Selecting your blast media is an important part of the overall process. You need to ensure that the media is safe to use on your substrate, whether or not you can reclaim and recycle, and the desired outcome. Ask your media supplier for an estimate on blast bycles for the media you think will fit best. (See Below)
4.) Make Sure You Are Using The Right Sized Compressor For Your Nozzle
Larger Blast Nozzle typically equals more production, that being said it also requires more CFM and Horsepower from your compressor. The chart above illustrates what is required from compressor based on nozzle and pressure at the nozzle. Tip: It is a good practice to base your compressor size requirements based on the next nozzle size up, to accommodate for nozzle wear especially when blasting with aggressive media.
There are several types of blast nozzles to choose from. They very in size, shape and material.
5.) Choose The Correct Blast Hose
Choosing the correct size and type of blast hose will not only ensure a longer life of the hose based ont he type of media you are using, but will also help reduce operator fatigue. Ensuring your operators are working at the highest level will increase production and efficiency. There are several types of blast hose to choose from, some factors to consider include weight, durability, flexibility, and is it static dissipating.
6.) Wear Proper PPE With Protective Clothing
If you are not sure what personal protection equipment you should wear when abrasive blasting, contact your media supplier or you can call reach out to a Midvale Technical Rep. Typical protective equipment includes a blast helmet, blast helmet lenses, blast suit and cape, blast gloves, air supply line, breathing air hose, CO monitor, CPF Filter, and sometimes an ambient air pump.
There are a number of factors that determine the “true cost” of an abrasive: The dollar amount per pound, the number of cycles, and your reclaim system.
As mentioned in tip number 3 reusability is important, blast media that initially seems very expensive such as steel shot/grit (reusability 200+ cycles) versus a cheaper abrasive such as coal slag (reusability 1 – 3 cycles). While steel media is superior in reusability it is not cheaper if you cannot reclaim it effectively (see tip #2).
Start Sandblasting Today
Interested in learning more about how to make your sandblasting operation efficient and productive? Or starting your blasting operation from the ground up? Talk to our team of technically trained reps today.
Do you get inconsistent surface finishes when sandblasting? You may be forgetting to check your work mix.
If you are reclaiming and reusing your sandblast media, then you need to be aware of what a good sandblast media work mix is and how to maintain it. Having too coarse or too fine of a work mix can cause inconsistent or damaged surface finishes. The best way to ensure a consistent and quality surface finish is through maintaining a healthy blast media work mix.
Signs of A Bad Work Mix
Process is moving slowly
A proper work mix contains a mixture of various sized abrasives. This distribution of sizes provides for maximum cleaning in the shortest amount of time.
There is a lot of dust in your process
The fine dust particles are not being pulled out by the reclaimer/dust collector properly.
Inconsistent Surface Finish
Benefits Of Using An Efficient Healthy Work Mix
Increase the value of your sandblasting media by making it work as efficiently as possible.
Consistent and quality surface finish.
Increase productivity through a quicker surface finishing process.
How To Achieve & Maintain An Efficient Work Mix
Monitor your work mix through regular screening
There are a lot of factors that cause a media to break down quickly or slowly such as the type of abrasive used, the starting particle size and PSI used while blasting. Since there can be many factors that affect the rate of media breakdown, it is a good idea to regularly screen your media so you can tell where your system stands. This is turn will help you make adjustments that will provide a consistent quality finish.
If you don’t have screening capabilities, we can help at our lab at Midvale Industries.
Regularly add new media to the mix
Frequently adding small media additions will keep larger particles fed into the system to replace the spent media that is being removed. The amount of blasting you do per day will help determine how frequently you should add new media.
Adding a large amount of new media at the end of the current media cycle will throw off your work mix. This creates an inconsistent mix and results.
Check your dust collector
If you find usable media in the dust collector, make adjustments to the reclaimer and/or dust collector that will dampen the system and stop pulling good media through.
Is there dust in your work mix?
Then it’s time to adjust the reclaim/dust collector system the opposite way and pull spent media and other dusts out of the system.
Your Midvale Sales Rep can also help tune your system for optimal performance! Contact Us Today!
