Wet Blasting vs Dry Blasting

One of the obvious competitors to the Dana-Ridge wetblast systems is old school dry-blasting… until you look a bit deeper.

Advantages of the Dana-Ridge wetblast system over the dry

  2. A MUCH better finish
  3. No dust
  4. No heat distortion
  5. No fingerprint marking when touching blasted parts
  6. No media impregnation into the metal
  7. No media impregnation
  8. Longer media life = reduced abrasive costs
  9. Able to use much finer media than a dry blast cabinet
  10. A wider range of finishes available
  11. Able to provide gentle or rough action simply by choosing different media and blast pressures.

The comparison

To show the difference we used a Panblast 1000B dry-blast pressure pot cabinet to blast a section of aluminium square bar with a mill finish and an old shell casing for comparison.

In the dry blast cabinet we used fresh C-bead – a spherical glass media 250-420 microns in diameter and blasted at a pressure of around 85psi. We then did the same thing in a Dana-Ridge Comet wetblaster with the same setup and compared the results…


Here you can see three different conditions. On the left is the aluminium blasted with C-Bead in the Dana-Ridge wetblast machine. In the middle is the raw original mill finish. On the right you can see the dry blasted section also using C-Bead. The black is the cloth tape used to separate the sections while blasting (the dry method melted the glue as it passed over).

wetblasted - original - dryblasted
left = dry, right = wet
Left = dry blasted Right = wet blasted

Above: A direct comparison of the dryblast vs the wetblast. The dry is on the left and the wet is on the right. Same glass bead, same blast pressure. The wetblast gives a nice uniform finish which is brighter and smoother as can be easily seen here.  The difference would be even more dramatic using finer bead.

Dry THEN wet?

A part off a 1945 Merlin airplane engine was dry-blasted (unfortunately for the delicate embossed brass plates) and then subsequently wetblasted. Click on the button to see the results

Dry blasting is inferior

Top half = dry, bottom half = wet
Left = dry, right = wet

Next we blasted a brass bullet shell as seen here. The top is blasted using dry C-Bead and the bottom is wet C-Bead. The profile of the metal has been changed more dramatically with the dry with the added disadvantage of the heat generated.

If these parts had been greasy then we would have had to pre-clean them before dryblasting. Not so with the Dana-Ridge wetblast system which cleans and blasts at the same time. The grease simply goes out the overflow to the settlement tank for collection later.

Your lungs will thank you too

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Once you have one of these machines, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it!