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Blast Media For Blast Rooms – A Guide

If you are considering a blast room one of the biggest considerations is the blast media that you will use in the blast room. This will matter for a variety of reasons.

Factor 2- The Profile You Want to Achieve

The profile that you will achieve will depend on the blast nozzle pressure, media type, and length of time blasting. Before you decide on a blast media recovery system you will want to work with a blast media provider to know the type of media that will allow you to meet your profile and production goals. The type of media will also influence the recovery equipment that you will use in your blast room. As a general rule pneumatic recovery systems will not work with higher density/ heavier blast medias. Mechanical blast media recovery systems can handle about any density of media but can have greater potential for component wear over time. 

Factor 3 – What you Are Blasting off the Surface

In addition to the substrate composition you will want to consider what you are blasting off. Certain surface contaminants are harder to remove than others. The blast media you choose will impact if you can remove the surface contaminant and how long it will take.  As mentioned it will also impact the type of blast media recovery system you will consider. 

Common blast media recovery systems used with blast medias

Plastic beads – Plastic Beads will commonly use a pneumatic type blast media recovery system but will have specific design considerations for components of the system to allow media to be supplied effectively for the blast operator.

Steel Grit/ Steel Shot – Steel Grit and Steel Shot will usually use a mechanical style media recovery but depending on the blast media recovery system manufacturer may also use pneumatic if the media is not to dense or specific design considerations are met.

Aluminum Oxide – Aluminum Oxide Blast Media is often used in a pneumatic blast media recovery system

These are the more common blast medias used in a blast media recovery system. 

What about multiple blast medias in the same blast room

If you need to be able to use different medias because your substrate will change with different products your blasting you can often use the same blast room for the different medias. You will need to consider if your blast pot and reclaim is able to use the blast medias your considering. You will also need to verify that there will not be any issue if some cross mixing of medias occurs. You will typically select the least common media that will be used and use it as a blast to waste option (not recovering it)  you will have to consider if you have a whole floor recovery system that the majority of the media will be mixed with existing media.  If you have a smaller recovery area you typically will use the media and keep it from the recovery hopper disposing of it observing applicable rules when your finished.

Ultimately blast media selection will determine a lot about your blasting and your blast media recovery system. By considering the factors above and common questions you can better determine if a blast media recovery system will work for your application and what limitations you should consider. If you have further questions or a need for a blast recovery system feel free to contact us here.

This guide will cover the critical factors to consider when thinking about a blast media for a blast room. By considering the factors below you can better decide on what blast media options you can use and any special considerations that you may need to consider.

Factor 1 – The Substrate You Are Blasting

The substrate your blasting is important because it may influence the types of blast media you can use. For example, common recoverable blast medias include steel grit and steel shot. These blast medias can be problematic with specific substrates as they may induce a chemical reaction that can cause corrosion to start after the blasting is complete.  Additionally, the hardness of the substrate may impact the ability to prep the surface and may require a specific media to be able to effectively profile the surface without altering the substrate. If you have a variety of product substrates you will blast and may have issues with a certain media type due to chemical reactions creating corrosion problems, you can consider using a different kind of media and not recovering it within the room. For example if you know steel grit may cause corrosion with a particular substrate but aluminum oxide will not create problems for the product surface you could use aluminum oxide instead. Or if you are blasting a material that’s substrate is not as hard you may have to consider plastic beads as media which will require special blast room design considerations.


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