Category Archives: Shot Blasting

wet blasting technology, part 4 – typical wet blasting applications

Wet blasting can do nearly any job that is done with dry shot blasting. The defining differences are that wet blasting does so more gently and without producing dust. In addition, wet blasting can handle a small amount of oil and grease unlike dry blasting.

At Rosler, we have more than 80 years’ experience in surface finishing. While wet blasting has gained popularity recently, we’ve used this technique to provide precise, repeatable results to a number of industries over the years.

Typical Applications

With proper testing and process parameters, wet blasting can achieve numerous surface finishing goals.

Cleaning

Fastener with heat discoloration before and after wet blasting.
A fastener with heat discoloration before versus after wet blasting.

Depending on the work piece’s starting condition and successive finishing steps, rust, scale, oxidation, road grime, grease, and oil may need to be removed. Wet blasting can accomplish a variety of cleaning applications including:

  • Dies and molds such as die castings and tire and glass molds.
  • Automotive rebuilds such as engines, transmissions, brakes, etc.
  • Investment castings such as boat propellers, pump impellers, housings, valve bodies, etc.
  • Aircraft engine rebuilds.
  • Various components before inspection or secondary processing.

Burr Removal

Hydraulic components before and after wet blasting.
Hydraulic components before and after wet blasting.

Work pieces with flashings and burrs must undergo deburring and deflashing. For example, firearm components require burr removal after drilling, milling, and turning. Drill bits and milling tools also require burr removal.

Descaling

Despite the newest heat treatment processes, discoloration, oxidation, scale, and hard residues are found on cast and forged products as a result of manufacturing and environmental influences. Modern production methods, control and testing processes, and an uninterrupted continual processing of the cast and forged parts requires clean, light work piece surfaces.

Surface Texturing

Creating a somewhat rougher surface finish is a key step in preparation for painting, coating, and bonding with glue. Ensuring that subsequently applied coatings have a rough enough surface to adhere to improves the quality and life span of a work piece.

Examples of wet blasting applications for surface texturing include:

  • Preparation of automotive parts for rubber coating such as brake and engine seals.
  • Surface preparation to place a corrosion protection coating for screws.
  • Surface preparation to place a primer on airplane components such as rotor blades, stringers, and wing spars.
  • Orthopedic implants in which osseointegration and bone growth around the implant are encouraged. Light profiling of tibia plates, knee femorals, hip stems, and spinal implants helps promote this bone growth.

Stripping of Paint and Coatings

Reconditioning engine components with wet blasting.

Wet blasting is ideal for stripping of paint and coatings from delicate work pieces. Processing of mineral-based construction materials such as concrete or sandstone, glass, textiles, and wood is possible with Rosler machines as well as the finishing of plastics and metals.

Cosmetic Finishing

Wet blasting removes machining lines from aluminum gun bodies as shown in these before and after examples.
Wet blasting removes machining lines from aluminum gun bodies as shown in these before and after examples.

Wet blasting serves as an excellent method of applying a uniform, matte finish on work pieces. This finish can take various forms, including:

  • Creating a pre-polish finish smoother than what can be achieved with dry blasting.
  • Applying a non-glare, matte finish such as the finish required for surgical instruments.
  • Masking machining lines on a variety of parts like tibia implants or aluminum gun bodies.

Shot Peening

Landing gear includes many wet blasted components.

Shot peening is a process specially developed to improve the properties of components which are exposed to changing strains. For safety reasons, shot peening is also now absolutely necessary in the aviation and space industries. Shot peening is also essential in all industries requiring long lives for components including the automotive sector.

Wet blasting applications for shot peening are mainly used in conjunction with Almen strip N for glass beads, ceramic beads, and stainless steel shot.

Additive Manufacturing Post Processing

Additive manufactured components before and after wet blasting.
Additively manufactured components before and after wet blasting.

Wet blasting is an essential technology for various post processing tasks, specifically additive manufacturing. Wet blasting cleans the 3D printed components by removing residual powder and significantly reduces their initial high surface roughness. It is capable of de-powdering and providing general surface cleaning and initial surface smoothing from Ra = 1,000 micro inches down to Ra = 40-60 micro inches (25 µm to 1–1.5 µm).

