An effective method for stripping all metal types, plastic media blasting removes all or a portion of a cured powder coating from the surface of a part without causing damage. The advent of powder coatings has been both a blessing and a curse to the manufacturers of many commercial and industrial components. Many substrates currently coated with powder can’t survive the coating removal process, or if they do, their structural properties are significantly diminished because of the extreme heat used to remove the coating.
PMB technology has been in use since the 1980’s, principally for stripping aircraft and aerospace components. The US EPA’s final rule prohibiting the disposal of certain chemical solvents in landfills throughout the country, including the most effective chemical strippers containing methylene chloride and phenols, stimulated the use of PMB. Because the plastic particles used in PMB are harder than the coatings but softer than the substrates underneath, they can quickly remove primers and topcoats without harming the substrate, especially substrates sensitive to deformation, such as aluminum alloy.
For example, since 1989, PMB has been used to strip a particularly tough epoxy coating from aluminum alloy bobbins that hold missile guidance wires (see photo above).
The aluminum missile airframe shown above is another example of a part that is suitable for plastic media blasting.
Another example of the effectiveness of plastic media blasting involves a sophisticated naval torpedo casing shown here.
With more environmental awareness and stricter environmental regulations in the coatings industry, PMB has matured into a technology suitable for a broad range of applications, including aluminum alloy wheels seen here. Pot metal castings and the intricate cast-in artwork on them also are completely cleaned, which leaves contamination-free surfaces for re-coating. The plastic media are pneumatically applied in a range between 200 and 400 pounds (depending on nozzle size) per hour at pressures of 20 to 40 pounds per square inch.
Sandblasting removes most coatings and a portion of the substrate to produce an anchor pattern or white metal finish before priming or powder coating. When using plastic media blasting, certain variables for the application will be considered, including: blasting pressure, blast nozzle angle to substrate, media flow rates, media dwell time, nozzle size, nozzle-to-part distance, coating type, substrate type and thickness, blast-media type and size, media contamination control including part pre-cleaning, consistent grit size distribution (media replenishment), masking requirements, and blasting equipment.
The technical expertise necessary to make decisions about the variables involved in plastic media blasting comes from experience and hours of testing.
For example, electric remote controls at the blast nozzle adjust blasting air pressure and media flow to accommodate the rapid transition from one substrate to another.
The original PMB systems were little more than sandblast pressure vessels, modified with 60-degree cone bottoms to accommodate the flow characteristics of the plastic blast edia. Large-are magnetic separators for teh removal of ferrite particle contamination are also available now. Advanced plastic media blasting cabinets (glove boxes) are available with operator controls to rapidly adjust blast air pressure and media flow to accommodate senstive substrates. Low-cost plastic media blast rooms are now made of 18-gauge sheet metal, rather than the 10- to 12- gauge steel plate typical of sandblasting booths.
Advanced and highly efficient dust collectors that provide ventilation for blast rooms are also available now. Some compact, energy-efficient, modular systems provide automatic reverse pulse-jet cleaning on demand, with each module having a capacity of 6,000 to 16,000 cubic feet per minute. Because one media type won’t work for all coating and substrate combinations, selecting the right plastic media for your application is critical to successful PMB. Plastic Media Blasting 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SLUsing custom-engineered PLASTI-GRIT®, the following video shows blasting with Plastic Media for quick & efficient removal of paint and bondo from a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL.
In recent years,glass headlights have been replaced by new style polycarbonate lenses that are impact resistant and can be styled as needed. Keep in mind – few things can make a great looking car look shabby more than foggy headlights. When driving at night, foggy headlights combine with little or no natural light to diminish visibility and pose a significant safety threat to drivers, their passengers and other motorists.
If the aesthetics of your vehicle and safety are important to you, a headlight restoration of foggy headlights is a great maintenance option. For more detailed information about a friendly, fast and affordable headlight restoration, call or email AutoColor in Middleton – Madison WI at 608-831-9554. Here are three alternative materials that you can get embossed business cards made with: metal, linen, and plastic. An alternative to using expensive metal to make business cards is to instead go for foil printing using metal foils such as gold or silver – like the two examples below.
If you are looking for a high quality printer who can produce amazing looking business cards, then check out our Directory page for a list of printers and examples of their work. This entry was posted in Business Cards and tagged business cards, linen, metal, plastic, printing. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website.
