Maintenance Tips for Abrasive Blasting

Maintenance Tips for Abrasive Blasting

Maintenance Tips for Abrasive Blasting

Maintenance Tips for Abrasive Blasting

Abrasive blasting operations rely on equipment to complete the job. Ensuring the blast equipment is running efficiently and not breaking down is an important part of any blast operation. These maintenance tips will help keep your blasting operation running efficiently and limit any shutdowns.

Commonly Replaced Blast Parts

With the use of abrasives, metal components, seals and gaskets will start to wear down. Regular replacement of these part is important to ensure that equipment runs at peak performance, avoiding a potential job shutdown.

Here is a list of the most commonly replaced items on blast equipment:

  • Pop-Up Valve Seat & Seal
  • Grit Valve and its Components
  • Exhaust Muffler
  • Blast Hose
  • Blast Nozzle
  • Nozzle Holder
  • Remote Control Handle and Hoses
  • Remote Control Valve Kits

We have replacement blast parts in stock. View our blast parts here.

blast pot diagram
blast pot diagram

Negative Effects of Nozzle Wear

An abrasive blast nozzle naturally wears down with use. The type of nozzle material, blast media, air pressure, and work time all play a role in just how quickly this happens. Keeping a nozzle gauge handy will assist in monitoring the rate of wear on your nozzle to know when to replace it.

Negative effects of nozzle wear:

Increased Air Consumption

  • Reduces the life of your compressor
  • Increases energy use of maintenance costs

Irregular Blast Pattern

  • This increases time (labor hours) spent on part(s) as the blast pattern is uneven and erratic.
  • Inconsistent end product, lowering the quality of work
abrasive blast pattern

Commonly Replaced Safety & PPE Parts

Operator safety is a vital part of the abrasive blasting process. Blasting creates dust that can be dangerous when inhaled, as well as creates physical dangers by way of sharp pieces of media, high air pressures, and obstacles in the blast environment. There are components of the breathing air respirator and filter that need to be replaced regularly.

Here is a list of the most commonly replaced items on personal protection equipment:

  • Tear Away Lenses
  • Replacement Lens & Gasket
  • Helmet Suspension
  • Hygiene Pads
  • Air Filter Cartridge
  • Breathing Tube

We carry safety equipment and replacement parts in stock. View our safety & PPE items here.

RPB Nova 3 blast hood

Tips & Tools to Keep Up with Maintenance

Maintenance is about regular up-keep to equipment rather than just repairing equipment after it breaks down. Knowing the ins and outs of your operation is key to planning your maintenance, as there are many factors that affect the rate of wear.

Here are some tools you can utilize to help navigate your blast equipment maintenance:

  • Grit Valve Selection – Selecting the appropriate grit valve and components to withstand the type of media used for the blasting application. Having the correct components will limit how quickly they wear down with use.
  • Needle Gauge – Provides an accurate reading of air pressure at the nozzle to ensure you are blasting at the appropriate psi.
  • Nozzle Gauge – Measures the inside diameter of the nozzle to check if the nozzle has worn down below the requirement for the blasting operation.
blast nozzle gauge

Maintenance and Repair Services

Through an experienced technician, Midvale offers maintenance and repair services on blast equipment. Contact our team about your equipment’s regular maintenance, repairs, and replacement parts.

What You Need to Know About the 2022 Chemical Excise Tax

What You Need to Know About the 2022 Chemical Excise Tax

chemical excise tax

What You Need to Know About the 2022 Chemical Excise Tax

And How It Affects the Manufacturing Industries


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has re-instated a previous chemical tax after a hiatus for over 25 years. This ‘new’ chemical tax has amendments including updated tax rates on chemicals and chemical substances. The taxable items are broken up as “taxable chemicals” and “taxable substances”.

When does the Chemical Excise Tax go into effect?

As of July 1st, 2022 the Chemical Excise Tax is in full effect. The first return is due by October 31st, 2022 for the calendar quarter that ends on September 30th, 2022.

What is the tax rate?

The tax rate varies based on the type of chemical or substance. The rates range from as low as $0.44 per ton up to $9.74 per ton.

Which chemicals are included in the Chemical Excise Tax?

The IRS has compiled a list of “taxable chemicals” and “taxable chemical substances” that are to be taxed, which is subject to change. The “taxable substances” is considered as a substance that is comprised of more than 20% of one of the taxable chemicals, by weight or volume.

Scroll to the bottom for full list of chemicals and substances.

Who is responsible for paying the tax?

As stated by the IRS, “the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the taxable chemical is responsible for reporting and paying the section 4661 tax to the IRS. For taxable substances, the importer of the taxable substance is responsible for reporting and paying the section 4671 tax to the IRS.”

