Repeatable

Fast

Reliable

Accurate

Controlled

Clean

Automated

Repeatable, Reliable, Controllable, Fast, Automated, Clean.

What is wet blasting?

Like dry blasting, wet blasting uses abrasive media and compressed air to achieve a desired finish on a surface, removing coatings, contamination, corrosion and other residue, while increasing strength and durability. But unlike dry blasting, it uses a third element – water – to produce a much smoother and more consistent finish.
Today, it provides the perfect finish on everything from medical implants and bandsaw blades, to the composites used in Formula 1 cars and nuclear decontamination. But it isn’t a newcomer to the industrial world. The process was invented by Vapormatt’s founder, Norman Ashworth, in the 1950s as a response to the banning of silica in sand blasting, and a growing demand for more accurate, more controlled surface finishes.

Using water to lubricate the abrasive particles, Norman created a more even flow across the target surface. The even flow causes less damage to the substrate, with consistent abrasive action across the whole surface.

The type of abrasive media used in a Vapormatt wet-blast system is determined by the effect or finish you want to achieve. Typically, for example, our customers use glass beads for a satin polished finished, or an aluminium oxide for matt. Dependent on the application, you can also use special abrasive media, such as ceramic, plastics and stainless steel shot.

When you need more control

One of the main strengths of wet blasting over other finishing processes is the degree of control it gives you. That control comes as a result of the many different elements you can adjust individually…

Air pressure and volume
Slurry pressure
Water temperature
Water pH
Water conductivity
Filtration
Rinsing
Drying
Gun angle
and range
Media concentration
Process speed
Benefits vs other processes
Uniform surface
Repeatability
Environmental
Precision
Peening
Cutting tool Edge Honing
De burring
Reactive Surface
Oily / Wet contamination renewal
Corrosion Removal
Concurrent application of corrosion inhibitor
Capital cost
Running cost
Wet Blasting
Good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
$$$
$
Dry Blasting
Good
Good
Poor
Excellent
Good
N/A
Average
Poor
N/A
Excellent
N/A
$$
$$
Shot Blasting
Good
Good
Poor
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Poor
N/A
Good
N/A
$$
$$
Shot peening
Average
Good
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
N/A
Average
Poor
N/A
Average
N/A
$$$
$$
Chemical Cleaning
Good
Excellent
Very poor
Poor
N/A
N/A
Poor
Good
Good
Good
Good
$$$
$$$
Vibro Finishing
Average
Excellent
Good
poor
N/A
N/A
Excellent
Good
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
$
$
Brushing
Poor
Poor
Excellent
poor
N/A
Good
Average
Poor
Good
poor
good
$
$
HP Washing
Good
Poor
Poor
Average
Poor
N/A
N/A
Poor
Poor
Good
Poor
$
$

Benefit #4

Control and repeat… and repeat…

With many industries increasing the requirements for quality and process monitoring, wet blasting offers in-depth control to its users. With some of the largest numbers of available parameters among mechanical surface treatments, it becomes possible to measure and control almost every variable in the process. With Vapormatt wet blasting machines, users can create optimum conditions that are then maintained in order to improve the reliability of the process and increase the quality of the products being treated.

So that’s the process in a nutshell. But what you really need to know is its 6 benefits to your business.

Benefit1

Flawless finishing where consistency is key

The ability to work with additives, such as degreasing agents or inhibitors, can improve the usefulness of wet blasting machines by combining process steps. The water eliminates the heat that can damage delicate surfaces, any static build up and the embedment of blast media in soft surfaces. It also increases the media flow over the work pieces, which improves the uniformity of the process to give more homogenous finishes. The improved finishes are critical in industries were consistency is key for the manufacturing process and downstream applications such as bonding or coating.

Benefit 2

Processes to suit your products

Wet blasting changes the surface profile and can, for example, produce a highly clean and reactive surface for coating. It can also remove burrs, machining notches, heat marks and heat scale. Other processes include the strengthening and hardening of surfaces by reducing tensile stresses and accurately honing cutting tool edges, allowing bandsaw blades to run at full speed from new and lengthening their life for example. Unlike dry-blasting, very fine abrasives can be used for those processes that require extra precision. All processes are carried out whilst simultaneously cleaning and degreasing.

Benefit 3

A cleaner way to work

Adding water to the process contains and controls the abrasive, meaning the workspace is cleaner and safer, lowering the time and money needed for cleaning due to a lack of dust. Unlike dry-blasting, certain applications can be done in-line, in a contained environment, helping to save space and improve productivity. The lack of dust also prevents re-contamination, a particular benefit for electrical components, and eliminates the risk of dust explosion.

Benefit 4

Control and repeat… and repeat…

With many industries increasing the requirements for quality and process monitoring, wet blasting offers in-depth control to its users. With the most controllable parameters for any mechanical surface treatment, it becomes possible to measure and control almost every variable in the process. With Vapormatt wet blasting machines, users can create optimum conditions that are then maintained, improving the reliability of the process and increasing the quality of the products being treated.

Benefit 5

Better for your bottom line

By adding water to the process, it gives users more control of the abrasive impact on the work pieces. Adjusting both water and air pressure can also reduce the abrasive media consumption, and by having the abrasive cushioned in water, it increases the life of critical wear items such as hoses and nozzles. And, because everything is controlled, you can automate and work in line. Lowering costs for replacement parts and increasing productivity.

Benefit 6

Perfect for your planet

All aspects of the process are environmentally friendly, making wet blasting an attractive alternative to many surface treatments. The use of water improves the operator environment by eliminating any dust or the need for large and expensive filtration systems. No harsh chemicals are required and the waste routes are easy to manage with inert materials used in the media and separation systems supplied to reduce the amount of waste from the process.

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