8 Quick Tips for Extending the Life of Your Gibson Wheel Blast System

8 Quick Tips for Extending the Life of Your Gibson Wheel Blast System

8 Quick Tips for Extending the Life of Your Gibson Wheel Blast System

8 Quick Tips for Extending the Life of Your Gibson Wheel Blast System

Purchasing a Gibson wheel blast cleaning system can be significant investment, which is why regularly maintaining your system is a good idea. Regular maintenance will not only help the daily performance of the system but it will also prolong the life giving you many years of blast cleaning. To acheive optimal lifespan and productivity on Gibson Wheel Blast Systems, follow the instructions below, provided by our partner, Gibson Abrasive Equipment:


Break the system down into (8) main components for maintenance purposes and follow the action steps to ensure your wheel blast equipment functions at high productivity levels.

1) Blast Wheels

The wheels propels or throws the chosen abrasive media.

Action Steps:

  • Check major components for wear. (Blades, Impeller, Control Cage, & Liners)
  • Check and adjust the blast pattern.
wheel blast maintenance
wheel blast maintenance

Pro Tip: When doing a blast wheel tune-up mark the control cage location on the housing. This will make checking and adjusting the blast pattern much easier.

2) Work Handling system

Depending on the design type of machine this might be rubber belt, fixture(s), rotary table(s), rollers, or a manganese belt conveyor.

Action Steps:

  • Check for wear and replace as necessary.

3) Blast Chamber

This is the main cabinet or chamber that contains the blast operation.

Action Steps:

  • Check cabinet and liners for wear.
  • Check and replace door seals and cabinet slots as necessary.
wheel blast maintenance

Pro Tip: Many liners used in Gibson blast systems are universal. Some areas might show more wear than others. This can depend on the blast pattern and parts being blasted. Swap worn liners with liners that are showing little to no wear. This will save you time and money!

4) Electrical System

The wiring, controls, and motors to power and safely operate the system.

Action Steps:

  • Verify all safety switches and light curtains are working properly.
  • Verify the control cabinet is dust tight and clean as necessary.
  • Check all motor amps during operation.

5) Reclaim System

Used to transfer the abrasive mix back to the storage hopper.

Action Steps:

  • Check augers and bearings for wear.
  • Check elevator belt and buckets for wear.
  • Check elevator belt tension.
wheel blast maintenance

Pro Tip: When replacing the elevator belt, it is good to consider replacing the bearings, pulleys, and shafts.

6) Separation System

The method that the machine has to remove contaminate waste, broken down abrasive, or dust from the reusable abrasive.

7) Abrasive Storage System

The storage hopper effectively provides consistent media to the blast wheel(s).

Action Steps:

  • Check the hopper for leaks and wear spots.
  • Check for obstructions to the abrasive flow.

Pro Tip: In humid climates abrasive can begin to oxidize causing issues with abrasive flow.

8) Ventilation System

The dust collection system provides negative pressure to the blast system to ensure dust free operation as well as performs the pneumatic separation of the abrasive mix.

Action Steps:

  • Manually pulse each solenoid valve, ensuring proper function.
  • Verify the system is getting the proper air pressure in the reservoir tube.
  • Check the differential pressure on the provided gauge.
  • Routinely inspect dust pipes to prevent clogs.
  • Verify proper function of the timer board.
wheel blast maintenance
wheel blast maintenance
Order Wheel Blast Replacement Parts Today

Contact our team today for your wheel blast parts needs. We can get your parts needed shipped out quickly!

Cast Zinc Shot: Cost Saving Benefits for Shot Blasting

Cast Zinc Shot: Cost Saving Benefits for Shot Blasting

Cast Zinc Shot

How cast zinc shot can save you money in your shot blasting applications.

Cast Zinc Shot, manufactured by Transmet, is a soft metallic shot used for deburring, deflashing, cleaning and surface finishing blast applications on light metals and other non-ferrous parts. Cast Zinc Shot can also be used for rust and scale removal from iron and other ferrous castings/parts as well as cleaning paint and coatings from paint fixtures without causing damage.

Zinc shot safely cleans parts, providing a bright metallic finish without damaging the substrates and leaving the ID numbers, threads, and other details completely intact.

Cost Saving Benefits

  • Lower Shot Usage

    • 12,000+ blast cycle life
    • Lasts 5x longer than steel shot
    • Lasts 1000x longer than aluminum oxide and glass bead
  • Dust Collection & Recycling

    • Due to zinc shot having a longer blasting life, there is up to an 80% reduction in dust created during the blasting process when compared to steel shot (subject to the substrate being blasted)
    • Zinc shot dust is recyclable and can be a revenue source
  • Shot Blast Machine Wear

    • Eliminate the need for wear plates or other processes normally used to reduce machine wear
    • Reduce the need for replacement fixtures and blast wheels
    • Less maintenance time is required
    • Blast wheels still look and perform like new after more than 17,000 hours of blasting
zinc shot
zinc shot

Quality Benefits to Cast Zinc Shot

  • Provides temporary rust prevention after the blasting process
  • Zinc shot does not open porosity or delaminate cast parts
  • No media embedment
  • Converting to cast zinc shot is a smooth transition because cast zinc shot has the same density as steel shot so it works in the same machine with minimal modifications.

