Q. I work at a company that is currently exploring ways to remove cured powder coat from steel. We generally use anything from 22-gage to 11-gage cold-rolled and stainless steel. We are looking at blast cabinets but want to be sure that we use an abrasive that won’t harm the surface of the steel. We need the steel to remain smooth after removing the powder so we can rework the part. Most of them will have silk screening applied after coating.
Can you recommend a blast cabinet and the best abrasive to use? D.S.
A. I am not sure of the size of your parts and am not familiar enough with blast cabinet suppliers to provide a recommendation. However, there are some media suggestions I can offer. In my experience, glass bead blasting can provide a dimensionally stable, effective method to remove paint and organic coatings.
Additionally, the surface of the part will be (or remain) satin and smooth following blasting with the glass bead media. Although I only have experience with them in vibratory applications, natural media such as corn cob and walnut shells offer effective deburring while maintaining a smooth finish. They are advertised to remove paint as well.
I would also suggest searching the PRODUCT FINISHING Web site for further information. There you can search under Suppliers and narrow the search to Mechanical Finishing.