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When a surface has a coating of grease, paint or another undesired veneer, a sandblaster can completely remove the residue and restore the item to its original condition. When machining leaves sharp burrs on an object, sandblasters can smooth it until it is safe to handle. Shot-peening is another useful application in which a metal undergoes a barrage of small but powerful impacts — think of what a ball-peen hammer does — in order to make it more malleable. This gives the surface of the metal a compressive, plastic quality that is less likely to develop tiny micro-fractures.
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