Blast cleaning is a commonly heard term in the cleaning industry. Over the yeast, shot blasting has become the widely accepted and used cleaning method particularly, in the metal and heavy machinery industry. The process involves cleaning, polishing, and retaining the shine and functioning of metals and heavy boilers, and multiple heater machine equipment used in a wide array of industries.
Purpose of blasting machine
A blasting machine utilizes a mechanical process of forceful abrasive with the aid of a centrifugal wheel. The machine helps in eliminating layers of unwanted deposits and impurities from steel and metal surfaces. The three purposes of shot blasting are as follows:
- Cleaning and descaling metal casting and forging surfaces
- Improving the paints and coatings of multiple surfaces
- Removing impurities, and deposits from surfaces and changing the surface properties
What is a shot blasting machine?
It is the equipment designed for abrasive blasting for cleaning and preparing multiple surfaces including metals, stones, heater machines, boilers, and others. The machine is used for peening, cleaning steel surfaces, casting parts, forgings, heavy metal structures, rusted metal components, and so on. In the presence of an enclosed chamber, the shot blasting equipment makes use of blast media on different parts of machines to eliminate descaling, welding slags, and rust.
The blasting method helps to make the heater machine and other surfaces uniform, clean, shiny, improving the anti-rust properties and coating quality. One of the highlighting aspects of the machine is its dust collection feature which bars small particles, dust, and contaminants from escaping the machine into the surrounding. Thanks to the presence of the dust collection on the blasting machine that abrasive wastage is prevented from harming the environment.
Application of shot blasting process versus sandblasting
When compared to the process of sandblasting, shot blasting doesn’t generate dust in a large quantity. Hence, shot blasting is much more environment-friendly, and this is why the cleaning process is often referred to as dustless blasting. This is possible more because of the presence of a closed chamber featuring the dust collector which doesn’t allow the environment to get polluted with dust particles. Furthermore, the shot blasting process doesn’t involve sand similar to sandblasting. Instead, the cleaning process makes use of steel beads that are blasted on the surface to clean the stains and contaminants.
Industrial application of blasting
Some of the industries where shot blasting is a preferred choice are as follows:
- Iron and steel castings
- Various metal foundry
- Aircraft maintenance
- Aerospace maintenance
- Aluminum casting
- Shipyard and shipbuilding
- Steel fabrication
- Car and bus painting
- Cleaning of alloy wheel
Factors affecting blast cleaning process
Several factors are responsible for an effective process of shot blast cleaning in different industrial applications. They are:
- The size of the abrasive used
- The hardness of the abrasive
- The working condition of the blasting machine
- Condition of the surface that needs to be cleaned from contaminants
- The humidity level and temperature exposure to the surface, which is prone to oxidation
Benefits of shot blasting
Industrial machinery parts and surfaces gradually end up with corrosion and rust. Whether it is rust or any other contaminant, moisture gets trapped, holding against machinery parts where damages are incurred. When the corrosion is eliminated, it releases the trapped moisture and protects the metallic surfaces of the parts used in the industries. The abrasive shot blasting method can be used on a wide array of metal surfaces and remove the most aggressive rusted stains so that they can be used again.
Preparing the surface
With regular use of metal parts of different machines in the industrial sectors, the paint or the necessary coating gets chipped and damaged. Thanks to shot blasting which cleans the unwanted paint and coating chips and prepares the surface of a heater machine, boiler, and other equipment for better and more effective new coats and paints. The shot blast cleaning procedure prepares the surface in a way that there is a strong bond helping the paint and coating to stay longer, and shiner.
Detects surface issues
Any issues or problems that might be present on the surface can be easily detected when shot blasting is used to clear and eliminate the contaminants. The tiny shots used are beneficial for smoothing the surface significantly and making it fit for the next stage of the surface. When a defect is identified, the blasting machine focuses on leveling the surface so that the problem doesn’t get deeper and create bigger issues.
One of the prime reasons for the widespread use and popularity of the shot blasting procedure is not using any acid and degrading the environment. The cleaning method eliminates the need for harmful cleaning agents and the use of chemicals. The process only uses pellets or shots to wear away dirt, rust, corrosion, and other contaminants from different surfaces. The dust that is generated during the cleaning process also gets suctioned away with the dust collector equipped with blasting equipment. Hence, the process is environmentally friendly, and a preferred cleaning method in industries today.
Faster and more efficient
When surface smoothing, cleaning, and preparing of a heater machine or a boiler is concerned, the traditional cleaning method will take prolonged time. But, with the help of shot blasting, the whole process can be more efficient, and faster by at least 75%. This means that both time and money get saved in the long run while incorporating the shot blasting process. Moreover, the cleaning process is handy which accounts for its wide applications. Since the steel shots can be reused, the cleaning method is efficient and adopted by a wide array of industries.
Shot blasting has emerged as an inexpensive, and time-saving cleaning process without incurring any damage to the surfaces of a heater machine, boilers, metal parts of machinery, and other industrial equipment. It is a preferred cleaning procedure as it is environmentally-friendly and economical to use. Furthermore, shot blasting can effectively clean, smoothen, and prep the surface for painting, and coating multiple times.
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