Water and compound are added into the machine to facilitate the cutting process and remove any debris coming from the media, parts and any additives so the process stays clean, the media can keep cutting and doing its work as it should do and to protect the parts being processed (i.e. with a rust inhibitor if corrosive).
Abrasive media (for deburring, radiusing, blending machining marks, etc…) needs to have an ‘open face’ to work as it should. This is where you can feel the abrasive particles when dragging your finger nail over the surface of the media (like a file). When media becomes ‘clogged’ due to insufficient levels of compound being added to the process bowl, poor draining, poor quality media, etc… it becomes smooth (and even shiny in extreme cases). Often times users can think this to be a benefit as ‘it lasts forever’. In truth though it just has stopped cutting and not only does it last forever, so do your process times! If your media is smooth and your finish or process times are adversely affected it is time to throw it away and refill the machine with new media.
As most media (ceramic and/or plastic) wear, the level in your machine can drop significantly over time. As mass finishing processes work by covering the part with the media and the media moving over the edges to create the deburring, radiusing, etc… it is important a ratio of media : parts is retained.
Wet or Vapour blasting is a mechanical method of cleaning and preparing a surface. It employs a water/ media mix, a pump together with added pressurised air. The process is widely used for a range of applications from general cleaning through to highly technical and accepted standards for industries including; aerospace, nuclear, the food industry, medical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, utilities, powertrain, motorsport and automotive. The process is a very economical, versatile and efficient cleaning and finishing process and is used in a wide range of both general and specialised surface preparation work.
Mass finishing/vibratory machines are some of the easiest machine tools to use.
As a result sometimes operators can get in to the habit of just turning them on each day and ignoring simple operating and maintenance rules. Here are 9 mistakes people make which you can avoid to help you get the most from your equipment:
Sometimes things change … including the starting condition of your component parts to be blasted. Worn tooling, changes in materials or investment in new manufacturing methods can result in you no longer getting the result from your shot blasting machine.
A number of factors can affect blast wheel operating efficiently, some of which may not be obvious until your shot blast machine is stripped down and/or serviced. Monitoring the amps the blast wheels are pulling can allow you to see that something needs attention.
Every time you use your shot blast machine, wear will take place on anything the abrasive comes into contact with. In the blast wheel itself, over a given period this will result in changes that will affect your blast pattern (how and where the abrasive is thrown).
Wear parts in your shot blast machine are the: blades/vanes, control cage, impellor and side / top wear plates in the blast wheel(s) themselves and the wear protection plates in the blast zone (in the area calculated to have the most impact from the abrasive when it is thrown from the wheel).