The taxes are to be reporting quarterly and payments be semimonthly. Those responsible for paying these chemical taxes must report them on IRS Form 720 and Form 6627.

How does this affect manufacturing industries?

Many chemicals in the excise tax are commonly used in many products throughout various industries, including foundry and parts cleaning applications. As this tax takes effect, price increases are likely from the manufacturers and importers of these products.

This tax affects such a wide range of chemicals that most industries will be affected. If you have any processes that use chemicals, you’ll be affected. Most of the affect as a use within your applications will come as prices increase long term from manufacturers and importers. Below are some specific items/processes that will be affected.

Foundry Industry

Some key items affected by this chemical tax will be sand binders, flux, adhesives, release agents, alloys, chromite sand, and more.

Parts Cleaning

Parts cleaning involves the use of various chemicals to aid in the cleaning of contaminants. Some of these chemicals may include the taxable items, driving a future increase in price on these items.

Have questions on how this affects you?

Contact our team and discuss potential proactive measures to prepare for this ‘new’ tax.

List of “taxable chemicals”:

  • Acetylene
  • Benzene
  • Butane
  • Butylene
  • Butadiene
  • Ethylene
  • Methane
  • Naphthalene
  • Propylene
  • Toluene
  • Xylene
  • Ammonia
  • Antimony
  • Antimony trioxide
  • Arsenic
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Barium sulfide
  • Bromine
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorine
  • Chromium
  • Chromite
  • Potassium dichromate
  • Sodium dichromate
  • Cobalt
  • Cupric sulfate
  • Cupric oxide
  • Cuprous oxide
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Hydrogen fluoride
  • Lead oxide
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Phosphorus
  • Stannous chloride
  • Stannic chloride
  • Zinc chloride
  • Zinc sulfate
  • Potassium hydroxide
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Nitric acid

List of “taxable substances”:

  • 1,4 butanediol
  • 1,3-butylene glycol
  • 1,5,9-cyclododecatriene
  • 2-ethyl hexanol
  • 2-ethylhexyl acrylate
  • 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate
  • 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate
  • acetic acid
  • acetylene black
  • adipic acid
  • adiponitrile
  • allyl chloride
  • alpha-methylstyrene
  • aniline
  • benzaldehyde
  • benzoic acid
  • bisphenol-A
  • butanol
  • butyl acrylate
  • butyl benzyl phthalate
  • chlorinated polyethylene
  • cyclododecanol
  • decabromodiphenyl oxide
  • di-2 ethyl hexyl phthalate
  • di-n-hexyl adipate
  • diethanolamine
  • diglycidyl ether of bisphenol-A
  • diisopropanolamine
  • dimethyl terephthalate
  • dimethyl-2, 6-naphthalene dicarboxylate
  • diphenyl oxide
  • diphenylamine
  • epichlorohydrin
  • ethyl acetate
  • ethyl acrylate
  • ethyl chloride
  • ethylene dibromide
  • ethylenebistetrabromophthalimide
  • formic acid
  • glycerine
  • hexabromocyclododecane
  • hexamethylenediamine
  • isobutyl acetate
  • isopropyl acetate
  • linear alpha olefins
  • methyl acrylate
  • methyl chloroform
  • methyl isobutyl ketone
  • methyl methacrylate
  • monochlorobenzene
  • monoethanolamine
  • monoisopropanolamine
  • normal butyl acetate
  • normal propyl acetate
  • nylon 6/6
  • ortho-dichlorobenzene
  • ortho-nitrochlorobenzene
  • paraformaldehyde
  • para-dichlorobenzene
  • para-nitrochlorobenzene
  • para-nitrophenol
  • pentaerythritol
  • perchloroethylene
  • phenol
  • phosphorous pentasulfide
  • phosphorous trichloride
  • poly 1,4 butyleneterephthalate
  • poly (69/31 ethylene/cyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate)
  • poly (96.5/3.5 ethylene/cyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate)
  • poly (98.5/1.5 ethylene/cyclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate)
  • poly(ethyleneoxy)glycerol
  • poly(propylene)glycol
  • poly(propylene/ethylene)glycol
  • poly(propyleneoxy)glycerol
  • poly(propyleneoxy)sucrose
  • poly(propyleneoxy/ethyleneoxy)benzenediamine
  • poly(propyleneoxy/ethyleneoxy)diamine
  • poly(propyleneoxy/ethyleneoxy)glycerol
  • poly(propyleneoxy/ethyleneoxy)sucrose
  • polyalphaolefins
  • polybutene
  • polybutylene
  • polybutylene/ethylene
  • polycarbonate
  • polyethylene terephthalate pellets
  • propanol
  • sodium nitriolotriacetate monohydrate
  • synthetic linear fatty alcohols
  • synthetic linear fatty alcohol ethoxylates
  • terephthalic acid
  • tetrabromobisphenol-A
  • tetrachlorophthalic anhydride
  • tetrahydrofuran
  • texanol benzyl phthalate
  • toluene diisocyanate
  • toluenediamine
  • trichloroethylene
  • triethanolamine
  • triisopropanolamine
  • trimethylolpropane
  • vinyl acetate

