Blast.Com is Harmon Distributing's industrial
products division. While baking
and corn cob is the mainstay of the company, this division offers a
developed line of products and applicators that deliver either baking
corn cob as a parts cleaning medium in metalworking shops.
For most metalworking shops parts cleaning is, well, a pain. It's a
non-value added step in the manufacturing process that while, often
necessary, gets metalworking businesses into areas in which they have
little or no expertise.
If a shop must clean parts, what's the best method? Of course there
is no easy answer. It used to be possible to soak parts in a vapor
degreaser and accomplish most soil removal requirements. That's no
longer feasible because of environmental regulations covering
atmospheric discharges and toxic waste disposal.
Options include parts aqueous and semi-aqueous washing units with
agitation sometimes generated by ultrasonics. These methods work well
for specific materials and soils but lack the kind of general purpose
effectiveness that vapor degreas-ing provides. And, there is usually a
waste disposal consideration with these wet processes. Then there are
dry cleaning processes. These usually employ a grit which is
accelerated to high speed to blast
off dirt or other soils attached to workpieces. Glass beads, metal or
plastic shot--even peanut shells--are versions of this process.
It's into this category of parts cleaning that SofStrip™ falls.
They have successfully used this baking soda blast
on applications in aerospace, paint removal for rebuilding and
remanufacturing operations and in plant maintenance departments.
as a grit
blast medium offers several advantages over other solid
mediums, according to the company. As each crystal of
sodium-bicarbonate strikes the surface of a workpiece it crushes
against the surface. When the crystal strikes a workpiece surface, the
crystal is destroyed but in the process takes a bit of the soil with
Crystals can be sized to provide the necessary cleaning
aggressiveness for an application. In part, because the baking
crystal collapses on contact, removal problems involving getting the
media from internal passages or small bores is eliminated. In
water soluble therefore getting the media out of highly intricate
parts is also simplified. They can be rinsed free out of the workpiece
As a medium, baking
relatively soft. This makes it an effective
medium for delicate substrates such as aluminum and thin wall sections
like cylinder fins or aerospace structures. There is little or no
peening action with baking
is inert making its use and disposal less problematic than some other
Soda-Blast.Com offers a full line of
application equipment to accompany their baking
media. For job shops with a variety of applications, there is a
blast cabinet available with interior dimensions up to height
by width by length of 60 by 24 by 42 inches. There are systems
available for higher volume/lower mix applications as well.
Cleaning workpieces and equipment is a necessity for many shops.
Unfortunately there is no universal method effective for all cases.
offers several advantages over other methods, particularly with regard
to environmental and disposal considerations. That may make checking
into a system for your application a good idea.—