Re: Air Erasers or Abrasion Guns

A&Y Dave in MD

I used the wrong term in biodegradable. Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate can be absorbed in the lung mucus and then excreted, whereas aluminum oxide would not and would create longer lasting and more deleterious effects in the lungs as the body tried to get rid of it. Size always matters and I typically wear a filter mask and would never recommend inhaling large clouds of any particulate, but in the trace amounts you might inhale even with precautions biochemistry matters too. I'd rather inhale a small amount of sodium bicarbonate than aluminum oxide. Your preferences may vary.

Despite the numbers on the MOHs scale, sodium bicarbonate has been effective for me in removing decals and paint from styrene and brass on my models. I probably should etch for better adhesion, but I haven't.

And despite being on the east coast, I have not had much clogging. FYI, I use a Paasche air eraser, but really infrequently. If I buy aluminum oxide and a booth, they take up storage space. On the infrequent occasion I need to remove paint or decals, I can go into my wife's box, which she keeps for removing minor sink clogs or odors in trash cans. So it's a multi-task material, easily available and with less opportunity costs than Al oxide abrasive. Others will have far higher volumes and a dedicated cabinet and a recycled abrasive material would make far greater sense.

Most paint removal for me is on a loco, and decal removal even on freight cars is rare. I tend to need resin kits or kit bashing for my freight cars, so relative to this list topic, I find an air eraser and bicarb out on my picnic table with a mask is sufficient.

Your mileage WILL vary.


Sent from Dave Bott's iPad

On Mar 12, 2015, at 7:39 PM, Dave Parker spottab@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:

4. Sodium bicarbonate is inorganic, so it cannot be "biodegradable". It is water-soluble (unlike Al oxide), but inhalation hazards are first and foremost a function of particle size, not chemical composition. The smaller the particle, the worse it is for your health.

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