Compressed air demands for vapour abrasive blasting

Compressed air recommendations for the best vapour abrasive blasting results

When applying a vapour abrasive blasting system, you want to achieve the best surface preparation results in the quickest, most cost-efficient way possible.

One of the most important elements in determining the productivity of a vapour abrasive blasting system is the compressed air.

Compressed air is, alongside the abrasive material, one of the most important elements of the entire abrasive blast system. To guarantee the best vapour abrasive blasting results, you should take into account some important aspects regarding the compressed air.

Compressed air must be clean

The compressed air has to be free from any trace of oil, moisture, or other contaminants.
·       Oil contaminates the abrasive and thus the blasted surfaces.
·       Moisture increases flash rusting and abrasive pot clogging.

Air supply has to be adapted to the application

The velocity of the abrasive determines the productivity and efficiency of a blasting operation. The abrasive velocity is directly linked to air pressure and flow rate, which are influenced by;
·       Compressor characteristics
·       Pressure loss through hoses and fittings
·       Nozzle wear

The exact air consumption depends on the nozzle size and working pressure. See the table below. Use the blast pressure vs. the airflow below to determine which nozzle to choose to achieve the desired blast pressure on the compressor output.

Important recommendations concerning air compression

·       To reduce pressure drop as much as possible, air piping has to be as short, as direct, and as large in diameter as possible.
·       All parts and connections have to match up with the inside diameter of supply hoses to prevent turbulence and extra pressure drop.
·       Hoses must be cut square and fully inserted.
·       Fastening screws must not dimple or penetrate the inner lining of hoses.
·       The inside diameter of blast hoses should be 3 to 4 times the size of the nozzle orifice.
·       To prevent a productivity decrease as soon as the nozzle starts to wear, the air supply system should be able to provide at least 50% more air flow than the new nozzle would need to develop the required working blasting pressure.

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