Frequently Asked Wet Blasting Questions
Our customers challenge us in many ways to create wet blasting solutions that meet or exceed demanding end-user requirements in smoothness and cleanliness, surface texturing, measurement tolerances, and material performance in the field. As customer requirements continue to evolve, so do Wet Technologies solutions. Our highly advanced, fully automated wet blasting equipment delivers what it promises — and more. We welcome your inquiries and questions. We’ll work with you in our lab to test and refine our wet abrasive technology. Ask us about your most challenging questions, obstacles and bottlenecks, and work with our engineers to find clean, efficient, cost-effective solutions.
About Our Wet Blasting Process
In the Wet Technologies process, abrasive or non-abrasive media is mixed with water by a specially designed, high volume pump. The mixture is then sent to a nozzle or nozzles where regulated compressed air is added to adjust the aggressiveness as it discharges over a surface. The “scrubbing” effect can produce a variety of successful results.
More on the definition of Wet Blasting
The Wet Tech wet blasting process is dust-free and static-free. It does not embed media into the surface, and it can also remove oils and grease while performing other functions.
Six Reasons to Choose Wet Blasting Over Dry Blasting
Seven Reasons to Choose Wet Blasting Over Chemical Dip
The wet blasting process can successfully remove burrs, scale, oxidation and rust, machining marks, and coatings. It can enhance cosmetic appearance by producing a matte finish. It can take a smooth surface and etch it for superior coating and bonding, or it can create a smoother finish.
Wet Tech systems are ideal for processing internal passages of machined parts that are hard to reach with other methods. The Wet Tech process does not leave media embedded in the part.
Additive Manufacturing also can benefit from wet blast finishing. It can remove upskin and downskin, as well as support structures without damaging the part or product.
The systems are designed to separate broken-down abrasive and other surface particles as well as oils, and return the filtered water back into the machine for manual rinsing or automatic rinsing.
How do you choose between Wet Technologies manual, semi-automated, and fully automated wet blasting systems?
Budget and application considerations; Individual or diversified parts are generally run in manual systems, while high production of similar parts lend themselves to automated systems. In many cases, we supply combination systems that have automation capability while including a manual “glove box” station for touch up or non-automation parts.
Robotic systems are ideal for multi-axis processes. Achieve consistency and speed with programmable steps and inline integration.
The Wet Tech process eliminates dust, combines other processes such as washing and oil removal, and reduces or eliminates abrasive embedment (apps/wet dry comparison photo) while usually producing a more even finish.
Six Reasons to Choose Wet Blasting Over Dry Blasting
Although chemical dip can be an effective way to strip metal, it’s a tedious and expensive process. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires facilities to report any treatment, storing, movement, or disposal of hazardous materials, including that of chemical dip. Instead of using dangerous chemicals with cumbersome disposal cycles, wet blasting will remove any paint, oil, or dirt while simultaneously preparing the metal for bonding, painting, plating, or coating – saving you both time and money. Wet blasting is also much more eco-friendly than chemical dip, creating a more sustainable, safer work environment. And it’s versatile—any substance that can be exposed to water can be wet blasted.
A manual system is a non-automated process for wet blasting, requiring the operator to hold the part or blast gun and manually blast the part. An operator will wet blast each part individually, paying special attention to each piece’s specifications. Because there is less equipment involved, manual wet blasting systems are often less expensive than automated systems; however, the process may require more time and attention of the operator.
Automated systems create repeatable processes for wet blasting, helping to remove any human error from the operation. These automations can be customized to fit your needs, resulting in increased production. Even though automatic machines will take care of the wet blasting and material handling, automated systems will still require operators to monitor the process and verify that parts meet all specifications. And although automated systems are typically more expensive, their accuracy and efficiency make it worth the investment.
Robots can be added to wet blasting systems, helping to speed up production even further or process more complex part configurations. If your wet blasting processes require parts to be blasted from several angles, consider incorporating robotics into your system to increase productivity significantly.
Wet Blasting can reduce or eliminate the need to clean parts before or after finishing. In addition to finishing a surface, wet blasting also removes any contaminants including dirt, oil, rust, and paint. Because wet blasting uses a slurry mixture, or water and abrasive, it works to remove unwanted materials. And because wet blasting is closed-loop, the system will remove contaminants from the slurry before returning the filtered water back to the machine.
