MicroBlasting is sandblasting on a micro-precision scale. 

It is specifically designed to benefit small, intricate, and high-value parts. Unlike traditional sandblasting, MicroBlasting uses very fine abrasive media and a miniature nozzle to produce a controllable abrasive jet that can target and remove microns of material. The result is a reliable and repeatable method for deburring, texturing, cleaning, stripping, etching or milling part surfaces. MicroBlasting has applications across industries on a wide variety of part compositions. Comco systems, in particular, are used to process medical implants, aerospace components, semi-conductor devices, machine parts, electronics, dental implants, and more. This versatile technology is in use everywhere, from multi-national manufacturers to individual job shops. There is much more to this technology. Scroll down and see.

Precise

Ideal for parts as small as a grain of rice to as large as a basketball.

Controllable

Select the blast pressure, nozzle, and abrasive.

Versatile

Texture, deburr, clean, strip, etch or mill with MicroBlasting.
MicroBlasting nozzle (L) vs. Grit Blasting Nozzle (R)

MicroBlasting Nozzle (L) vs. Grit Blasting Nozzle (R)

Is it bead or grit blasting?

No.

MicroBlasting is frequently confused with bead blasting, grit blasting, or venturi-type blasting; however, it delivers 10x more precision through the use of smaller, more focused nozzles and very fine abrasive media. Bead, grit, and venturi-type blasting require large amounts of air and abrasive to produce a shotgun-like effect; whereas, MicroBlasting uses less of each to produce a machine-gun effect. The key difference is focus. MicroBlasting lines up abrasive particles one behind the other to form a tightly-focused stream.

How consistent is the abrasive feed?

Very.

The key to a Comco micro-precision sandblaster is the modulated abrasive feed. Think of a salt shaker: the technology of other micro-precision sandblasters rely on a series of components similar to a salt shaker. They shake abrasive out into the air stream, and that means an unreliable amount of abrasive exits the nozzle. Comco systems feature a modulator that pulses consistently, pulling the same amount of abrasive particles into the abrasive stream with every pulse.

This is a Precision Tool

Unlike traditional sandblasting, MicroBlasting uses:

✓ very fine abrasive (17.5 – 350 µ)

✓ small nozzles (0.018″ – 0.125″)

✓ angled, extended, and custom-designed nozzles

✓ adjustable blast pressure (10-190 psi)

For Precision Jobs

✓ Get a consistent surface finish to a specific Ra (5-150 µ).

✓ Texture to a sharp delineation (0.007″).

✓ Deburr micro-parts with intricate designs.

✓ Etch uniform channels to a specified depth.

✓ Strip thin coatings from sensitive surfaces.

With a Few Limitations

While MicroBlasting is a versatile technology, it is not designed for the following:

✓ coverage over large areas

✓ use with very coarse abrasives

✓ large burr removal

✓ achieving a highly-polished surface

What can MicroBlasting do?

MicroBlasting is driven by four main variables: abrasive size, abrasive type, abrasive quantity, and velocity. Adjust one or two of these variables and your system can shift from deburring to texturing. It’s that simple and that versatile. Click the links below to learn more about how MicroBlasting performs each process.

Texture surfaces with MicroBlasting

Texture

Enhance the adhesion characteristics of a surface for bonding or modify the surface for cosmetic reasons. Continue reading →
Deburr precisely with MicroBlasting

Deburr

Remove fine burrs on a wide range of materials from exotic metal alloys to soft polymers. Continue reading →
Clean and strip precisely with MicroBlasting

Clean and Strip

Remove undesirable substances, thin films or residues from small and delicate surfaces. Continue reading →
Etch and cut surface features with MicroBlasting

Etch and Cut

Erode the surface a few microns at a time to mill a channel or pocket. Continue reading →

1. Very Fine Abrasive Media

MicroBlasting is more sophisticated than just spraying dirt at a target. That’s why abrasive media is the single most important variable in the process. Abrasives must be free of impurities and inconsistencies to produce predictable and repeatable results. Comco maintains strict quality control during every phase of powder processing, ensuring each lot of precision abrasive meets our high expectations. Three factors drive abrasive selection:

Size of Particle

The width, height, radius, and depth of the particle. MicroBlasting is optimized for very fine particle media, 10-50µ (0.0004-.0020″), and effective with media up to 300 microns (0.012″).

Type of Particle

The composition and shape of the particle. Micro-abrasives run the gamut in hardness—from soft compounds like sodium bicarbonate to hard ceramics like silicon carbide. Abrasive particles range from spherical to blocky or pointy. Some are water-soluble, some organic.

Quantity

The number of particles striking the target. Both blast duration and abrasive stream density control quantity.

Learn more about abrasive media.

Abrasives

Learn how to select the right abrasive for your application and what sets Comco media apart. Continue reading →

2. Small, Focused Nozzles

The second most important factor in the MicroBlasting process is nozzle selection. The nozzle gives focus and velocity to the micro-abrasive stream. When the mixture of air and abrasive pass through the nozzle, it picks up speed or energy. This kinetic energy is released when the particles strike the surface of the target and remove surface material.

