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Old 16-11-2007, 00:49   #1
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Soda blasting. Who has used it???

Ok it is time to scrape my hull back to bare. i want to repair a few blisters, maybe epoxy coat and new antifoul. Anyway i came across a few web sites for soda blasting the hull back to bare and was wondering if anyone has had it done or knows of anyone who has had it done.
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Old 16-11-2007, 05:34   #2
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Soda is out now. It requires a neutralizer and it's a PITA to cleanup the mess. They now use something else (I can't remember). It's like soda but you just rise off the boat and the mess is easy to clean up but the same concept. It's clearly the way to go if you want to get the barrier coat off and leave most all the gelcoat. I know a guy that would do a Newport 30 in about 6 hours. With traditional sand you'll lose a lot of gelcoat even when an expert does it.
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Old 16-11-2007, 05:48   #3
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Soda blasting uses sodium bicarbonate, similar to baking soda, but with a larger particle
Sodium bicarbonate has a pH of 8.4 and can be disposed of in most wastewater treatment systems. It can be neutralized by either a vinegar/water solution, or just water dilution (it dissolves completely and quickly in water).

There are a variety of alternative blasting medias : Crushed or Beaded Glass, Corn Cob, and Walnut Shell come to mind.
Others include:
Ice, Wheat Starch, Aluminum Oxide, Plastics (Urea, Acrylic, Polyester, and Melamine), Pumice, Silicon Carbide,

The only material that needs to be disposed of are the coatings removed, which can be separated by dissolving the blast media in water and the use of a filter or centrifuge to separate the coatings from the now dissolved soda.
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Old 16-11-2007, 06:16   #4
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I used to work for a guy who did soda blasting. Never did it myself, but I saw the results of a mast that was soda blasted. Took all the paint right off. (don't ask me why the mast was painted, I'm pretty sure it was aluminum) with not a scratch to the mast.
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Old 16-11-2007, 08:05   #5
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Very Ruff Surface after

My office is located above Shelter Island Boat Yard. I always pop in to check up on interesting projects. I saw the gel coat removal job that was done on a large motor yacht. The soda did blast of a vast majority of the gel coat but it was very ruff, looked like it would take allot of hand work to bring it up to a reasonably smooth surface. Jack
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Old 16-11-2007, 08:13   #6
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Quote:
The soda did blast of a vast majority of the gel coat but it was very ruff, looked like it would take allot of hand work to bring it up to a reasonably smooth surface.
Normally the purpose of soda blast is to take everything except the gelcoat. You could increase the pressure and remove the gelcoat too but it's not why it was started as an alternative to sand blasting. At a low pressure you can remove most of the gelcoat without making a hole in the boat with sand.

When you remove the gelcoat it is always a lot of work to add it back. Nothing comes out smooth when you remove the gel coat.
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Old 16-11-2007, 13:12   #7
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thanks guys, very interesting coments. I am going to get a hold of the guy here and try to see if i can see some of his work in action or at least talk to someone here that has had the job done by him. i guess if it is like sand blasting you get some people who do it right and some who can just stuff it up.
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Old 16-11-2007, 19:36   #8
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Normally the purpose of soda blast is to take everything except the gelcoat. You could increase the pressure and remove the gelcoat too but it's not why it was started as an alternative to sand blasting. At a low pressure you can remove most of the gelcoat without making a hole in the boat with sand.

When you remove the gelcoat it is always a lot of work to add it back. Nothing comes out smooth when you remove the gel coat. Today 07:05


I beg to differ.

I have removed my poly gel coat and replaced it with epoxy, it is as smooth as a baby behind now. I did remove it with a gel plane.

The boat yard intended to remove the gel coat because of bad blistering case, I was not impressed with the finished result. When I questioned the contractor doing the soda blasting the reason he gave me for using soda over sand was that the soda would not react to the frp under the gel coat being removed. One of the advantages with blasting over sanding is that it does not produce heat in the frp.

Jack
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