Sandblast Cabinet Buying Guide
Blast cabinets vary significantly in design, options, sizes, and more. Additionally, they can vary in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. To be able to know which type of sandblast cabinet may meet your need well it can be helpful to have a guide. This article will give you a guide of what to consider when buying a sandblast cabinet.
Factor 1 – The Blast Cabinet Size
The first decision is the blast cabinet size that you should consider. The key to choosing a properly sized sandblast cabinet is choosing a cabinet that will provide sufficient space to allow an operator to maneuver there arm plus a sandblast gun inside the cabinet, which would mean atleast a foot and usually closer to a foot and a half of space around all sides of the largest part that would be in the blast cabinet to ensure operator effectiveness and comfort.
Factor 2 – Pressure or Suction Feed Blast Cabinets
There are pressure feed and suction feed sandblast cabinets. Suction feed are more affordable (which is one of their greatest benefit) however they also have a few drawbacks to consider. First suction feed blast cabinets will not be as efficient as a pressure blast cabinet because using pressure will remove surface contaminant faster than just using a siphon to deliver media to a products surface. Second suction feed cabinets will typically be unable to handle dense blast medias like steel grit, steel shot, or plastic medias.
Pressure feed blast cabinets are more expensive but can double your production rate and work with heavy blast medias like steel blast medias.
Factor 3 – Wet or Dry Blast Cabinet
An additional factor to consider is whether you will have a wet blast or dry blasting cabinet. Dry media blast cabinets are the most common as they are typically faster at cleaning a surface. However, a dry media blast cabinet will create frictional heat when they blast a surface and usually leave somewhat of a profile on the surface, though this can be controlled by using fine medias that are not as hard (like glass beads).
Wet blast cabinets are used in applications where you want very little surface removal as super fine medias can be used. Additionally they will not impregnate a parts surface with blast media as the water helps to soften the blow of blast media against the surface. They also are used when you want to remove changes in a surface due to discoloration but not wanting to dull the surface. A final common application for a wetblast cabinet is for when you want a chemically clean part surface. Common industries that use wetblast cabinets include aerospace, medical devices, electronics where static electricity can harm the product, and specialty metal applications where surface impregnation is problematic (like in alloy and similar applications)
Factor 4 – The Blast Media You Will Use
The two primary reasons you want to consider your blast medias are because heavy medias will need pressure fed blast cabinets to be able to effectively feed media and if the media is aggressive that you intend to use (like aluminum oxide) you typically will make adjustments to your blast cabinet to ensure that the blast cabinet is not prematurely worn by the blast media.
Factor 5 – What You are Blasting off
If the material you are blasting off a products surface will fracture a lot ( like clay for an example) you will want to be sure you have a proper dust collector (like a larger dust collector) Additionally if what your blasting off the surface has hazardous chemicals you will probably need a HEPA filter which is designed to properly eliminate harmful contaminant from the air exhausted from the dust collector.
Factor 6 – Your production Volume & Visibility Needs
If you will be using your blast cabinet frequently or for heavy production use you will want to consider a dust collector that is easy to purge of dust. For very high production you will often want the blast collector to automatically pulse. Additionally, high production applications can often make sense to have the dust collector empty into drums. You will also want to consider the overall size of the dust collector (a high CFM collector will remove dust faster). In general 300 CFM cabinets are for lower production and as size increases from there you move into mid and then to high production. If visibility is also critical higher CFM dust collectors will allow for better visibility throughout the time you are using the blast cabinet. You also want to consider how the collector traps dust. Cartridges that pulse are fastest to clean and maintain compared to alternative options. If a cabinet doesn’t have a dust collector or a collector is much below 300 CFM it will typically not be useful for production needs or for applications where visibility is critical but could be good for occasional use.
Factor 7 – The manufacturer
Industrial blast cabinets are manufactured to be used for years of frequent use without ever having issues from blast media ruining the cabinet. Other cabinets are made for occasional use and typically may not withstand frequent use over the long term.
Ultimately selecting a sandblast cabinet involves a lot of factors to consider but by considering the factors discussed you can have a good understanding of what to consider when buying a sandblast cabinet. We offer industrial sandblast cabinets from Clemco for a variety of sandblast applications you can also contact us with any questions.