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Blasting is the process in which small angular or spherical particles are propelled against a surface under high pressure by compressed air, or mechanical high speed rotating wheels or water pumps. Blasting is used nowadays for various industrial purposes: to clean a surface by removing unwanted rust, scale, paint, etc.; as a surface preparation method for painting, anodizing, welding, or other processes which require a clean surface; to remove burrs, tooling marks, or otherwise finish a crude product; to change metallurgical properties or stress relieve a part by the peening action of multiple impactions; to produce a desired matte or decorative finish; to remove flashing (excess material) from molded plastic or rubber. It is utilized in several types of industries like foundries, shipyards, steel fabrication plants, special purpose job and machine shops, steel mills, breweries, canneries, rubber manufacturers, painting contractors, plastic manufacturers, welders, wood shops and furniture manufacturers, plating and anodizing shops, automotive industries, aircraft manufacturers, electronic manufacturers, petrochemical companies and many others.
Blasting Machine and Its Parts
The basic components of a blasting system are described below:
Media Delivery Systems: There are three different kinds of media delivery systems by which the blasting media is propelled and delivered at high speed to the part being processed.
- Air Blasting (Pneumatic) – Air blast delivery systems can be further sub-divided into two types as: Suction which works on the principle of sucking media from a hopper and Pressure systems which uses a pressurized pot which is energized by compressed air. The pressure blasting systems are much more productive when blasting than suction systems and also the acceleration rates of air/media mix are much higher in pressure blasting than suction blasting.
- Mechanical Wheel - Wheel blast system also called as airless blasting utilizes a high speed rotation wheel using centrifugal force to propel the media. Wheel blast systems are a less expensive way to blast because of higher media recyclability and automation than air blasting but they pose restrictions on the type of media that can be selected due to the impact on the media by the hard rotating wheel.
- Hydro blasting - This type of blasting system uses a pressurized water stream generated by pumps that are capable of pumping an abrasive charged water supply at high rates of speed. Hydro Systems are best suited for conveying very ﬁne abrasives. They are also used in cleaning gunky, greasy parts, and containing toxic materials.
Containment Systems: Hand cabinets, automated enclosures and blast rooms are the containment systems built to control and contain the blast media and parts within the enclosures. They are capable of handling various size and shapes of parts to be blasted. The enclosure systems use gravity for the blasted media to drop down to a collection area so the media can be conveyed to the reclaim system. Blast systems can have inexpensive or premium containment systems.
Media Reclaim Systems: Recoverable medias used in industrial blast systems will run from 5 to 100 times through the blast system. These recoverable medias need to be cleaned, sized and returned to the blast system after being blasted which is accomplished by the media reclaim system. Production rate is consistently maintained by the media reclaim system. Media reclaim systems can be Air Cyclones or Mechanical Systems.
Dust Collection: All Industrial blast systems utilize dust collectors which remove the ﬁne blasting dust keeping the media clean and operators safe through visibility and breathable air. Normally dust collectors remove 99% of 1 micron or larger material. Filters can be added to remove dust particles down to 1/2 micron. Dust collectors are sized to the cabinet size, media type, and amount of blast nozzles or wheels being used.
Types of Blasting Equipment
The five types of abrasive blast cleaning systems commonly used are:
Portable blast cleaning machines – Portable blast cleaning machines usually require a high volume air supply (in the range of 90 to 100 psi); a container or pressure vessel to contain the abrasive; a metering device to control air-to-abrasive ratio and flow; a flexible hose to deliver the abrasive, and a hand-held nozzle to aim the abrasive onto the work piece. Many portable units also have large hopper-fed storage tanks which enable multiple blasting operations from a single source of supply.
Hand-operated units in blast cleaning rooms – These units are almost similar to the portable machines. The principle benefits afforded by blast cleaning rooms are their ability to provide and use a dust control ventilation system, cost savings from recycling the abrasive and containment of dust and debris so that they do not spread over large areas and expose other workers and machinery to injury and damage.
Hand-operated cabinet type blast cleaning machines – Cabinet type units generally are used for cleaning small parts that can be handheld or positioned on a rotatable mandrel. In such units the job and the abrasive are confined within a metal cabinet. Direction of the abrasive discharge is manually, semi-automatically or automatically controlled.
Automatic blast cleaning machines – These units are larger in dimension and are more heavily constructed than cabinet machines. Most operate on the centrifugal wheel principle and employ timers and automatic shut-off controls to provide the desired amount of abrasive exposure. Work piece can be placed on either a rotating table or an endless revolving belt that tumbles the job to expose all surfaces to the abrasive.
Wet-blast cleaning machines – This method can be applied to portable machines provided that abrasive is thoroughly mixed with water forming slurry. Since rusting of metal parts becomes a problem, rust inhibitors are added to the slurry.
Blast media, type, shape, size and hardness affect the process and materials they are capable of blasting. Higher blast pressures increase production but reduce media life. Blasting harder work pieces also reduces media life. Recoverable blasting medias which are used in industrial blasting have two basic shapes; Round (spherical) and Angular. Spherical medias are used for peening and produce smoother surface ﬁnishes. Angular medias chip at a parts surface thereby they are capable of removing paint, rust and scale quicker, with better results than round medias. Angular medias produce a rougher surface ﬁnish and produce superior anchor patterns for paint and coating adhesions.
Blasting Machine for Sale and Its Manufacturers
Trademachines is the only online marketplace to find various types of blasting machines aggregated from various sellers and auction houses in order to make your blasting equipment selection easier and cheaper. Wheelabrator, OMSG, RÖSLER, Turbotechnica, TOSCA, AGTOS, NORDBLAST, ASCO and BUSE are some of the popular brands involved in the manufacturing of various kinds of blasting systems.