Vapour blasting is also commonly known as wet blasting, liquid honing, vapor honing, dustless blasting, or slurry blasting.
Wet blasting (vapor blasting) is a process for removing contaminants from a surface, or finishing a surface using pressurized water and abrasive blast media.
If the abrasive media is mixed with water and pressurized in a pressure pot before being propelled through a blast nozzle and mixed with compressed air. This process is generally known as slurry blasting. (The mix of blast media and water is called a slurry).
The biggest advantage of wet blasting is it produces a finer finish on a surface than traditional dry blasting. The water flushes out the abrasive, so there is no impregnation of the blasted surface. Any sediment or residual abrasive media is washed out. This leaves a cleaner surface.
Vapor blasting is preferred when you have a surface that you would like to preserve. By using a slurry blaster or vapor blasting cabinet, you can clean, de-grease, and blast a surface in one step. This save considerable time over traditional dry abrasive blasting.
Additionally, you can use much finer abrasive media with wet blasting, as the water is a more effective conduit for fine mesh abrasives than compressed air.
In outdoor dustless blasting, the abrasive is usually propelled using compressed air. A second hose will either introduce water at the blast nozzle (water injection), or make a halo of water that suppresses some of the dust created by blasting (water ring or water halo).
In a slurry blast cabinet, water and abrasive media is mixed together in a pressurized container, then propelled at an object inside the enclosure. This is effective for cleaning or stripping items like engine parts or aluminum wheels.
Some outdoor dustless blasting units combine the water and abrasive together in a slurry, and this mix is pressurized in a vessel, using either compressed air or water to create the pressure. Then, the slurry is injected into the air flow of the blast hose.
Any type of blast media can be used, though glass beads, or a mix of sodium bicarbonate and fine glass beads are normally used for wet blasting inside a blast cabinet.
For outdoor wet blasting, crushed glass, Green Diamond nickel slag, or copper slag may be used.
Wet blasting lends itself to a wide variety of uses.
Vapor blasting is a natural choice for cleaning grease, rust, factory coatings, or other contaminants from old auto or motorcycle parts. The cleaning and stripping process goes quickly with wet blasting, and the finish is much softer. Aluminum, chrome, or steel surfaces have a satin-like finish at the end of the process.
In dry sandblasting, when the abrasive slams into the blasted surface, the abrasive particles split into smaller particulates and dust. This abrasive dust carries a static electric charge, which can create dry sparks. If you are sandblasting around flammable gases or materials, this presents a fire or explosion hazard.
With wet dustless blasting, there is still a small possibility of sparks with the dust particles. However, they are cold sparks, meaning the possibility of explosion is greatly reduced.
There are certain jobs where traditional sandblasting is too destructive to the substrate to be practical. Because you can wet blast with a lower PSI, and with softer media, there are times where that is more desirable. These include historical or antique restoration, wood restoration, cleaning up fire damage, and removing graffiti.
Because of regulations on airborne dust, there are many times when wet blasting is the best choice. The water suppresses most of the dust caused by outdoor abrasive blasting, so dust containment is less of an issue.
Traditional dry blasting cause frictional heat to the blasted surface. For softer metals, this can cause unwanted warping. Wet blasting helps cool the frictional heat from abrasive blasting, making it a better choice for blasting stainless steel or aluminum.
Vapor blasting is often used to remove carbon deposits, oxidation, paint, and other contaminants in engineering applications. It is also commonly used in cleaning and peening aerospace parts and surfaces.
Vapor blasting was first developed in England during World War II. Rolls-Royce pioneered this process to peen and finish the surface of turbine blades before assembly into jet engines.
This web application was created by:
RC Professional Blasting Services.