Blast Cabinet Prices and Why they Vary
Cabinets for blasting can range significantly in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. Understanding why these price differences exist can be critical in being able to know which kind of blast cabinet may make sense for your blasting needs. This article will cover the pertinent things to consider about blast cabinets to ensure you can better select a blast cabinet that is priced well for the performance needs of your blasting work.
Blast Cabinet Factor 1 – The Design of the cabinet
The first factor to consider is the design of the blast cabinet. A Primary difference in lower and higher priced blast cabinet design include the way that doors and media delivery components are sealed. A lower priced cabinet may not have as tight of seals around the door or incorporate as good of a media recovery system allowing media to spill out during blasting. This can cause a significant mess in your shop due to media spilling out all the time. Additionally, the cabinet components may not be well protected from blast media, which can reduce the overall length of use you may get out of the equipment. The cabinet may have design limitations as well which do not properly direct air flow through the cabinet helping to minimize dust and maximize the visibility within the cabinet. Lower priced cabinets may also not be designed for pressure blasting but only suction blasting or may be designed for a low psi of pressure blasting. In general, a suction blast cabinet may not remove contaminant that is extremely stubborn and cannot achieve as high levels of production as a pressure fed blast cabinet. You can read more about the differences between suction and pressure feed blast cabinets here. Higher priced cabinets will tolerate high pressures and may have a higher ASME pressure certification than a lower priced cabinet. Higher pressures can be needed for tough contaminants as well as for higher production needs.
A final aspect of higher priced blast cabinets to consider are controls that are available. If you have a specialty application like shot peening or automation for your blast cabinet there will often be controls that allow for precision control of blast cycle time, blast length , and more. These control packages can often increase the cost of a blast cabinet significantly but can be required to be able to perform the specific blast work that you need whether it be automation or shot peening.
Blast Cabinet Factor 2 – The Dust Collection and Reclaim System
One of the biggest variations in the price and performance of a blast cabinet is the dust collection and media reclaim system that is incorporated into the cabinet (and if they are offered with your cabinet). With the dust collector you will want to verify what level of dust is filtered, the higher the percentage of dust filtered the higher visibility in your blast cabinet and the less likely you will be to have issues with dust escaping the cabinet during blasting. Additionally, higher priced blast cabinets can offer HEPA filters which can be critical if you're blasting off hazardous compounds that require additional filtration. The actual design of the collector is also important to consider. There are a few primary ways that dust can be trapped including a bag style solution or a reverse pulse cartridge. A reverse pulse cartridge allows for continuous production and reduces the need to manually clean a blast cabinet bag house. This is usually something that is incorporated into a higher end blast cabinet or is offered as an upgrade. The reverse pulse dust collector also reduces the amount of maintenance that is required on the blast cabinet. You can also check the sizes of dust collectors that are offered, a higher CFM collector will remove dust more effectively allowing for better visibility and use of bigger blast nozzles (or multiple blast nozzles) which is often something that a higher end cabinet will be able to incorporate. A high-end blast cabinet will also offer a media reclaim system that is efficient and allows you to control the extent to which dirty blast media is removed, this may not be incorporated into a lower priced blast cabinet. Keeping only properly sized clean blast media allows for better production and consistency in blast profiling, which proper media size and cleanliness is provided by a well performing blast media reclaim system.
How to verify information on your potential blast cabinet to see its quality
Ultimately you want to evaluate important factors when your considering a blast cabinet. Questions you can ask to determine if a cabinet will be well suited for your needs include is the cabinet suction or pressure, is it ASME certified (if it’s a pressure cabinet), what size and type dust collector is available, is a media reclaimer incorporated, and will it have any issues with media leaking now or in the future. These questions should be able to help you know if the cabinet your evaluating will perform well for your blast cabinet needs among others.