Tumbling Media Composition Matters

Tumbling Media Composition Matters

tumbling media composition

Tumbling Media Composition Matters

A Media Composition Resource Guide

The composition of tumbling media plays an important role in your finishing process and determines whether the media is for cutting or finishing. Cutting media will contain abrasives within the composition while, finishing media will either contain no abrasive or very fine abrasive. The main materials used for tumbler media include ceramic, steel, plastic, urethane, or corn cobs.

Ceramic Tumbling Media

Ceramic media is typically made up of a combination of abrasive and clay. The curing time and oven temperatures determine the hardness of the ceramic. A softer ceramic will provide better cutting as the media wears away revealing fresh abrasive under the top layer. There are various cutting speed options available to meet specific finishing requirements.

Applications: Deburring, Deflashing, Burnishing, Polishing, Brightening, Radiusing

Available Shapes: angle cut cylinders, stars, cones, triangles, wedges, pyramids, and specialty shapes upon request.

ceramic tumbling media

Stainless Steel Tumbling Media

Steel media provides shape uniformity, short cycle times, and long-lasting durability. Often used in cosmetic finishing, steel tumbling media does not scratch or damage the parts, but provides a clean surface. Steel media does not cause wear to the machine lining, reducing maintenance costs.

Applications: Stress Relieving, Strengthening, Brightening, Preplate

Available Shapes: pins, ball cones, oval cones, diagonal cylinders, and specialty shapes upon request.

stainless steel tumbling media

Plastic Tumbling Media

Plastic media has a lower density than ceramic and is typically softer. The composition is made of abrasive, bonded with various types of plastic or resins. Plastic is commonly used in applications with softer metals or fragile parts. There are various cutting speed options available to meet specific finishing requirements.

Applications: Deburring, Deflashing, Surface Metal Removal, Fine Finishing, Radiusing

Available Shapes: angle cut cylinders, stars, cones, triangles, wedges, pyramids, and specialty shapes upon request.

Plastic tumbling Media

Urethane Dry Finishing Media

Urethane media eliminates the need for compound in the tumbling process. It has a long-life cycle and reduces many typical use costs. It also eliminates the messy residue often associated with plastic media formulations.

Applications: Deburring, Deflashing, Burnishing, Polishing, Brightening

Available Shapes: angle cut cylinders, stars, cones, triangles, wedges, pyramids, and specialty shapes upon request.

urethane tumbling media

Corn Cob Tumbling Media

Corn cob media is typically used to dry metal parts after tumbling or parts washing cycles. The starch helps absorb water, oil and grit. This reduces the chance for watermarks or stains on the parts. It can also be infused with various buffing and polishing compounds for enhanced finishes.

Applications: Deflashing, Burnishing, Polishing, Brightening

Available Shapes: crushed corn cobs, multiple sizes available

Corn Cob blasting Media

Selecting the Right Media Composition

The desired finishing process or final outcome is a large factor in determining the composition as some media types are more suitable for certain applications than others. When selecting your tumbling media composition, as well as shape/size, the part and desired outcome are major factors. The type of metal is a factor when selecting composition as softer metals need a specific blend for ceramic, as an example.

Process Testing

Testing your tumbling process is vital for selecting the right media. Send us your parts and our processing lab will determine the right media shape and type for your finishing application.

Why Tumbling Media Shape Matters

Why Tumbling Media Shape Matters

tumbling media shape

Why Tumbling Media Shape Matters

A Media Shape Resource Guide

Tumbling media comes in many sizes, compositions, and shapes. Each of these factors are a crucial decision within your finishing application. We’re going to breakdown the various shapes of tumbler media in this article. Here is a list of various shapes:

  • Spheres and Balls
  • Triangles
  • Pyramids
  • Pins
  • Arrowheads
  • Wedges
  • Ellipses
  • Nuggets
  • Cylinders
  • Quadrants
  • Cones
  • Ball Cones
  • Ovals
  • Stars
  • Four-pointed stars
  • Diamonds
  • Tetrahedrons
  • Random Shapes

Importance of Tumbler Media Shape

The various shapes of tumbler media all have different advantages for specific tumbling applications. The main items you need to consider when selecting a size are:

  • The ability for the media to cover the full surface area of the part being tumbled.
  • Media will not lodge in any holes or recesses.
  • Speed and smooth flow through the tumbler.
  • Allow for easy separation of media from the parts at the end of the cycle.