Mechanical binding is the method of book binding that uses a metal or plastic filament to bind the pages of a book together, allowing the book to lay flat. After leaves are collated into a book block, the pages are punched or coiled in line on our state of the art Bielomatic Wire-O binder or Gateway Plasticoil binder. Advantage Book Binding does multiple styles of mechanical binding, including Wire-O binding, plastic, coil spiral binding, fully concealed wire-bound hardback books and plastic comb binding.
Wire-O binding: Wire-O binding uses a double wire to spiral bind a book, forming a continuous hinge of double loops of wire to hold the book covers and leaves together.

Plastic coil spiral binding: Plastic coil spiral binding is run through a series of closely spaced holes near the gutter margin of loose pre-collated sheets. Fully concealed wire-bound hardback books: In making a wire-bound book, with the wire-o fully concealed in the hard case binding, a much more durable book is created than a standard exposed Wire-O. Plastic comb binding: Plastic comb binding is a plastic binding filament with regularly spaced teeth that open so they can be inserted into the punched holes and closed to secure the binding.
This article defines plastic media blasting and compares it to several other stripping methods used in powder coating.
Although powder coatings have solved many coating problems and produced incredibly durable finishes, they can be difficult and costly to remove when a part needs re-coating.
This method works essentially like the molten-salt method, except the part is put into an oven instead of a pot.
This method involves the use of small glass beads in an abrasive blast process to remove a powder coating or to impart a non-directional finish, or texture.
The technology was fostered by the US Department of Defense to replace the toxic chemical strippers previously used on strategic military aircraft and aerospace parts.
The soft plastic media don’t affect the aluminum alloy or the very fine wires that cna be rejected for even microscopic surface irregularities. The casing requires a stripping method that removes the powder coating and leaves the aluminum conversion coating intact. Consequently, much of the initial success or failure in this technology is determined by how much support you receive from equipment and media suppliers. In actual practice, the preceding variables aren’t constantly and separately considered during the stripping process.
This feature is invaluable for stripping expensive, complex parts and allows the operator to go from steel to aluminum to fiberglass (on automobiles) or from magnesium to titanium to clad or anodized aluminum to advanced composites (on aircraft airframes). The relcaim systems for the media were typically the same type used for steel-shot reclaiming. Media reclaim systems on some machines now use true cyclone separators with low-horsepower fans and motors. Moreover, several plastic blast media systems now offer dust collectors with reverse pulse-jet cleaning systems for the removal of even submicron particles from the dust collector exhaust air. Conversion kits are available to retrofit existing open-blasting PMB systems and PMB blast cabinets with operator remote controls for adjusting blast air pressure and media flow. Because PMB doesn’t remove metal, these economical rooms are satisfactory for a variety of applications. High-density particle separation (HDPS) systems are available to remove heavy particles, such as silica sand, from otehrwise recylcable plastic media. Polyester is the softest plastic media type and is used only of the most delicate substrates.
Poly allyl diglyocol carbonate is significantly more aggressive on coatings than Type I, but is very safe on most substrates. Urea formaldehyde is the most heavily used plastic media, accounting for more than 50 percent of today’s media use. With an increas in grit size , the action on the coating and substrate is more aggressive (see above chart). The costs of plastic media blasting per blast hour can fluctuate, depending on a variety of factors, including labor costs, media costs, energy use, overhead, waste disposal, removal rate, media reclamation efficiency.
However, like most plastics, it can be scratched and the surface deteriorates when exposed to ultraviolet light (the sun). Drivers cannot increase the amount of natural light at night, but there are steps they can take to improve their nighttime visibility with headlight restoration. For more ideas and designs when it comes to foil and emboss printing have a look at our gallery here: foil embossed business cards. However, with 3D printing becoming mainstream who knows what sort of business cards will be created in the future.
This method delivers accurate crossovers, is economical for short runs, and offers plastic variants available in many colors.
The binding holes are typically square or rectangular holes for Wire-O and oval holes for plastic coil.
This is a versatile solution for many book binding needs as it is durable, lays flat, very cost-effective, can be opened past the lay flat limit and fold over onto itself, and gives a more finished look because the connectors and hinges’ ends are hidden on the inside back cover. There are multiple color, size and pitch options for plastic coil and the resulting book product is crushproof, durable, has a clean modern look, and is very economical. It will maintain the lay-flat ability that is so appealing in the Wire-O books while sporting a sturdy hard cover case. It is economical for short runs, can have an imprinting on the spine, comes in multiple colors, facing pages align, and can be opened to have additional pages added. Many anti-slip aggregates can be mixed-in with paints, producing a more consistent & higher quality surface than broadcasting media after painting.