Protect Sensitive Substrates With The Use Of Natural Bio-Based Abrasive For Coating Removal
1.) Preserves Aircraft Integrity
Traditional aerospace coating removal processes can cause damage to the structure and tooling. Starch abrasives safely remove coatings from sensitive metallic and composite substrates with minimal effects on the mechanical properties of the airframe or component. These abrasives are less damaging and more forgiving when compared to traditional plastic media blasting (pmb) abrasives. The use of starch abrasives helps ensure that expensive assets can stay in the air longer.
2.) Simple and Fast
The Starch Blasting Process is a repeatable process that gives consistent results. Starch abrasives remove coatings 8 to 10 times faster than hand sanding. Bio-based starch abrasives have a self-sharpening crystalline structure that ensures consistent cutting capability throughout the product’s life. Starch abrasive can be used in multiple blast processes including blast pots, blast cabinets, blast rooms and blast hangars.
3.) Safe To Use on Composite Material
The gentle effect of starch media on composite substrates allows selective stripping of top coats while leaving the primer coat intact, ensuring no damage to the underlying surface. The starch abrasives are very effective on advanced composite materials such as Kevlar, Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber and new Hybrid Composites, while preserving the aircraft’s original structural integrity. They are also ideal for a high volume of molds and tools cleaned on a daily basis.
5.) Environmentally Friendly Product & Recycling Program
Starch Abrasives are a natural bio-based abrasive. They are made from renewable and sustainable resources. Midvale Environmental Technologies has an approved recycling and handling program that eliminates hazardous waste and reduces overall disposal costs. This recycling program is approved in many states including California and Florida.
6.) Nationally Recognized
Midvale Environmental Technologies was recognized along with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Aircraft and Supply Center when they were awarded the Closing the Circle Award for eliminating their blasting facility’s hazardous waste while reducing disposal costs. Midvale Environmental Technologies was recognized along with the Navy and their Green Procurement initiative for their starch media usage.
Are you still using silica sand in your foundry? Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) are set by OSHA to provide a safe working environment for employees.
The use of crystalline silica is dangerous for our health. When workers inhale the dust and fumes created by crystalline silica, they are at risk for developing lung cancer, silicosis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or kidney disease. When you switch to silica free options in your foundry, you are improving the environment for your workers and reducing their risk of disease.
Avoid hefty fines by addressing Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) set by OSHA within your facility today. Converting to a silica free option within your foundry will go a long way in addressing government PEL regulations. We also offer other opportunities to meet PEL guidelines in your foundry.
Improve Casting finish with silica free sand in your mold and core making process. Silica free sands provide a higher quality sand than crystalline silica sands. Silica free sands can also reduce overall energy costs during mold and core making.
Green Diamond Foundry Sand
Complies with PEL Limits
Green Diamond’s durability is greater than both olivine and western silica sands meaning less breakdown and dust
One of the disadvantages with soda blasting in a cabinet has always been visibility. Soda is dusty and without a cabinet that can move air through it quickly (especially near the viewing window), visibility can be challenging. Clemco Industries has released their High Performance Bicarbonator System (the video above was shot in this cabinet). In the video above even at 80 PSI visibility is not a problem like it has been in the past particularly at higher pressures. The cabinet has unique features including its Clearview high ventilation technology that evacuates the media out of the cabinet before dust clouds can build up in it. There are modifications to the blast pot to keep media agitated to prevent it from clumping up if moisture gets in the system from compressed air.
Soda Blasting Formulations
Not all baking soda is equal! Midvale offers Armex made by Church and Dwight the premier sodium bicarbonate for blasting. We have partnered with Armex, to offer our customers high quality soda that is sized for consistency and because multiple formulations are available for specific applications and industrial conditions. Formulations include those with flow agents where humidity is a concern, larger crystal formulations for more aggressive products, and blends with aluminum oxide for particular automotive remanufacturing applications.
Advantages of Soda Blasting
Soda blasting has always been a good option for the automotive parts remanufacturing industry. Some of the advantages of using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for blasting are as follows.
Soda is non-destructive to most surfaces because it is softer than the surface substrate but harder than the coating or containment (grease, carbon, etc) it is removing
Crack detention is made easier because it does not fold metal edges over cracks when blasting
Unlike other abrasive that can get trapped in small passages in a part and later cause part failure, baking soda dissolves in liquids and can be circulated through the part without damage
It preserves the surface integrity and dimensional integrity of the part
Works well in wet blasting system, enabling it to wash the part without the use of potential harsh solvents and chemicals