MicroBlasting systems accommodate a wide variety of nozzle shapes and sizes—from round to rectangular to angled and extended lengths. The right size and shape nozzle removes precise amounts of material without affecting the surrounding surface.

Learn more about MicroBlasting nozzles.

Nozzles

Learn more about nozzle selection, nozzle fixturing and what sets Hi/Performance nozzles apart. Continue reading →

3. A MicroBlasting System

A micro-abrasive blasting system consists of 4 primary components: a micro-precision sandblaster, a workstation, a dust collector and an air dryer. No component operates safely or efficiently without the others. For instance, a micro-precision sandblaster will clog without a consistent supply of dry air. A workstation cannot provide a clean working environment without dust collection; and so on. At Comco, we manufacture both turnkey solutions and separate components for automated and manual MicroBlasting.

Learn more about Comco's Automated MicroBlasting systems.

Automated Systems

Comco has been working with the abrasive environment for over 50 years. Our parts-handling designs have evolved out of that experience. Each Comco Automated MicroBlasting System is built from common components and customized to meet your specific application requirements. Continue reading →
Learn more about Comco's Manual System

The Manual System

The AccuFlo® is the latest edition in our MicroBlaster line, and it is most precise, powerful, and efficient. The ProCenter Plus™ is a single freestanding workstation with an integrated dust collection system. Together, they form a turnkey solution that is ideal for most manual MicroBlasting applications. Continue reading →

About the Heart of Your MicroBlasting System

A micro-precision sandblaster is also referred to as a “micro-abrasive blaster”, a “pencil blaster”, a “MicroBlaster” or just a “blaster”. Regardless of its title, this machine is the heart of any MicroBlasting system. This is where the compressed dry air and abrasive mix together. The more consistent the mixing technology; the more consistent your results.

The AccuFlo® is the latest edition in our MicroBlaster line, and it is our most powerful and precise blaster to date. It features an improved modulator that produces a consistent mixture of air and abrasive. The AccuFlo is especially effective when a high degree of control is needed over the abrasive stream. It uses nozzles ranging from 0.015″ to 0.060″, holds between 1-2 liters of abrasive, and comes in both Standard and Tall Tank options.

Other blaster options are available, but the AccuFlo is designed for the widest range of manual and automated applications.

Learn more about the AccuFlo

The AccuFlo

Learn more about our most precise and powerful MicroBlaster to date. Continue reading →

Industry Use and Case Studies

MicroBlasting is used across industries to clean turbine blades, divest dental ceramics, prepare cutting tools, etch channels into bearings, deburr stents… the list goes on. Read case studies and see how a few specific industries use Comco technology.

Learn more about Medical Manufacturing

Medical Manufacturing

  • Clean stents
  • Deburr needles
  • Texture implants
  • Remove graphite core on mechanical heart valves
Medical manufacturers prefer the precision and controllability of MicroBlasting. Continue reading →
Learn more about MicroBlasting in Aerospace Manufacturing

Aerospace Manufacturing

  • Clean turbine blades
  • Texture mold cavities
  • Deburr fuel splines
  • Etch channels into ring bearings
  • Rework circuit boards

Aerospace manufacturers rely on MicroBlasting to get precise and repeatable surface finishes. Continue reading →

Electronic Components

  • Remove oxidation, discoloration, residues, and defects
  • Texture to improve bond adhesion
  • Rework circuit boards
  • Cut holes into fragile substrates

MicroBlasting is a go-to process for cleaning and texturing sensitive electronic components. (ESD Control systems available.) Continue reading →

Comco's blog : Micro-Lessons in MicroBlasting

See More Case Studies on our Blog

Our blog, ‘Micro-Lessons in MicroBlasting’, features more case studies as well as maintenance tips, equipment profiles and process fundamentals. Learn more about:

  • etching PZT
  • stripping coating from wires and tubes
  • texturing to improve bond adhesion
  • deburring metal and PEEK components
  • removing excess brazing material from cutting tools

Check it out! Continue to page →

Schedule a Sample Part Test

Many factors contribute to blasting success: type and size of abrasive, size and shape of the nozzle, air pressure, blast time and part position. Our Applications Engineers have the tools on-hand to test different variables and the experience to know where to begin. All test procedures and results are documented in a full lab report returned to you alongside the tested sample parts for evaluation.

Review our blog post, “We Take Samples Seriously”, to familiarize yourself with the testing process and contact a Comco Sales Team Member today to schedule a sample test in our Applications Lab.

Schedule a sample test in our Applications Lab.

Comco: Dedicated to MicroBlasting Technology for Over 50 Years

Since the first award-winning Comco MicroBlaster© hit the market in 1968, we have continued to design, innovate and refine each and every component of our MicroBlasting systems. From your idea to your production floor, we are dedicated to bringing you a system that meets your specific challenges. Every unit is built in our Burbank, California facility with our customers’ success in mind and an uncompromising dedication to quality.

Comco in 1968
Comco today

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