Nov 172011

Soda Blasting Carbon Steel

How many people have one of these sitting around the yard collecting rust and dirt?  Somebody did.  This is a heat exchanger.  It is a carbon steel tube bundle that was left outside a little too long and required maintenance before it could be used again.

Who Are You Going to Call?

We were contacted by D&W Welding in York PA.  D&W handles some serious welding and fabrication work.  They originally built this unit for Stahl, Inc and were called upon to perform the maintenance.

What's First?

The first step was to clean the tube bundle.  Sand blasting, they found, tore-up the tubes so a less abrasive solution was to try soda blasting to remove the loose rust. 

Carbon Steel ~ Mild Steel

Carbon steel is much harder and rusts slower, pitting less, than mild steel.  Soda blasting will not clean mild steel as well as an abrasive media would because of this deep pitting.  Since this bundle was made of carbon steel, we were able to clean this down to a suitable surface for re-coating.  Soda blasting will also clean galvanized steel without damaging the zinc coating.

What's The Alternative?

Imagine wire brushing this by hand!