Try Cast Zinc Shot in Your Shot Blasting Application

Talk to a technically trained representative about trying our cast zinc shot. We would love to schedule a test for your shot blasting applications. Our team is available to provide you with hands on service.

Sand Casting Core Defects Series – Part 1

Sand Casting Core Defects Series – Part 1

shell sand core defects

Shell Sand Core Defects Series

Part 1

In this two-part foundry series, we explore the most common shell sand core defects and provide probable causes to help eliminate them. If you run into these core defects, use this troubleshooting guide to check your system. Minimizing the amount of defects in the core room will boost overall production and save money on re-work costs.

When is a shell core at its strongest and weakest?


  • Normally a 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. For thick wall castings, 3/4″ or greater
  • Complete cure of the entire thickness. Golden brown in color
  • Cold Tensile – 350 minimum. Ideal would be 350 to 500 tensile
  • Good density – Blown tight


  • Wall thickness below 3/8″
  • Wall thickness under cured – yellow in color
  • Cold tensile below 350
  • Loose density – Not blown tight

Common Shell Core Curing Issues:

Core is over cured:

  • Box temperature above 550 degrees
  • Cure timers too long
  • Low melt point of sand (below 205 degrees)
  • Sand temperature too hot (above 90 degrees)

Core is showing uneven cure:

  • Not enough burners (heat) to cover the configuration of the box
  • Burners out (not working)
  • Heat controls or sensors not working (either side of the box)
  • Core in the box too long before removal
  • Loose pieces colder than the rest of the box (move heat closer to loose pieces and mount extra burners)
  • Mixture of low and high melt point sands (improperly blended)

Core is under cured:

  • Box temperature is below 450 degrees
  • Cure timer is too short
  • Melt point of sand is above 218 degrees
  • Sand temperature is too cold (below 60 degrees)

Core surface is very dark but rest of core is under cured:

  • Box temperature too high (above 550 degrees)
  • Cure timers too short

Core Blowability Issues and Defects:

Core Has Poor Blowability:

  • Wet Sand
    • Water in air lines
    • Cold Sand – Below 60 degress. As the sand warms up, moisture is created
  • Low melt point – below 190 degrees. Sand sets up too quick, which slows the movement of the sand during blow cycle
  • Core box too hot – Above 550 degrees. The hotter the box gets, the quicker the sand sets up as it is flowing in, which slows up the movement of the sand
  • Blow valve malfunction – Proper air pressure not getting into sand box

Core Has Loose Blow or Poor Density:

  • Sand low in sand box
  • Vents plugged
  • Low blow pressure
  • Blow timer too short
  • Lack of venting opposite of blow end
  • Lack of vents at dead ends
  • Parting line not tight (sand blowing out)
  • Box too hot (above 550 degrees)
  • Lack of seal between blow plate and sand box
  • Blow valve blowing at wrong box position
  • Lumps in sand box (gets in front of blow holes)

Core Has Swirl Marks:

This core defect is usually found on cores that have a large area between smaller areas. The large area would be 4 inches or greater in diameter. This defect can be caused by:

  • Sand falling into the large area and beginning to set up before the remaining sand fills the area and the two sands do not knit together because of the different times the sand is in contact with the hot box.  Filling the core box faster usually corrects the problem.
  • Air that is trapped in the large area that has not pushed to vents opposite of blow area. As the sand was filling the large area and moving around, the excess air blends in with the sand giving the loose blow, swirl appearance. Usually putting vents in the box where the defect is found corrects the problem.
Are you experiencing defects with your shell cores?

Contact our team today to discuss your defects. Backed by years of expertise, our team can run trials to find the best process within your 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.

Ways to Address PEL Limits in the Foundry

Ways to Address PEL Limits in the Foundry

address pel limits in the foundry

Ways to Address PEL in the Foundry

Reducing Silica Exposure in Foundries

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.