The article also discusses the environmental advantages of plastic media blasting, the types of plastic media and blasting equipment available, and the cost of operating a plastic media blasting system.
The salt is kept in a liquid, or molten, state at temperatures that turn the powder coating to ash and vapor. The oven is kept at a temperature that turns the coating to ash (usually between 600 F and 900 F).

When used to remove powder coatings from relatively soft substrates, such as aluminum, this method can produce unsatisfactory part appearance or performance from the surface stress and texture left by the impacting beads. Using recyclable plastic media, PMB removes powder coatings while generating only a small amount of dry residue. Although hand sanding is possible, it removes the chemical conversion coating, which can’t be replaced economically to the assembled airframe. The original coating is resistant to chemical stripper, and the hours of hand cleaning required would be expensive. Although it resembles sandblasting, plastic media blasting doesn’t use hard abrasives, such as silica sand. In contrast, the media used in sandblasting are conveyed at volumes of 1,000 pounds per hour and pressures normally at 100 pounds per square inch or more. On the other hand, plastic media blasting can be used to remove coatings without damaging substrates. Normally, the PMB operator, who ahs had proper training and experience, has predetermined the parameters for a given substrate. Although they had tremendous recovery capability, thty lacked the capability to properly clean the low density plastic media. As a result, they efficiently remove all coating residue and plastic fines from the plastic media. Some PMB systems now provide nozzle-mounted, quartz halogen blast lamps to increase lighting of the part, which is crucial when working on sensitive substrates. Although this isn’t a major concern for many stripping applications, military and aerospace manufacturers are very conscious of the damage that can occur by this type of contamination. Operating costs are typically in the range of $45-$65 per blast hour, or from 20 cents to $2.15 per square foot. Depending on the make and model of car, replacing one, or especially two, headlights can be an expensive proposition. Nighttime can compromise a driver’s vision and when combined with Madison WI weather such as snow, sleet and rain, having as much light as possible is a necessity, not optional.
A better use of money would be to hire a first class graphic designer to create your business cards for you – have a look at our Premium Embossed Business Card Gallery for some examples.
For manuals, school agendas, cookbooks, calendars and notebooks, mechanical binding is a time-tested binding style. The plastic media remove the powder coating from the cracks, crevices, and rivet heads without damaging the substrate or removing the conversion coating. They also don’t lend themselves to the semi-assembled configuration of the casing, which includes various fasteners and inserts that can be damaged by the chemicals. Hard-abrasive blasting would excessively profile the surface, requiring the use of a sanding primer. Instead, it uses recyclable plastic particles that range in hardness from 3 (calcite) to 4 (fluorite) on the Mohs scale.
This permits the recovery and reuse of the media, often for up to to 30 cycles or more, which results in media use rates as low as 9 pounds per blast hour. In the past, a composite part with an unacceptable coating wasa scrapped because there wasn’t a safe way to remove the coating.
Although it won’t remove many primers, it is very long-lasting and can be a good choice if you only want to remove the topcoat. The reality is glass breaks easily and cannot be formed into the various forms demanded by car stylists. This coating lasts for a number of years, but dirt and grit from the road, frequent washing and UV light gradually wears the coating down. With AutoColor, the charge for headlight restoration starts at $65 and includes a lifetime warranty against future foggy headlights.
The fact is reduced vision is a key factor in traffic fatalities, nearly half of which occur at night. With multiple high speed Wire-O and plastic coil binders, Advantage has the ability to handle runs of any size. Airframe manufacturers require that the plastic media be free of contaminants to within 0.03 percent.
In March 199, the Navy drafted a new specification, adding a sixth media type per MIL-P-85891-0386DD: Type VI, poly allyl diglycol carbonate, a thermoset. When the coating is worn away, the polycarbonate is exposed to the elements and eventually you will have foggy headlights and will require a headlight restore.
As a result, the casing is sent on an aircraft to a company that does plastic media blasting and sent back the same day.
With PMB, the old coating is quickly removed and the casting detail is effectively cleaned without leaving a surface profile. The low-profile HDPS equipment available today as on- or off-line systems exceed the requirements of the US military and airframe manufacturers. Removal rates of more that 1 square foot per minute aren’t unusual, especially with coatings that are less than 5 mils thick.

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