Wet Blast Equipment
Wet abrasive blasting has been around the industry for many years, but is enjoying a resurgence, by reducing the amount of dust compared to dry abrasive blasting. Wet abrasive blasting can be done in specialty engineered blast cabinets for industrial applications, or with portable blast systems for exterior or field work. Wet abrasive blasting is also referred to as wet blasting, liquid honing, vapor blasting, slurry blasting, wet sandblasting, dustless blasting and vapor honing.
Both wet and dry blast applications can remove coatings, contaminants, corrosion and residues, while providing surface prep on most hard surfaces. Wet blast is similar to dry blasting, except that water is introduced to the blast media stream, prior to impacting the surface.
Wet abrasives blasting in the Wet Technologies cabinet provides a number of advantages over dry blasting. With their closed loop system, it does provide a dust free application. No dust collector, means less floor space is required, and the cabinets can be located within work cells, improving work flow.
The Wet Tech process uses a water and abrasive media slurry driven by their proprietary high volume pump. Compressed air can be added to enhance the slurry performance for cleaning, peening, removing coatings, stripping or etching. Many of the wet blast application have combined processed to improve throughput.
Wet Technologies cabinets are capable of using most abrasive blast medias including, aluminum oxide, glass bead, ceramic bead, zirconia grit, garnet, plastic, silicon carbide and Sodium Bicarbonate. Cleaners or inhibitors can be used to enhance the process. The wet blast process increases media life and turns, while virtually eliminating embedded media.
Manual wet blast cabinets are available in one molded poly, and three standard sizes of stainless steel construction. Engineered systems, including robotic or automated, can be designed to meet specific applications needs. To prolong the life of the media slurry, weir dams, filtration systems, or oil coalesce systems are available options.
Common industries using wet slurry blasting include:
Wheel and Brake
Diesel and auto engine re-manufacturers
In portable applications, the primary advantage of wet abrasive blasting over dry blasting is it reduces dust, allowing for operators to work in a wide range of environments. As with the cabinets, cleaners and inhibitors can be added to the portable systems to enhance the blast performance and surface prep.
There are a number of portable systems available in today’s market.
The “halo” or water ring, helps contain dust after the dry media makes impact. This would be the least efficient for reducing the amount of dust generated and contained.
Water injections systems or “WIN” nozzles are likely the most common system being used. The media remains dry until it meets the water as it exits the nozzle.
Pot systems that utilize media slurry, use either air or water to pressurize the blast pot, and deliver the slurry through the media hose and nozzle.
Wet blasting can be used to remove coatings, remove graffiti, architectural restoration, descale, etch or surface prep for coatings.
Hold Tight is a popular additive to improve performance by cleaning and protecting the surface from corrosion during and after wet blasting. Portable wet blasting will typically utilize a single use media, such as: coal slag, crushed glass or garnet.
There are a few disadvantages, or concerns, to consider with wet portable systems. Depending on the application, the water run-off from the wet blast may need to be contained. The abrasives media used for wet or dry blasting will remain and need to be cleaned up after blasting. Wet media is heavier and more difficult to clean up.