Understanding and comparing the different types of blasting equipment

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Being able to clean or prepare the surface of an object in a way that is safe and cost effective is important. You might do this by hand or use harsh chemicals however there is an alternative approach. It involves the use of blasting equipment of which there are several different types. The type you need will depend on the sort of cleaning or preparation required and the type of surface involved. Using blasting equipment makes it possible to:

  • Clean and prepare metal surfaces.
  • Remove existing coatings like paint and rust from objects.
  • Clean the walls of buildings and monuments.
  • Clean machinery as well as mechanical parts.Image result for Understanding and comparing the different types of blasting equipment

Types of Blasting Equipment

The first thing to note about blasting equipment is that there are different devices for different cleaning methods. The most common methods include Dustless Blasting, Wet Blasting and Vacuum Blasting. There are others methods available such as sand blasting for example. Which type of equipment is best will depend on what you are looking to achieve. 

Wet Blasting: This type of blasting equipment involves the use of water and a high-pressure cleaning jet that discharges water under pressure. Depending on the cleaning it might also include a water-borne abrasive. Unlike other methods, wet blasting provides a finer finish and less damage when cleaning or preparing a surface. This is because water flows across a surface cleaning as it goes. 

Some of the uses of wet blasting include.

  • Removing the grease from the surface of components.
  • Removing layers of rust or paint from an object to get it ready for repainting or recoating.
  • Cleaning the walls of buildings of grime or graffiti.

Wet blasting offers a number of benefits such as removing grease from the surface of an object while at the same time cleaning it. It also has less of an impact on the surface. Also, it is a fast way of cleaning and preparing a surface.

Vacuum Blasting: Unlike other blast cleaning methods, vacuum blasting involves the capture and retention of dust, residue and coatings. It makes it possible not to leave any mess behind in the process. With vacuum blasting a hose is attached to the inside of the blast nozzle. This vacuums all of the abrasive materials used as well as any old coatings from the object back into the blasting equipment. The result is that there is less mess compared with other types of cleaning. Vacuum blasting is often used in areas where there is a need to avoid dust. This can include areas that house sensitive equipment or machinery where dust might cause problems. The main advantage of the process is that it is a clean and environmentally friendly process. On the downside, it is a much slower process.

Dustless Blasting: The impact of abrasives against a surface will cause them to shatter pushing fine particles into the air. Dustless blasting involves the capture and containment of these particles within a closed system. It is not a distinct cleaning method in its own right since both wet blasting and vacuum blasting produce little or no dust. What makes dustless blasting different is that abrasive materials, coatings and dust are not able to escape into the air where they might be a hazard. Dustless blasting has the advantage of being a clean process. Since there is little mess in the process, dustless blasting works best in situations where dust might be a problem.

Which is the best?

When comparing the different types of blasting equipment available, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Which equipment is best for your needs will depend on what you want to achieve. If you are looking for something that does not scar the surface, then wet blasting may be appropriate. On the other hand, if you want to clean something and minimise the amount of dust produced then you might find that vacuum blasting is a more appropriate method. Equally where there is a need to clean objects and dust will be a problem for safety reasons, being able to use dustless blasting is important.  If you are still unsure which type of blasting equipment is most suitable for you contact the professionals at SFEG today.  


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