About Wet Blasting Applications
Burrs are either eroded down or knocked off the surface, depending on the condition and desired effect.
Water forms a cushion, which allows the abrasive action, while minimizing or preventing the media from embedding or logging into a surface, thereby creating a clean, even etch which can be controlled and repeated.
While the abrasive erodes or lifts the scale, the water in the slurry carries it off for separation in the filtration system.
For this application the slurry is heated, which speeds up the removal from the surfaces and enables most oils to float and be separated for disposal. Depending on the application, the closed-loop system can be designed to separate floating and emulsified oils with an integrated oil separator.
Metals, plastics, synthetics, composites—any substrate that can be exposed to water—can be finished with a Wet Tech Process.
Yes. By changing the media, adjusting the pressure, or swapping out a basic grate work surface for a turntable or rack, a single cabinet can easily be modified by the operator to accommodate various parts and a wide range of surface finishes.
When an engine needs an overhaul, each individual part will need to be deep cleaned. Doing this by hand can be extremely time consuming, which is why wet blasting is a great option. Wet blasting will use an abrasive slurry to clean the part entirely, removing any grime or rust that keeps the part from performing at its best.
Engine rebuilding typically requires a multi-step process of rust-removal, cleaning, soaking, and then shot or dry blasting before the rebuilding could begin. However, wet blasting does all of that in one step, saving both time and money.
Different components of an aircraft can be peened during both production and maintenance. This includes turbine and fan blades, discs, and vanes.
Investment castings can be difficult to remove from a surface, but you can wet blast using a high pressure water system to remove the shell, and then perform a final clean using slurry blasting depending on how much shell remains on the part.
Use wet blasting to remove semiconductor tooling coating without damage to the surface. The Wet Tech Process cleans semiconductors delicately while still removing all layers of the coating.
Flash, which is excess plastic, can form on parts during the molding process due to the material leaking between surfaces. Plastic deflashing removes that excess plastic to create a smoother and more precise part. This can be done through many methods, but one of the easiest and time-efficient ways is by wet blasting the part with an abrasive media and water mixture.
About Sustainability and Dustless Blasting
There are many successful examples where the Wet Tech Process has been used to combine parts washing with traditional abrasive blasting applications. In addition, the process can eliminate the use of harsh chemicals for washing or descaling.
All industries are now aiming to reduce or eliminate dust as it has been proven to be a dangerous health hazard. Static electricity combined with dust is a serious safety concern. By eliminating dust and static, Wet Technologies systems can be placed in close proximity to sensitive manufacturing processes, thereby reducing floor space and material handling time and methods, eliminating costly dust collectors and their maintenance, and giving manufacturing planners more options for improving work flow.
The Wet Tech Process produces water vapor, which naturally contains airborne particles. Depending on the type, size of the equipment, and options selected, we can install a combination demister filter unit, which sends the condensed water back to the closed-loop system, and can filter out the particles to HEPA levels before exhausting the remaining air to either plant atmosphere or outside ducting.
What happens to the broken-down abrasive, scale, and other particles removed in the wet blasting process?
The included closed-loop filtration system separates these particles and collects them as either sediment or in finer filtration bags or through other means and returns the water to the equipment.
Why does a manually operated Wet Technologies wet blast system cost more than a comparably sized dry blast cabinet?
Primarily, most of our systems are manufactured from stainless steel and non-corrosive materials. However, once the customer takes dust collection and/or elimination of washing and etching chemicals out of the equation while combining processes and greatly simplifying maintenance, Wet Technologies equipment more than justifies its initial purchase price. In addition, our durability speaks for itself as almost every Wet Technologies system sold since 1998 is in service with the original customer.
About Media for Slurry Blasting Equipment
The water cushions the media, which reduces the media breakdown rate by as much as two thirds compared to traditional dry blasting.
Enjoying working with the machine to descale and polish platinum tooling. Wonderful customer service.
Use this downloadable form to tell us about your requirements, and we’ll propose wet blasting techniques perfectly tailored to your needs.