Blast pot types , how to choose, options available
Sandblast pot buying guide
If you're a contractor just getting in to sandblasting one of your largest expenses is oftena sandblast pot. Choosing the right sandblast pot will help you be able to blast for years and to effectively achieve the blast profiles you need for your application or applications. This article will cover the factors you should consider when your thinking about buying a blast pot so that you can find the right blast pot for you
Factor 1 - The sandblast media you plan to use
Different blast media will allow you to achieve different profiles, achieve faster or slower rates of blast cleaning, as well as determine the number of uses you can get out of the media before it must be replaced. Essentially, the type of blast media you use will have one of the largest impacts on what you can blast, how you blast, and your blasting cost. Different kinds of media require different designs for sandblast pots. Common media types that are used include plastic, glass, steel medias, baking soda, and others like coal slag, corn cob, or walnut shell. If you're using media other than baking soda or plastic beads, you can typically use a standard sandblast pot. However, if you'll be using baking soda or plastic beads you will have to have a specially designed blast pot Specifically, your blast pot for plastic or baking soda will have a different shape and valve on the bottom of the blast pot. The outlet valve and tank will have a special design that allows for the plastic or baking soda media to effectively flow into the air stream. You can get a better understanding if soda blasting is right for you by reading this article or just realize it is usually used when you only want to remove a contaminant without creating a profile and the contaminant is only lightly adhering to the surface. It is also sometimes used if you need a solution that is safe for products used with food. Plastic beads are similar in that they will remove contaminant, without creating a surface profile. However, they typically remove slightly more stubborn surface contaminants like paint, which make them a popular choice in industries like Aerospace.
Factor 2 - Where you will blast
Blast pots come in a variety of sizes and different sizes will have various benefits and drawbacks. The main trade-off you consider is the idea of size versus portability. Blasting pots can range from trailer mounted options allowing for significantly long blasting times, to 3 or 6 Cubic Foot Blast pots. For portable field use the most common options are 3 or 6 Cubic Foot pots. A 3 cubic foot will allow for easier moving from one place to another in the field, but will only provide about 20 minutes of blast time (if you are using a No 5 Nozzle). A 6 cubic foot will allow you to blast about 40 minutes with the NO 5 Nozzle.
Factor 3-The Style of Blast Pot
Depending on the manufacturer some blast pot models will allow you to maneuver them when loaded with media and other blast pots are only be able to be moved when they are empty. The main benefit to this feature is that you can be able to move throughout a jobsite the location of blast pot even when it's full. However, the models that are able to be moved when filled will usually be a slightly higher cost than the pot that is meant to be stationary when filled. If you do not need to move the pot around, like in a blast room location where the blast pot will be stationary at all times you'll want to consider going with a pot that is designed to be stationary when full. You may also want to consider the blast pot that has to stay stationary when full if you want to save a bit on your blast pot cost or you do not need to move frequently on the job site with media in the pot.
Factor 4 - The Manufacturer of the Blast Pot
There are a variety of quality manufacturers blast pots out in the market today. You will want to do research to determine the quality of the manufacture of your potential blast pot. Different manufacturers manufacturer blast pots with different longevity of use in mind. For example, Clemco-manufactured blast pots have been in service for 20 to 40 years with needing only occasional parts replaced, While other manufacturers may make a slightly lower cost last pot they may not hold up higher volume use or long-term use. You also want to check whether the manufacturer of your blast pot has a thorough support network so you will be able to get replacement parts both now and in the future.
Factor 5 - meets appropriate safety standards
Sandblasting is governed by a variety of safety guidelines that are required to be met. The largest organization that provides guidelines for safe abrasive blasting is OSHA. You want to ensure that your sandblast pot has been properly designed and guaranteed to meet pertinent safety regulations. Additionally, quality manufacturers will guarantee their blast pots can safely handle a given pressure by providing an ASME (American Society of Manufacturing Engineers) stamp and model number proving that they were made to the highest standard.
Factor 6 - Options
Common options for sandblast pots include pressure hold designs, electric remotes, and optional abrasive cut off switches. Pressure hold blast pots will not depressurize the pot when you let go of the deadman which reduces media from blowing out of the blast pot exhauster and reduces energy use as the pot will not have to repressurize. A pressure hold design is also required if you want to have the option of an abrasive cut off switch and is ideal if you will be stopping and starting your sandblasting regularly.