Shotblasting uses wheel blast equipment to propel abrasive media on surfaces being treated for final finishing. This equipment uses a specially designed and closely controlled wheel to generate centrifugal force and blast abrasives like steel shot and steel grit on products. The process involves “throwing” media at a surface rather than “blowing” it. This is the common equipment used in shot blasting systems:
- Tumble blast equipment: Tumble blasts allow continuous blasting cycles with continual abrasive recycling. These machines have built-in rubber belt and steel flight models in different sizes.
- Swing table blast wheels:Direct drive blast wheels swing out for loading and unloading abrasive media.
- Table blasters:These are fixed equipment components with direct drive wheels mounted inside the blast cabinet.
- Spinner hangers:These direct drive blast wheels have rotating spindles that allow loading and unloading abrasive media during a continuous blast cycle.
- Hanger blast equipment:Blast systems can be fitted with trolleys and hung on manual Y-track monorails for specific shot blasting operations.
- Cylinder blasters: Certain shot blast equipment specializes in removing rust and old paint from all forms of metal cylinders.
Abrasive materials can be mineral, organic, ceramic, plastic or metal-based. Each chemical base performs specific abrasive tasks and possesses key abrasive properties. The four properties to look for in sandblasting and shot blasting operations are:
- Shape:Media particle shape is critical to the final surface finish. Round-shaped particles are less abrasive than angular shapes.
- Size: Media particle size is measured in “mesh.” This is a screening determined by holes per square inch where fine media size filters through more holes in a mesh screen compared to larger particles.
- Hardness: Hard particles like steel shot penetrate deeper into materials than soft media such as plastic particles. It’s critical that blasting media hardness be compatible with the surface to avoid irreversible damage.
- Density:Dense media particles have more mass per size than lightweight material. Like hardness, the right media density is essential to do the job efficiently without compromising the treatment surface.