Shot blasting has been used in numerous circumstances when developing certain types of equipment, such as automobile and airplane engine parts. It is considered standard practice to shot blast other types of tools and equipment as well, including valve springs and leaf springs.
So why is shot blasting used in the heat treating environment, and what are its benefits? Let’s take a closer look about how shot blasting is used in metallurgy in Gastonia, NC.
About shot blasting
Shot blasting creates an increase in fatigue strength, which is why it’s so frequently used in these settings. This increased fatigue strength is believed to be due to the added compressive stress created in the outer layers of the material during the process.
There are two primary kinds of residual stresses: microscopic stress and macroscopic stress. Classification of stress type can be made based on whether the elements in which those stresses occur appear to be similar to the size of the crystal grains (making them microscopic) or to the size of the stressed body (making them macroscopic). At the moment, there is still little known about microscopic stresses other than that the process of stress relieving hardened and tempered steel creates a different type of tension result despite a lack of any structural changes occurring during the process.
The process of quenching and tempering features clear macroscopic stresses that are easily measurable.
The process of shot blasting involves the removal of certain impurities from different materials and surfaces using an abrasive material. It helps to create greater surface protection and preparation of those surfaces before they get further processed, and the residual stresses as described above are believed to add to the strength of those materials before they undergo that further processing. You’ll frequently find the process of shot blasting used in the automotive industry, the metal manufacturing industry, the aviation industry, shipbuilding, production of agricultural and industrial equipment and in foundry settings.
The primary difference between shot blasting and other types of abrasive media blasting like sandblasting is that it uses a throwing wheel, while other forms abrasive media blasting use compressed air. With shot blasting, the abrasive gets accelerated through the throwing wheel, which turns rapidly inside a steel housing and has one side oriented opening. With sandblasting, meanwhile, the abrasive gets put into the stream of compressed air and accelerated while being shot out of the blasting nozzle. This process is performed inside blast rooms and blast cabinets in most cases.
This is just a brief overview of what you should know about the process of shot blasting and its various benefits. To learn more about why shot blasting is used in the heat treating process and about the various benefits of using shot blasting for your upcoming metallurgy project in Gastonia, NC, we encourage you to reach out to the team at J. F. Heat Treating Inc. today. We’d be glad to answer any questions you have and provide you the information you need for a successful project.