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Old 08-02-2009, 05:21 PM
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Once and for all: wiki on Soda blasting

Just started a wiki article on soda blasting: Soda blasting. It seems like our pros were getting blue in the face warning people not to use it, so the most efficient thing to do seems to be to thoroughly document the various positions on it in one place.

Either that, or have a weekly pissing contest .

Anyone can edit the wiki article, so please go for it. Yes, I know that sounds absurd. Over time, the various edits are reviewed and refined, and the end result is a solid article, which can even be locked against future editing. Every wiki edit is permanently logged, and is accessible via the "history" tab at the top of any wiki page. This is a little different from how forums work (your exact text follows your username), but the end result in regard to proper username attribution is the same.

I'm open to conflicting opinions (and I would hope that we can get them documented, in the interest of fairness), but it appears that the weight of opinion is tipping strongly in favor of the anti-sodablasting crowd. I know that SPI specifically cautions against the procedure, but it looks like FoMoCo also recommends against using it too.

Also, these related wiki articles are going strong, but could always use more info:

--Rust
--Pitted rust
--Media blasting

Thanks.

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:33 PM
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Just clarifying the reference I found on FoMoCo's position on soda blasting.

It's from a John Hughes, who I found to be variously referred to as a "refinish paint specialist" in Ford's "Customer Service Division", or a "Refinish Technical Expert for the Ford Motor Company", and someone who works out of Ford's "Paint and Body Technology Center". The exact quote is:

Quote:
We don't recommend sodium bicarbonate, because you canít clean it out of the pores of the metal well enough.
This is nothing new, and we have heard the same thing repeated ad nauseum on this forum. However, the official quote from Ford does serve to strengthen the position even more.

If anyone here can expand upon Ford's general position of "you can't clean it out of the pores of the metal well enough" with a more detailed scientific explanation, that would be an excellent next step for the Soda blasting wiki article.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:44 PM
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Don't knock what you don't know about

Soda blasting metal has only one draw back, and that is the residue left behind. This residue can be removed with soap and water. The problem is then flash rusting. Soda blasting residue acts as a rust inhibitor, actually keeping the flash rusting from starting for 5- 6 weeks. There is a product called holdtight 102. This product cleans all salt, and residue from the metal giving up to 70 % better adhesion than without using it. That doesn't just go for soda blasted metal. Washing the soda blasted metal with holdtight 102 will give you about a five day window to get your vehicle to the body shop, before flash rusting will start. A good paint job takes good prep. In my experience with soda blasting, there have been absolutely no problems with the primer or paint sticking. The key is removal of the residue. My body and paint guy completes all his usual prep before painting, and my cars have turned out fantastic. People are afraid of anything new, especially if they are in a business that involves some sort of competition with that new process(ie. sandblasters vs soda and media blasters) Soda blasting is used by almost every top hot rod,and muscle car builder in southern california where I am from. I think the people at So Cal Speed shop, Barry's speed shop, and hundreds of others southern cal speed shops know what they are talking about. Don't let ignorance keep you from getting the best results on your project. Soda blasting is the way to go.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:14 PM
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Thanks push rod -- that's exactly the kind of opposing opinion that I'm looking for.

I've added info on Holdtight 102 to the wiki article. Just from Googling around, it looks like you're not the only one recommending that product.

Agreed on how competitive industries work. A sandblasting equipment company is not exactly economically incentivized to promote soda blasting procedures. Etc. Fortunately, as a hotrodding forum, our greatest incentive is in sussing out the truth from all of the claims, and presenting it to our users for their input.

I might want to contact the Holdtight 102 folks to see if they can comment on this issue.

I also know that BarryK, a HR member and owner of Southern Polyurethanes, is passionate about not using soda blasting, and, by my understanding, he isn't in a competing industry. SPI tech sheets specifically state: "NEVER use SPI Epoxy over a Soda Blasted vehicle, Acid Etch/Wash Primer, Rust Converter or other Metal Treatments. NEVER!" I'm wondering if he has any input on products that claim to completely remove the residue from soda blasting.

Regardless: residue removal seems to be the crux of this issue. Thanks again for your input, and I'm hoping that others can help us dig deeper, and further develop the wiki article.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:34 AM
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spi tech sheets

I have been told by industry professionals who do paint soda blasted vehicles, that those disclaimers are because of all the liability claims received because of faulty residue removal before painting. Spi does not want the liability related to soda blasting. They can't insure that all customers properly remove this residue before taking the vehicle to the paint shop. Regular paint prep will not remove all the residue. Resulting in poor adhesion, and paint failure. Spi is the first person the painter will call----right. I have 2 soda blasted vehicles that were painted by the same shop. Absolutely no problems. I washed the vehicles myself with hold tight 102 before painting. After 3 years the paint is still awesome.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:27 PM
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I worked with Barry at SPI and yes we were the first people painters would call if there was an issue. PERSONALLY I HAVE NO ISSUE WITH PROS IN A PROPERLY EQUIPPED SHOP. However what is ideal and what is done in real life is two different things so we reccomend procedures that are proven to be safe and effective from our experience. Soda and acid are only to be used in a properly equipped shop by the trained individual and yse sometimes even those guys have issues. For example an employee rushes the project and does not do a good job of neuatralizing the soda or acid and then the paint bubbles..What we tell you to do as jobbers or manufacturers is from hard won and expensive lessons from our experience in working in the field under what may not be the most ideal conditions.