On metal AM parts the loosely sintered grains on corners are effectively removed. The wet process eliminates the worry about residual powder containment or sparking during the blasting process.

De-contamination of nuclear power plant components

Manual wet blast cabinets allows for same removal of contaminants.

Removal of small, radioactive fragments from the component surface in nuclear power plants can also be achieved through wet blasting. The process decontaminates the components to a point where they can be declassified as radioactive. Special consideration regarding the water treatment are required to meet the requirements for this application.

The Rosler Way

With a trusted partner such as Rosler, you don’t need to worry about the ins and outs of an application. Contact us to discuss your wet blasting needs and challenges and we will deliver a solution. We’ll even demonstrate results with FREE sample processing in one of our global test centers. That’s the Rosler Way.

Previous posts in the Wet Blasting Technology include:

The final post in the Wet Blasting Technology Series will be Part 5 – “PureFinish® Offers Food-Grade Excellence.”

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Wet Blasting Technology, Part 3 – Technical Features, Slurry Control Achieve Precise Finishing

Numerous technical features combine to make wet blasting an effective method of surface finishing.

When expertly combined by an experienced finishing expert such as Rosler, this method can achieve precise and repeatable results on a variety of work pieces from a wide range of industries.

A general understanding of the essential technical elements of a wet blasting machine will help you select a machine for your specific needs as well as prolonging the efficiency and life of existing wet blasting equipment.

Continue reading Wet Blasting Technology, Part 3 – Technical Features, Slurry Control Achieve Precise Finishing

Wet Blasting Technology, Part 2 – Comparing Attributes, Advantages to Dry Blasting

Unlike dry blasting in which only solid abrasive media is used, wet blasting processes use a slurry in which the media is embedded in water. This greatly cushions the impact energy on the work pieces, providing gentler, yet effective results for delicate work pieces.

As the utilization of wet blasting increases, Rosler reminds manufacturers to review their traditional, dry shot blasting applications and consider if wet blasting could provide additional efficiencies, reduced costs, and better results.

Understanding the Differences

Visual comparison of wet, dry shot, and dry grit blastings' impact on surfaces

As in any surface finishing process, the starting condition of the work piece, its material composition, shape, and final finish largely dictate which finishing application is most appropriate. Understanding how the application changes the work piece is a key consideration.

Continue reading Wet Blasting Technology, Part 2 – Comparing Attributes, Advantages to Dry 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.

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

Automotive Supplier Achieves Process Stability, High Cost Efficiency with Modular Shot Peening System

For transmission components like gears and shafts, shot peening has become an indispensable step in the overall manufacturing process.  

With the RWT swing table machine, Rosler developed a modular equipment concept that can be easily adapted to different technical requirements and offers a maximum in process stability paired with absolutely repeatable peening results and high cost efficiency. One of the numerous customers within the automotive industry utilizing the RWT is an Asian automotive supplier.

The Need

As part of a capacity expansion for minivan transmissions, this customer increased annual production to 40,000 units and decided to carry out the required shot peening operation in-house instead of subcontracting it to an external job shop.

The specifications called for a system that can handle around 560,000 single work pieces per year, including 15 different types of gears and shafts. Each work piece type required the development of a specific peening program based on drawings and various work piece materials.

Continue reading Automotive Supplier Achieves Process Stability, High Cost Efficiency with Modular Shot Peening System

Automotive Crankshafts, Part 1 – Cost-Effective Surface Improvement for Key Engine Components

Crankshafts are a key component of internal combustion engines, be it mass-produced engines for motorcycles and automobiles, engines for heavy trucks, off-high highway equipment, and even large ships.

Crankshafts convert the reciprocating (up/down) movement of the pistons/connecting rods into a rotational movement that drives the wheels and allows a vehicle to move forward.

Rosler Metal Finishing understands the vital importance of these engine components and has developed specific shot blasting and mass finishing machines to process these pieces to perfection.

