Irrespective of the starting size of your media in your blast machine (i.e. S110, S230, etc…) within a very short time that media will reduce in size as a result of abrasion, deformation as a result of impact (i.e. rounding) and/or fracture/splintering. This will cause a drop in the abrasive level which needs to be topped up with new media (as per tip 1).
The longer the abrasive is in the machine, the more it will reduce in size until eventually it is small enough to be removed by the air wash separator and expelled to the dust collector. As a result over a period of time you will develop the ‘working mix’ which will be present under normal (optimal) processing conditions.
New abrasive should be added on a ‘little and often’ basis, rather than adding larger quantities when the level is allowed to get to a low level in the hopper. It is best to change the frequency and amount of fresh abrasive being added. If the experience is a loss in performance it might be from a clogged dust collector or a loss in efficiency in your air wash separator, or through the ‘working mix’ being adversely affected. The optimum process should be established once the abrasive has gone through its initial wear and this is then sustainable providing the ‘working mix’ is regularly checked, assessed and new abrasive added accordingly. Too much large abrasive and your finish will be inconsistent, too much small abrasive (down to dust) and you will experience high levels of wear in your machine, which can dramatically increase your maintenance costs.
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Post written by
Shot Blasting Technical Manager