Nuff Said
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:34 PM
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OK, thanks, that makes sense. I would imagine that paint manufacturers get plenty of calls along the lines of: "Your paint didn't adhere onto my soda-blasted substrate, therefore, your product is faulty."

OneMoreTime's point about the dichotomy of hobbyist/professional is extremely valid, and that might give us some headway as to articulating a more detailed analysis of when soda blasting can be acceptable, and when it should be avoided.

push rod -- To clarify, you wash panels with soap and water, and then immediately after, you use Holdtight 102? What kind of soap? Dishsoap? Also, are there any other commercial products that are similar to Holdtight 102? Are there any viable homemade recipes that can mimic the performance of Holdtight 102 or similar commercial products?

For more balance, I'd still like to hear a well-articulated position that opposes the use of Holdtight 102 or similar products after soda blasting.

And, I'd also like to hear from people who have 10+ year paint jobs that have still held up over soda blasted panels.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:51 PM
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so after you soda blast how do you get an anchor pattern ?
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:49 PM
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Soda and sandblasting is done at the restoration shop I used to work at. We've blasted everything from fiberglass bodies, aluminum bodies/panels, to steel bodies with soda and have NEVER had a single adhesion problem in over 6 years. Not only did we blast cars that would be painted in our shop, we did 90% of the blasting to all of the builders and paint shops in our surrounding area. Its all in the prep, as with ANYTHING paint and body related. Everything that we blast gets prepped and epoxied before it is delivered to the customer, unless the customer says otherwise (they might wish to do it themselves or whatever the case may be). Wash with warm soapy water (we use simple green) thoroughly, blow dry, sand with no finer than 180 grit sandpaper, degrease and epoxy. Never any problems with adhesion. Never have we used any sort of metal prep or anything of the nature over the bare metal, strictly epoxy.

Now I will say the ONLY problem that we have had with soda blasting is doing door jambs, engine bays, trunks, etc. The soda really embeds in all the cracks and crevices and even after washing, washing and washing you still have residue coming out of these areas. To end this problem we began to strictly stick to sandblasting these areas ONLY. Before you do ANY sandblasting after you have soda blasted you need to go through the cleaning procedures described above to neutralize the soda. Then you can move on the sandblasting, prep and epoxy.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:17 PM
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so after you soda blast it you have to neutralize it, then dry it, then sand blast the other stuff, then clean it , then you have to sand it all , then clean it and your ready for epoxy.

i blast it, wash it , epoxy it. where is the savings on soda blasting ?
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:04 PM
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That is the real question. It really depends on what you are blasting. Fiberglass bodies? Soda all the way. While removing all the paint and filler it leaves to glass perfectly smooth.. Rubber trim and bumpers? Soda. Cleaning Suspension and engine blocks and other engine parts? Soda. Blasting aluminum panels? Soda. Soda is really just and added plus to sandblasting. It would be a hard sell to JUST offer Sodablasting in the car restoration world and be successful IMO.

Remember soda's biggest selling point is that it is economically safe. I know there are other medias out that are safe also, but we have found that we can't get the resluts that we have recieved with soda.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:28 PM
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Thanks shine and jeremyb; just updated the wiki article with shine's points on the prep necessary after soda blasting, and jeremyb's recommendations against using soda blasting on certain parts. Here it is again: Soda blasting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyb
Remember soda's biggest selling point is that it is economically safe.
Economically safe because it is non-destructive and there's minimal risk of costly substrate damage, and because it's inexpensive? Or do you mean environmentally safe?
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:44 PM
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Yes, I meant environmentally safe. But in terms of destructiveness, it is the least destructive of all the medias that I know of, but then again I don't know every media out there. As far as I know in terms of price per bag, I believe Soda is one of the highest priced medias, but like I said I don't know the prices of all medias out there and their effectiveness of paint removal.

I can provide more pro's to soda but I need to talk to the blaster. I can really only comment truthfully on the "adhesion problem" part and the metal preparation steps after blasting.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:00 PM
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OK, thanks again. Feel free to update the wiki article directly. I doubt we'll ever be conflict-free on this issue, but, for the sake of efficiency, I'd like to get the situation documented from all angles, on one clean wiki page.

Considering the post-blasting prep necessary with soda, and the issues that arise with soda blasting parts with cracks/crevices, then, so far, it looks like environmental safety and non-destructiveness are the selling points for soda blasting.

What about corn cob blasting? Gimmicky?
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:02 PM
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i restore corvettes and would never touch a soda blasted car. nor will i do one that has been chemstripped. you will not get the acids out of the glass since it is porous . i use corn cob or acrylic on fiberglass. acrylic is just as safe as is corn cob. and neither contaminates the substrate . i just don't see an advantage here. it does not remove rust or filler . it does not leave an anchor pattern . it has the potential of causing a paint failure. and will void any warranty with many paint manufactures . it cost many more man hours .
the more solvents or acids you involve in a paint job the bigger your risk of failure. i believe the gentlemen who manufacture paint know what they are talking about and have good reason to warn against it.
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