Abrasive Blasting 101| Maintenance Tips
All abrasives have blast cabinet recycle rates, so why is it so hard to find an accurate number of times your cabinet blaster can recycle abrasive? Why don’t abrasive manufactures make this information readily available?
Every application has a different Daily Duty Cycle (DDC) based on the abrasive type, abrasive size, cutting or non-cutting, blasting pressure, the gun cfm size, the abrasive volume inside the cabinet and abrasive delivery type, siphon or direct pressure. To further complicate the math, each abrasive’s recycle rate is impacted by the frictional heat generated by any specific application and all abrasives have different volume deliveries in pounds per minute even if the blasting pressure remains constant. So, the short answer is that blast cabinet recycle rates are incredibly variable based on a lot of factors specific to each project.
The most common operator error with blast cabinets is not purging and replacing all the abrasive when it is worn out. The easiest machine feature that helps operators manage blast cabinet recycle rates is the separate reclaimer. Almost all quality blasting cabinets include a separator reclaimer to remove the material being blasted from the part from the usable abrasive. As the abrasive is recycled, the amount of usable abrasive becomes less and less. Often, users fail to purge the machine completely and simply add new abrasive material to old. This approach results in slower cleaning, poor cabinet visibility, and a hella’va mess to clean up.
Real World Example: Blast cabinet recycle rates, like worn out engine oil, have a finite lifespan. And like a car’s oil, the blast cabinet must be completely emptied of abrasive and then refilled. Failure to “start fresh” results in reduced performance for both cars and blasting cabinets.
There are some general rules about recycle rate for any abrasive but they are simply guidelines taking only the abrasive hardness into account. Every unique application and specific cabinet configuration play a party in calculating blast cabinet recycle rates. The simple shape of any abrasive has a lot to do with its ability to recycle as well as part material being processed.
Our team can help you calculate your specific recycle rate. Give us a call with the following information:
With this information, we can calculate the flow in pounds per minute and also advise on the maximum number of hours your machine can operate before it’s time to “change the oil.”
Blast cabinet recycle rates are an important part of abrasive cabinet maintenance. It’s so important that even our smallest cabinet can be equipped with an hour meter attached to the blasting pedal! This helps users keep track of how long they’ve been blasting with any given abrasive, and when it’s time to start fresh.
If you have any questions about blast cabinet recycle rates, please reach out to our team!