Foundry Sand

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
  • Superior casting finish
  • Can be pre-mulled with clay additives
  • Less chill/pour colder

 GDC Resin Coated Shell Core Sand

  • Address PEL Limits while improving castings & reducing energy costs
  • Cures Up 40% Faster than Traditional Resin Coated Sands
  • Reduced Odor & Smoke
  • Lower Core Box Temperatures
industrial dust collector

Dust Collection Equipment

  • Dust Collection Systems are a key component to keeping your plant safe, operating efficiently, and within PEL Limits
  • Cartridge Style Collection Systems can be more effective & efficient in removing particulates while drastically reducing the time it takes to do maintenance on the equipment
foundry ppe
welding respirator

Personal Respiration Equipment

  • Meets OSHA Standards for Respiratory Protection
  • Offering PAPRs, Apollo Helmets, Bullard Helmets, and More
  • Helmets Available with Climate Control Tubes, Air Conditioners and More
  • Full Packages Available with Helmet Respirator Hose and CPF Filter
  • Note: Respiration equipment is considered PEL compliant only if there are no other viable options to protect workers from silica exposure

Add on options for hearing protection

Talk to our team about reducing silica exposure and meeting PEL guidelines in your foundry

Why Use Diamond Grinding Wheels in Your Cleaning Room?

Why Use Diamond Grinding Wheels in Your Cleaning Room?

Why use diamond grinding wheels in your cleaning room?


Benefits of using diamond grinding tooling and how it can save you money.

diamond cut off wheels

Being a 3rd generation foundryman and running cleaning rooms, I was introduced to the sales pitch for diamond grinding wheels 20 years ago.  Being a stubborn foundryman, I did the typical, “we have always done it this way”.

So, what is changed since that time?  For one, it is harder to find employees to hold a grinder 8 hours a day.  More automated equipment has been developed to take labor costs out of the cleaning room.

Second, the work environment in a cleaning room is under more and more scrutiny.  State and local regulations are requiring breathing air hoods and better dust collection in work areas.  The new silica rules also affect the acceptable levels of air contaminants in the cleaning room.

Third, the increased use of diamond wheels in many industries aside from foundries has lowered the overall cost structure.

Fourth, resin bonded grinding wheels are reinforced to keep them from breaking or chipping.  However, operators can bounce wheels on castings or get them bound in castings that can promote the possibility of a wheel breaking.  For automated applications, the changing size of the resin bonded wheel is hard for the auto grinder to compensate for and the machinery doesn’t know how hard or at what pressure breakage could occur at a given time.

Finally, the cost of disposing of industrial waste has increased exponentially over the last 10-20 years depending on your local options.

Why look at diamond grinding wheels now?

 Diamond Grinding Wheels


The diamond material is electrostatically plated onto a steel shape that will not break under normal pressure.  The chance of a wheel breaking or exploding is almost zero.

diamond grinding wheels

Work Environment

When using a resin bonded grinding wheel, an operator switches wheels out when the previous one is “used up” or physically gone. So where did all of the abrasive, resin, and fiberglass go…into the air, dust collector, and onto everything in the cleaning room. Then the debris has to be collected and disposed of; many times as hazardous waste. Every pound of the resin grinding wheel has to depart as waste.

With a diamond wheel, only the actual material ground off (iron or steel) is introduced into the environment.  Since a diamond wheel can last 10 times longer than a resin wheel, the amount of abrasive is small and there is no resin or fiberglass.

Increased Productivity

Since a diamond wheel is made of diamond abrasive particles, the removal rate is very consistent. Additionally, diamond wheels run at higher rpms than resin wheels, so more energy is available to remove excess material faster. With a resin grinding wheel, the abrasive has to break lose in order to cut within the next layer. Since the diamond wheel is one layer and the dimension of the wheel does not change, the operator does not have to apply as much pressure or bounce the wheel to get fresh abrasive.  This can significantly reduce operator fatigue and increase productivity.

Overall Cost Savings

The grinding of castings in a cleaning room only adds enough value to make the castings salable.  Any cost savings in labor, materials or productivity typically drops straight to the bottom line.  The use of diamond grinding wheels is a stark difference from using resin coated grinding wheels.  With the diamond wheels, the base shape is coated and recoated as needed.  With resin grinding wheels, you buy them over and over again and throw away the waste.  If the diamond wheels last 10 times longer, that is 9 times less freight needed and 10 times less waste to haul off.  Consider the time and effort spent cleaning work areas for resin wheels and dust collectors being dumped.  Without the possibility of grinding wheels breaking or exploding, insurance rates may reduce.  With a cleaner work environment, it may be easier to find and retain employees in the cleaning room. 

Overall, the time has come for the use of diamond grinding wheels.  There are upfront costs for making the grinding wheel shapes to have for recoating.  Some grinders may need to be modified or new ones purchased to allow for higher speeds.  Plus, there is a time lag between when a grinding wheel is ready for recoating and the time to coat that will have to be managed.  But the benefits are beginning to far outweigh the limitations or short term costs.     

Written By:

Tim Gilbreath

Foundry Product Manager

Midvale Industries


diamond grinding wheel

Try out Diamond Grinding Wheels and Burrs

Talk to a live representative about trying our diamond grinding wheels and burrs in your foundry cleaning room. Our team is available to provide you with hands on service.

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