The effects of sandblasting on windows are indisputably attractive. People all over the world value these glass designs because they can be used for decoration and for giving more privacy. But over the more than one hundred years that sandblasting has existed, sandblasting alternatives have been developed. So what exactly does this process entail and what are the pitfalls involved? And are there viable alternatives that might suit you? We take a look at the world of window design, could there be new light out of old windows?

The perils of sandblasting

Sandblasting is commonly used in many different industries including glass window designs. It involves a treatment of the surface where miniscule pieces of abrasive materials are blown through a nozzle using compressed air. Sandblasting can be a relatively fast and easy process for professionals, but their training and experience obviously does come into play. For average consumers, using sandblasting technology can be complicated and hazardous.

Health hazards

One of the hazards in the sandblasting process is the dangers of inhaling the small particles that are released. If a person doesn’t have the right kind of protection then they can inhale silica which is found in sand, which can lead to often fatal lung disease, silicosis and other similar and related illnesses.

Similarly, if sandblasting is done in a poorly ventilated space then there is a potential risk of choking. This might require a tented area to be constructed in order to protect lungs and nasal passages.

Another danger is damage to skin which can occur if the abrasive particles come into contact with the skin.

The process of projecting these small abrasive materials at high pressure generates a lot of heat, sparking, and static electricity, which requires extra precautions to be taken to safeguard against fire.

Sandblasting can be aggressive which is good in that it means thorough and quick removal of the targeted areas. But it also means that the practitioner has to be careful that too much isn’t accidentally removed which could not only affect the desired surface effect but even damage the structural stability.

Although it can be relatively easy to clean up after sandblasting, if a tarp is placed on the floor then the waste can simply be emptied into the rubbish, the particles are so small that they can also collect in crevices. Dust formed by some sandblasting mediums contain small levels of alkaline which can be detrimental for vegetation.

A great idea for a sandblasting alternative

If you are wondering about finding a sandblasting alternative, consider window film. Window decals made from vinyl stickers are placed on the window panes for a stunning frosted glass effect that doesn’t require sandblasting. What are the advantages?

They are easy to apply. The glass is simply cleaned and the vinyl stickers are applied on site. This method of glass decoration is not only much simpler; it is much safer too. There are no dangerous particles produced, no risk of injury through dangerous machinery, and no risk of fire through overheating. The vinyl stickers used in window decals also coat the glass as opposed to eroding it, making the structure stronger. Window film blocks harmful UV rays and glare while letting in natural light. It’s a more cost-effective sandblasting alternative and it’s more flexible too since the stickers can be removed and replaced if you want to update the design.

For more information about our vinyl frosting click here.