Armex Soda Blasting Abrasive Supplier

Armex BiCarb SodaBlast Media

Armex is the brand name for a baking soda based sandblasting media, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarb. Armex falls into the family of sandblasting media known as “soft” media. The use of the word “soft” is relative. This does not mean that it is ineffectual, rather that it is less harsh on the surface on being cleaned than other alternate sandblasting media.

The original application for Armex was the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. The conservation team working to restore the statue decided that abrasive blasting was an ideal method for cleaning the copper skin, but reckoned that using sand would be too aggressive. A large manufacturer of baking soda developed this product in response to this need. Other specialist grades are available to suit such uses as blasting printing rolls, composite materials, and turbine blades.

BlastOne stocks Armex in a range of different grades. The two most common grades are Flow XL and Maintenance XL. The letters XL in the product name show it is the largest sized grains (270 µm). Flow XL has an additive in it that assists the flow of the dry media prior to mixing with water. This is a help when the ambient conditions are high in humidity or the compressor is generating a lot of moisture. Maintenance is the name for the general purpose grade. SupraKleen is an additive to help the media rinse off the surface.

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    • Armex Blasting Media is a premium baking soda/Sodium Bicarbonate
    • Originally designed in 1984 to restore the Statute of Liberty
    • Manufactured by Church and Dwight
    • Predominately used to remove stuff off delicate substrates
    • Sold by the pallet (pallet minimum)
    • Abrasive cannot be ordered online at this time

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Amex does not flow as well as more commonly used sandblasting media. This is because of its low weight. Low weight media require a higher angled slope to cause them to fall by gravity compared to heavy media such as sandblasting sand. Armex sandblasting media grains also tend to “pack in” and cling to each other, which also hinders free-flow of the material. To overcome this, a modified blast pot helps improve flow. Modifications to a standard blast pot that helps Armex flow are…

  • A vibrator, pneumatically driven, usually attached to a leg of the blast pot, to shake the media into movement.
  • A steeper cone in the base. This increases the angle of the slope of the media.
  • Differential pressure controls. These allow the pressure in the blast pot to be higher than the pressure in the metering valve. This forces the abrasive through into the air stream to help overcome flow issues. Normally, differential pressure is avoided in a blast pot. This is because with heavier abrasives, such as sandblasting sand, it causes wear in the valve and blast pot. As Armex is softer, metering valve and blast pot wear are minimized with differential pressure.