Can Media Blasting Damage A Vintage Car?

When you invest in a project like restoring a classic car, you no doubt want to avoid costly mistakes that make the job more difficult or time-consuming. But in many cases, bringing an old vehicle back to its original glory requires extensive work. Media blasting is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to strip away old paint and rust and expose the clean metal below. You may ask, however, is there any chance of it damaging a vintage car? By following these precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of media blasting while minimizing the risk to your vehicle.

Assessing the State of the Vehicle

Before starting any restoration project, you should explore every nook and cranny of the car to find what's held up over the years and what needs replacing. This same process applies to media blasting. You may, for example, discover panels that have been gradually worn thin by rust or regular use. Parts with very thin metal may need extra care while blasting to avoid holes or warping. An experienced automotive media-blasting technician should examine your car beforehand to discover potential problem areas.

Choosing the Right Media

Although sandblasting used to be the most popular form, media blasting has expanded to use many different materials ranging from plastic pellets to walnut shells to tiny garnets. Sand, for example, may be too harsh to use on a vintage car. Choose softer, less abrasive materials to get the job done with less risk of damaging metal in the process.

Setting the Correct Pressure

On a similar note, scouring a car body at the right pressure can help protect fragile parts and panels. The downside to using a lower pressure is the added time needed to remove all paint and rust. In exchange, however, technicians have more opportunities to assess the surface between passes and move on at exactly the right moment. When working with a classic car, it's better to be slow and thorough than to rush it.

Monitoring Heat Levels

Perhaps the greatest risk when media blasting a vehicle is overheating. Thin metal panels begin to warp and buckle while overheating. In serious cases, this can cause structural issues throughout the car body and require further repairs. But a skilled automotive blasting technician will know to monitor heat levels throughout the blasting process and ease off before reaching dangerous temperatures. By working with seasoned experts and the right materials, you can rest assured your car will emerge from its media blasting ready to look like new.

For more information, contact a company such as Industrial Coating Solutions.