What is Vapor Blasting?

A Guide to the Vapor Blasting Process

Vapor blasting, also known as wet blasting or liquid honing, is rapidly becoming the number one choice for applications requiring the highest quality of surface finish.

Vixen's Aquablast range of wet blasting machines uses the vapor blasting process to simultaneously degrease and blast industrial components, of many different shapes and sizes.

The key to vapor blasting is that the finish is produced through the flow of water borne abrasive, giving a finer finish due to the flushing action of the water. No media is impregnated into the component, nor is there any dust created by the break-up of media, unlike dry blasting where the finish is produced by sheer force of media impact. This means this method is completely dust-free which is ideal for any workshop environment. 

After contact with the component, the slurry then drains back into the sump creating a re-circulating system. Fine broken down media and other contaminants are fed via an overflow to a sedimentation filter located at the rear of the cabinet.

The illustrations show the different natures of grit, bead, and wet blasting. The aggressiveness of dry grit and bead blasting is shown in the first two illustrations which demonstrate the severe 90° ricochet that occurs when using these methods.

The third illustration shows the gentler, but just as effective, vapor blasting method. The ricochet of media is reduced due to the cushioning from the water; the angle of the media is changed producing a lapping effect travelling across the surface, giving an even satin/polished finish.

Vapor blasting diagram

 

Machinery breakdown

Our machines in a nut shell

Advantages of Vapor Blasting

  • Dust free process
  • Cleans by flow of water not by impact
  • Simultaneously degrease & blast clean
  • Water acts as a lubricant between media & component
  • Promotes longer media life Produces a 'softer' finish
  • Avoids media impregnation on soft materials

Typical Applications

  • Degreasing / surface finishing
  • Cleaning of dies & moulds
  • Removal of paint, rust, scale, carbon & similar deposits
  • Surface preparation
  • Satin finishing of stainless steels & other materials
  • Cleaning of PCB's & electrical connectors
  • Removal of small burrs from manufactured components

Aquablast Vapor Blasting Features

  • Single or 3 phase electrics available to US standards
  • 100% corrosion free stainless steel construction
  • Dust Free blasting process
  • High quality and efficient
  • Good visibility is always maintained
  • Single footswitch operation
  • Dual purpose sedimentation filter

Optional extras available including:

Hydro cyclone

The hydro cyclone is designed to separate water from the blasting media to around 90%. It is ideal when emptying the machine or changing abrasives.

Hydro Cyclone

Mini Tumbler Barrel

The mini barrel offers the option to be able to blast many small parts (i.e. nuts and bolts) evenly. When blasted, the parts can be easily removed by removing the barrel with the grab handles and tipping out the par

Mini tumbler barrel

Turntables

For easy manoeuvrability within the blast chamber a stainless steel turntable can be fitted, and for larger/heavier components a roll in-roll out trolley with rails external to the cabinet can be fitted for easier component loading.

Turntable

Armholes – Bellows

For some applications where manoeuvrability within the blast chamber is required, bellow type armhole ports are recommended. These offer the operator easy access to high components or where mobile turntable.

Armholes

Blast Gun Holder

Fitted inside the cabinet is a blast gun holder, enabling the operator to present the components to the blast nozzle.

Aquablast Cube

Vapor Blasting using a Closed Loop

Closed loop means that the machine will not require a drain nearby and will not consume large amounts of water. There is no need for a constant water supply. The basis for a closed loop system is a large filter unit that filters and recycles the water sufficiently for constant flow throughout blasting. It is also used for the rinse gun.

CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM

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