There are times when using a combination of media shapes is the best process for an application.

ceramic tumbling media
tumbling media

Triangle Media

Triangular tumbler media is ideal for harder to reach corners and slots on parts. The flat parts of the triangles are effective on straight edges while the edges provide coverage into the smaller areas. Triangular media consists of triangles, arrowheads, and angle-cut triangles, often used in cleaning and deburring applications.

Cone Media

Conical tumbling media is effective for entering holes and passageways on parts without lodging. Typically used in applications that require aggressive action, ball cones are often used for burnishing.

Sphere Media

Spherical tumbling media is ideal for blending and smoothing surfaces. The round shape creates good flow and movement through the tumbler.

Wedge Media

Wedge-cut tumbling media, or often referred to as V-cut cylinders, is a versatile shape that can be effective for many applications.

Cylinder Media

Cylindrical media is ideal for deburring holes and contours. The angled ends are effective at reaching into recesses on parts. Cylinders are also very efficient at removing rust from parts.

Oval Media

Oval tumbling media provides a larger surface-to-surface coverage than spheres, while still providing good flow and motion through the tumbler. Ovals are often used in barrel tumbling applications.

The composition of the media will have an affect on the available media shape options. Stainless steel media can’t be made into all of the same shapes as ceramic and plastic.

stainless steel tumbling media

Process Testing

Testing your tumbling process is vital for selecting the right media. Send us your parts and our processing lab will determine the right media shape and type for your finishing application.

Sand Casting Core Defects Series – Part 2

Sand Casting Core Defects Series – Part 2

shell sand core defects
In this two-part foundry series, we explore the most common core defects and provide the most probably casuses. If you run into these core defects, use this troubleshooting guide to check your system. Minimizing the amount of defects in the core making room will boost overall production.

Common Core Defects

Core showing thin walls

  • Melt point too high (above 218 degrees)
  • Lack of heat (below 450 degrees)
  • Invest time too short
  • Sand temperature too cold (below 60 degrees)

Core showing parting line shift

  • Worn locators
  • Missing locators
  • Box made improperly

Poorly drained cores

  • Melt point of sand too low (below 205)
  • Hot spots in core box near blow end
  • Invest time too long
  • Drain time too short
  • Blow hole too small for sand to drain out
  • Sand temperature too hot (above 90 degrees)


Core showing thick walls

  • Melt point too low (below 205 degrees)
  • Heat too high (above 550 degrees)
  • Invest too long
  • Sand temperature too hot (above 90 degrees)

Core showing cracks

  • Core walls are too thin
  • Core is under cured
  • Core is over cured in areas
  • Core box is opening uneven
  • Bushings or locators are worn
  • Missing locators
  • Back draft in core box
  • Sand has low hot strength (too weak)

Core sticking in box

  • Sand too cold – should be between 60 to 80 degrees
  • Box too cold – below 450 degrees (450-550 degrees)
  • Box too hot – above 550 degrees (450-550 degrees)
  • Free resin in sand due to vibration or fracturing of sand grains
  • Blow pressure too high – average blow pressure 30-50 lbs (blasting on)
  • Blow hole in blow plate larger than blow hole in core box (blasting on)
  • Blow hole in blow plate off center of blow hole in core box (blasting on)
  • Blow time too long
  • Box has just been cleaned – no film left on surface of core box
  • Box is dirty causing back drafts
  • Lack of wax in sand (release agent)
  • Lack of venting in core box – causing operator to raise air pressure or lengthen blow time (blasting on)
  • Cure cycle is too short – core is yellow – resin sticking
  • Core cycle is too long – core is black – resin is burning on
  • Core box has back draft

Core is showing peel back (voids under skin)

  • Very high melt point of sand (above 220 degrees)
  • Cold areas in core box (more heat-more burners)
  • Burners out in some areas
  • Core box temperature below 450 degrees
  • Vibrator too strong during rock and drain cycle
  • Low density (sand will not stick together)
  • Blow pressure too low (creating low density)
  • Blow pressure too short (causing low density)
  • Too high of blow pressure – and long blow timer (together they cause chilling in the box in vent areas)
  • Cold sand (below 60 degrees)
  • Moisture in blow lines (poor flow ability causing poor density and chilling of the box)
  • Vents plugged (air not getting out)
  • Lack of vents (air not getting out)
  • Lack of seal between core box and blow plate (blowing out which causes low density)
  • Sand may be to coarse
  • Dirty box (excessive build-up from resin and release agent causing poor heat transfer)         
Request a Trial of Foundry Sand Today

Contact our team today and request a trial for our foundry sand products. We offer resin coated sand and silica free sand options.