A crankshaft with connected rods and pistons
A crankshaft with connected rods and pistons

Materials & Production Methods

Considering that automotive crankshafts weigh around 40-60 pounds and rotate approximately 100 times per second, these parts are exposed to tremendous tensile, compressive, and shear stresses. In addition, combustion forces and piston acceleration in an engine can also cause significant vibration.

Therefore, crankshafts must be made from tough, wear-resistant materials, usually high alloy carbon steel. Typical alloying elements are manganese, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, cobalt, or vanadium.

Continue reading Automotive Crankshafts, Part 1 – Cost-Effective Surface Improvement for Key Engine Components

Spinal Implants, Part 3 – Mass Finishing Versus Shot Blasting Methods

implanted spinal rods
Implanted spinal rods

With worldwide sales at nearly $10 billion annually, there is a high demand for spinal implants. These implants are subject to very specific and strict surface finishing requirements to ensure longevity and fixation to bone.

Mass finishing and shot blasting play key roles in creating the right finish for spinal implants, not only for intermediate surface treatment after forging, casting, machining, additive manufacturing, etc., but also for placing the final surface finish before implantation.

Let’s examine the capabilities of mass finishing and shot blasting for spinal implants and how Rosler can develop a precise and repeatable finishing process to meet your unique challenges and goals.

Continue reading Spinal Implants, Part 3 – Mass Finishing Versus Shot Blasting Methods

Forge & Foundry, Part 7 – Selecting a Shot Blasting Machine for Forgings, Non-Sand Castings, and Powdered Metal Components

This installment of Rosler Metal Finishing’s Forge and Foundry Series continues with shot blasting machine selection considerations for forgings, non-sand castings, and powdered metal components.

While none of these work pieces contain sand, their surfaces may show oxidization or – in the case of ferrous metals – heavy scale/rust caused by iron oxide.

All forms of oxidization must be removed to ensure that subsequent manufacturing operations such as machining, coating, and painting are economical and efficient. Poorly cleaned work pieces may cause additional processing, premature wear on milling tools and drill bits, excessive pollution within coolant systems, and inefficient adhesion of coatings and paint.

Traces of oxidation may also impact the work piece’s functionality.

Continue reading Forge & Foundry, Part 7 – Selecting a Shot Blasting Machine for Forgings, Non-Sand Castings, and Powdered Metal Components

Joint Reconstruction, Part 4 – Comparing Surface Finishing Methods

Shot blasting and mass finishing have become indispensable technologies for surface preparation and finishing of joint reconstruction implants. Their applications range from surface cleaning, deburring, edge radiusing after forging, casting, additive manufacturing, and machining to surface preparation for different kinds of coatings, shot peening for increasing the longevity of an implant, and placing an extremely smooth, high-gloss finish on the implants before they are inserted into the body.

Rosler Metal Finishing leverages its extensive experience in the medical industry to create customized solutions and equipment for the treatment of joint reconstruction implants.

This installment of the Joint Reconstruction Series will compare the working principles and features of utilizing shot blasting and mass finishing technologies for endoprosthetic implants.

Continue reading Joint Reconstruction, Part 4 – Comparing Surface Finishing Methods

Forge & Foundry, Part 6 – Selecting a Shot Blasting Machine for Die Castings

Our Forge and Foundry Series continues with tips for selecting a shot blasting machine for die castings.

Considerations for machine selection include:

  • Are the work pieces sturdy enough to allow for somewhat more aggressive processing or must they be handled gently without any part-on-part contact?
  • Is batch processing possible or must it be continuous?
  • Which work piece handling system is best: rotary drum, troughed belt, wire mesh belt, or overhead monorail system?
  • Can the work pieces be handled by robot, etc.?

Rosler Metal Finishing builds shot blasting machines that are designed to expertly prepare the surface of delicate and sturdy die castings and everything in between. We can design a machine that is perfectly matched to your work piece and process.

Continue reading Forge & Foundry, Part 6 – Selecting a Shot Blasting Machine for Die Castings