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Will sandblasting affect the physical properties of T6 aluminum ?



(-----) 2007

As an engineer in a scaffolding company, I must certify that our aluminum suspended platforms (swing stage) meet the Code requirements, specifically as far as strength is concerned.
After we rented out a platform for a sandblast/paint job, it was returned to us heavily sandblasted. The platform is made of 6061-T6 aluminum tubing 1.5'' x 1.5'' x 0.125 '' assembled to form a truss. The sandblasting has removed up to .010'' off the tubes' thickness.
I am concerned that sandblasting has removed the strongest part of the ''tempered''alloy and that the yield strength will be affected. Window washers and other workers will be suspended on our platforms.

John Savard
User of aluminum alloys, engineer - Quebec City, Qc, Canada
^


January 2, 2008

SANDBLASTING is a process that removes materials due to an attack of particles spreaded a high pressure. In alloys we control the time and pressure (and blaster nature) of this procees. So, ALUMINUM is a soft material that can be easily remmoved by sandblasting. Consequently, material properties correlated with the platform dimensions are directly affected. You can conduct STRUCTURAL CALCULS in order to know how much your platform can support.

Jose Castellanos
- Minneapolis, MN, USA
^

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