Matching a Compressor to your Wetblast Machine

In order to get the most from the Dana-Ridge wetblast system, it is a good idea to have a compressor that allows the full capabilities of the wetblast unit to be realised.

The volume of available air (CFM/LPM)* is as important as the pressure (Psi/Bar). With these machines there’s no need to exceed 6.2bar (90psi). It won’t harm the machine at all but it will cause increased media usage, reducing the processing advantages.

The air-jets are large enough to allow atomization of the slurry and so the free air delivery is important.

*CFM= Cubic Feet per Minute, LPM = Litres Per Minute

For the Mercury

The Mercury machine is single phase (240V) and has a process gun fitted with a Ø4.76mm air-jet and a Ø10mm process nozzle. The specs call for 15-26CFM (425-736 LPM) of free air delivery depending on the air pressure setting required for processing.

The largest single-phase compressors pump out around 594 LPM (21 CFM). It is possible to run a Mercury machine using one of these larger single-phase compressors but it will operate on the slower side of its operational capability. Alternatively, there are customers who join 2 single-phase compressors together that feed a common air receiver. Or if you have the two compressors feed a common line, use one as the master compressor and other one as the slave so as to keep up with the free air delivery required by the machine. It is suggested to alternate the master compressor regularly to spread the workload evenly.

For the Comet

The next size up is the Comet machine. It has the same pump-set as the Mercury but a larger cabinet interior and a larger gun as standard. It is available in either single phase 240V or three-phase 415V.

The process gun is fitted with a Ø6.75mm air-jet and a Ø12.7mm process nozzle. This larger air-jet means an air requirement of 510 – 849 LPM (18-30 cfm) is required to run the machine efficiently. The higher end of this air delivery is best or you might find your compressor working hard when operating at the higher atomization pressures of 5.5 – 6.2 Bar (80-90 psi).

Note: We can change the gun and hoses to the same as the mercury and the single-phase compressor can be sized just as it would for the Mercury.

For the Mars

The Mars is a 3-phase machine with its 4 kW motor on the back. The process gun is fitted with a Ø6.75 mm air-jet and a Ø12.7mm process nozzle. The Mars machine has a higher slurry flow so this machine needs an air supply in the range of 510-963 LPM (18-34 cfm).

Usually workshops with 3-phase power tend to have 3-phase compressors which can comfortably accommodate the Mars air requirements. Alternatively, two single-phase compressors joined together as described earlier can be used, but it is not the most efficient way.

For the Titan, multi-gun machines and above

These machines can use multiple guns and it is commonly supplied with one manually operated process gun and four or five process guns for the semi-automated processing. This model machine needs a free air delivery of around 1,132 – 1,699 LPM (40-60 cfm/process gun) of free-air delivery which can only be obtained from 3-phase powered compressors.

Summary

There are a few options when it comes to compressed air :-

  1. Large single-phase compressor (for Mercury or modified Comet)
  2. Two single-phase compressors joined together (for Comet or Mars)
  3. Large 3-phase compressor ~7.5 kW (10 hp) or greater (all machines)
    1. Standard 3-phase to the premises. Mains -powered
    2. Diesel powered compressor or generator
  4. Phase converter. Allows 3-phase compressors and machines to be run from single -phase 240V power.

Note: The above advice is general in nature and is only to be used as a guide. When choosing a compressor for your specific workshop/factory circumstances always heed the advice of the compressor manufacturer/supplier.

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