Gibson Abrasive Equipment Newsletter – Wheel Blasting Stainless Fabrications – December 2020

Wheel or Air Blasting Stainless Fabrications?

Most stainless blast applications are done utilizing air blast delivery methods. Air blast could require an operator reaching into a blast cabinet or operating inside a blast room. The use of stainless shot or grit in a wheel blast system drastically cuts down on blast time, involvement from an operator, and overall operating costs.

Table Blast Systems efficiently blast heavy fabrications removing weld discoloration, leaving a clean and smooth surface.


Major Differences Between the Two Blast Delivery Systems:

Wheel Blasting Operating Principles

Abrasive Flow of 2,100 pounds per minute requires:

  • One Operator
  • (4) Blast Wheels @ 20 horsepower each
  • Compressed air consumption 5.0 SCFM
  • Compressor power 60 KW
  • 80 horsepower

Advantages:

  • Velocity of shot easily controlled through wheel speed.
  • High flow rate of abrasive will provide high production.
  • Economical – one 20 hp wheel can throw 525 lbs per minute equal to nearly seven 1/2” nozzles at direct pressure at 90 psi.
  • Does not require very much compressed air.
  • Low labor costs.
  • Higher production rates.
  • Complete coverage.

Disadvantages:

  • Can damage delicate or thin parts.
  • Not good for localized peening.
  • Greater abrasive consumption.
  • Can’t be used with aluminum oxide or glass bead.

Gibson 6BB Tumble Blast System – Fabricated Flanges – Blast Cleaning Wheel Blast

Gibson 36″ Power Table Blast System – Processing Stainless Fabrications


Air-Blasting Operating Principles

Blast media is pressurized in a blast tank or suctioned and propelled through a nozzle or multiple nozzles.

Abrasive Flow of 2,100 pounds per minute requires:

  • (27) Operators
  • (27) ½” Nozzles @ 90 PSI
  • Compressed air consumption 8,370 SCFM
  • Compressor power 1400 KW
  • 1,876 Horsepower

Advantages:

  • Great for localized peening or cleaning.
  • Typically does not damage delicate or thin parts using the right media.
  • Can be used with aluminum oxide & Glass Bead.

Disadvantages:

  • Requires a lot of compressed air.
  • High labor costs.
  • Smaller blast pattern.
  • Low production rates.
  • Low abrasive flow rates.

Interested in making the switch? Contact Gibson Abrasive Equipment today and test parts in the process development lab.

Sam Gibson
Sales Manager
Gibson Abrasive Equipment, LLC