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Iron powder has a very different character to the white powders. Soft (or 'German style') iron powder works particularly well on moderate to soft fine-grained matrices such as limestones. The high density spherical grains ‘pummel’ or ‘peen’ the surface using a percussive action to hammer away the rock.
Soft iron powder acts, when used carefully, to preserve and slightly polish crystalline fossils (such as the calcitic shell of an ammonite); and is often able to cut through the rock without damaging the calcite or removing ammonite shell. It can slightly darken the surface of a fossil (which may or may not be the desired effect!).
If you need something better suited to roughing work or much harder and more indurated matrices, have a look at the hard iron powder also available in our shop. The grain size is the same, and it will run in the same units, but different results will be achieved.
Highly recyclable. The fines will be extracted away (but do not help much for fossil prep) and the larger particles can be swept up from the base of your blast cabinet and sieved for reuse (the Impact 250 micron sieve does the trick perfectly). Do bear in mind that iron powder by nature can go rusty when in contact with oxygen, therefore clumping together and potentially causing a clog if left out, left in the tank or used in airlines without adequate filtration (we recommend the Dropout Filter Kit).
It is 4 on the Moh’s Hardness scale, but can appear to be more aggressive as a result of the density and force with which the particles hit the surface of the rock. Not to be used in an abrasive unit that uses an electromagnet (magnet being the operative word!).
Fines can be explosive and may be ignited by heat, friction, sparks or flames and so care must be taken. Iron powder is combustible, and not recommended for use within a blast cabinet with a light that isn't completely sealed from the environment. LED lights or external LED lights preferable. Chance of explosion is incredibly rare, and we supply a grade of iron powder with limited fines to mitigate this risk. Make sure that your dust extraction system is grounded.
Please make sure that your air abrasive is able to take particles this large (150 micron) before using.
Supplied in 1kg or 5kg bags, well sealed containing a large silica gel sachet. These smaller quantities mean that you can keep them stored dry for extended periods of time until you need them.
Larger quantities and bulk discounts available.
Learn more about air abrasive units here.
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