Wet blasting types

Wet blasting types

Common Wetblasting Processes

(Not including ‘open’ systems such as those used for graffiti removal for example’)

It can get a little confusing when discussing “wetblasting” as it has been used to describe a multitude of processes and can be known by different and sometimes confusing names. You may have heard terms like ‘wet-blasting, vapour honing (a misnomer), vapour blasting, vapour matting, slurry blasting” hydra-blasting, wet bead blasting, aqua blasting and more…’

The Venturi Process

Venturi is a principle where air or fluid is passed through a constrictor, increasing its velocity and creating negative pressure. This allows a second fluid to be drawn into the flow. This is fine for dryblast machines and affords a cheap and simple method of blasting. The wet-venturi method adds a pump to the process to agitate the water/media mix, however, it is inefficient, has an inconsistent flow, poor media concentration and larger volumes of air are required to lift the media to the gun. Inversely, to use less air, a smaller nozzle can be used resulting in slower processing. The final results are inferior to the Dana-Ridge process too.

Advantages

  • A cheap setup
  • Eliminates the dust issue inherent in a dry system
  • Can handle finer abrasives

Disadvantages

  • Inefficient process
  • Inconsistent flow
  • Poor concentration of media in the slurry
  • Larger volumes of air required to lift media to the gun.
  • Finish is OK. Not great

Vapor/Vapour blast process

Another popular process is commonly known as vapour blasting. These machines typically have a motor on the outside of the cabinet with the pump impellor inside the sump. Superior to the venturi process. the pump both agitates and delivers the abrasive mix direct to the process gun. 

Unlike the Dana-Ridge units however, the abrasive mix is sampled within the sump rather than being directed to a common collection point.

Advantages

  • Better flow and concentration of media compared to venturi and pot systems.

Disadvantages

  • Not as efficient as the Dana-Ridge Wetblast System as it is sampling from inside the sump rather than a common collection point
  • Some machines don’t achieve the same flow rate as the Dana-Ridge commercial range of machines.

Non-Commercial Units

Some of the hobby-end machines have a fully submersible pump that is situated inside to agitate and deliver the abrasive mix. It allows for a cheaper setup but has a smaller flow-rate meaning longer processing times and a less consistent abrasive to water flow mix.

Advantages

  • A cheap setup
  • Eliminates the dust issue inherent in a dry system
  • Can handle finer abrasives
  • Generally designed with smaller air requirements in mind for the home user.

Disadvantages

  • Not as efficient as the Dana-Ridge Wetblast System as it is sampling from inside the sump rather than a common collection point
  • Doesn’t achieve the same flow rate as the Dana-Ridge commercial range of machines.
  • Less flow means less efficient processing.
  •  Generally not used in a commercial operation.

Benefits of the Dana-Ridge Process

  • Provides a superior finish
  • Uses a high volume, low pressure pump allowing multi-gun operation
  • Air used only to atomise to obtain desired degree of aggressiveness of blasting.
  • Pump simultaneously provides sump agitation
  • Allows for both gentle or aggressive blasting with control over the air supplied to the process gun.
  • Little to no damage to more delicate parts. No heat-damage.
  • Recirculation of media giving long life and reduced costs.
  • Multi-gun system fed from single pump so uniformity of flow and concentration are maintained.
  • Bonus is simultaneous degreasing and rust inhibition.
  • Long working life from the glandless urethane-lined pump
  • Maximum use of space in the hopper as the pump is mounted to the back of the machine. This also allows ease of access for maintenance.
  • Using its scrubbing action, contamination, surface deposits, scale or burrs are quickly removed and carried away, leaving a very clean and smooth surface.
  • They are commercial grade machines able to operate hour after hour in a busy workshop.

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