work pieces before and after Rosler wet blasting

Wet Blasting Technology, Part 1 – Wet Blasting Gently Delivers Dramatic Finishing Results

Thanks to its many technical advantages and “gentle” application, wet blasting is a versatile and fast-growing segment of the shot blasting field. Achieving precise, repeatable results with any wet blasting process requires understanding both its principles and real-world uses.

With decades of experience and the latest in engineering expertise, Rosler understands how to develop efficient wet blasting machines and consumables. Learn more about wet blasting technology as we begin our five-part Wet Blasting Technology Series.

How Does Wet Blasting Work?

Wet blasting is a water-based method of shot blasting utilizing abrasives that are particularly suited for the finishing of delicate, precision-produced parts.

Rosler Wetblast Gun Schematic
Rosler Wet Blast Gun Schematic

The blast medium consists of a slurry of water and an abrasive media placed in a tank.  This slurry is supplied to the blast gun from the tank with a special pump and accelerated with compressed air.

The compressed air creates a venturi effect at the blast gun nozzle. The accelerated slurry, pushed through the blast gun nozzle, is then thrown at the work pieces at high speed. The impact on the work piece surface creates the desired blasting effect, be it cleaning, coating preparation, cosmetic surface texturing, or peening.

The concentration of abrasive media in the slurry usually amounts to 10-40% by volume. For example, 20% media and 80% water, etc.

For consistent process uniformity and high-quality surface finishing of the work pieces, the control of the blasting nozzles in Rosler wet blasting machines is assumed by industrial robots or by CNC systems. Loading and unloading can also be automated in many ways, and the individual production requirements implemented.

What is Wet Blasting Used for?

Useful for any surface treatment task dry shot blasting is used for, wet blasting provides surface improvement, cleaning, preparation, decoating, preparation for initial coating, deflashing, and shot peening. Wet blasting is also ideal for stripping paint and coatings from delicate parts.

High water content in the slurry allows wet blasting to be a lot more gentle than dry blasting. Therefore, it is ideal for processing delicate work pieces with thin walls, which, if treated with dry shot blasting, might be subject to heat warping.

Wet blasting creates very smooth cosmetic finishes. To a certain degree, it can also be used for cleaning of work pieces contaminated with oil or grease, for example, for engine and transmission re-builds or aircraft MRO work.

Wet blasting has also become indispensable for initial surface smoothing of additively manufactured components made from plastic and metal.

Special surface finishes can be achieved by selecting different blast media materials such as ceramic beads and other mineral abrasives. In addition, the wet blasting process eliminates the risk of dry dust explosions and can ensure that you are meeting more stringent hazardous dust exposure limits.

The Rosler Way

With more than 80 years of experience in surface finishing, the Rosler team has expertise in the wet blasting field. To demonstrate our capabilities, we offer FREE sample processing in our global test centers. Contact us to discuss your wet blasting goals and challenges.

Upcoming posts in the Wet Blasting Technology Series will include:

  • Part 2 – “Comparing Attributes, Advantages to Dry Blasting.”
  • Part 3 – “Technical Features, Slurry Control Achieve Precise Finishing.”
  • Part 4 – “Typical Wet Blasting Applications.”
  • Part 5 – “PureFinish® Offers Food-Grade Excellence.”

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