Abrasive Blasting 101
Blast cabinet noise is one of the most common topics that prospective buyers ask bring up when considering one of our larger, industrial abrasive blast cabinets. The time to address a potential noise issue is undoubtedly before you buy a machine and not after. The issue of noise is fairly straightforward when you know where the excessive sound is coming from.
Industrial blast cabinets normally have larger dust collector blowers. This is how manufactures ensure appropriate cabinet visibility despite an increased volume of abrasive associated with larger, production-grade gun sizes. Moving a lot of air will create noise, so once you purchase your machine you can address blower noise.
Many facilities have a less-than-ideal building layout, which contributes to poor sound quality. This situation requires the user to make a decision about how best to address the noise levels while meeting daily output. If this applies to you, our team of seasoned professionals can help by suggesting out-of-the-box solutions to meet both noise quality and output requirements.
Blasting guns move different volumes of compressed air depending on the gun size and type of delivery, siphon or direct pressure. As you might imagine, the noise level of smaller guns that process parts more slowly is much less than larger guns that process parts more quickly. The user again has the choice of using of a smaller gun size that might create the need for two machines to meet the production levels or the proper location of a noise-emitting machine.
Machine Controls can also be a noise-emitting feature. Direct Pressure, using a pressure pot, often operates with what are called pot blow-down controls. These controls are used to quickly open the pressure pot abrasive loading valve helping to keep the pot filled with abrasive. This noise is easily removed by removing the blow-down controls but this will greatly decrease machine output. Remember, you must stop blasting to refill when the pot is empty unless you operate with pressure pot blow-down controls. Again, eliminating some of the noise may decrease output, so operations should be consulted before any decision is made.
Silencers, also called mufflers, are constructed to minimize the sound created by the blower and maintain OSHA compliant noise-levels. It’s important to consider the location of the machine and specifically it’s environment because the building surfaces have an impact on the noise level.
Portable sound screens are a viable option for noise created by dust collector blowers, blasting guns, and machine controls. They can be arranged in the work environment to absorb sound waves, deadening blast machine noise.
Beyond silencers and portable sound screens, you can also reconfigure your machine setup to use quieter blast cabinets. If you choose to go this route, care should be taken to ensure the overall output is not affected by splitting up the workload across multiple quieter machines. While this may be the most costly option, it may be the only option available to some users. If this sounds like your situation, our experienced team can help engineer a network of machines to meet your specific needs.
Blast cabinet noise is a very real issue. Depending on the source of your noise pollution we recommend dust collector blower silencers, portable sound walls, or reconfiguring your machine set up. No matter what your situation is, the Media Blast & Abrasive team can help you determine the best solution to meet your output requirements and your noise level needs.