Ask Rick Button

Wet Blasting

My guess is that 95% of the abrasive blasting done in this country is done with dry blast machines. However, there are applications that can only be done with wet blasting. Here are some advantages, applications and a few words about the process. If you need help, just ask Rick.

Wet Blast Process

Wet blasting is also known as slurry blasting, liquid honing and vapor blast. Basically, any wet blast system uses water with abrasive to form slurry that is used for the blast effect. The velocity of the slurry along with the physical characteristics of the blast media is what does the cleaning or peening. A typical wet blast cabinet includes the following important components/systems.

  • Blast cabinet enclosure
  • Pump or air agitation for media delivery and slurry mixing
  • Blast gun for directing the slurry blast
  • Compressed air to accelerate the slurry
  • Exhaust system to maintain cabinet visibility

Unlike dry blasting, wet blasting is a tempered blast due to the “cushioning effect” the water has. Very fine medias can be used for very delicate surfaces and substrates. Vapor blast does not impregnate media into the surface and creates no heat which eliminates part warping.

Advantages of Wet Blasting

  • Very fine media can be used
  • No media impregnation into substrate
  • Reduces dust
  • Deeply cleans irregular surfaces
  • Eliminates hand sanding
  • Closed cabinet recycles media/slurry
  • No heat warping with thin parts
  • Holds tight tolerances
  • Eliminates the need to use nasty chemicals
  • Leaves a very attractive satin finish
  • Provides an excellent surface for bonding
  • Provides an excellent surface for plating

Wet Blast Applications

  • Surface preparation for hard chrome coatings
  • Surface preparations for Tin and other tool coatings
  • Etch glass for decorative or functional purposes
  • Peen surfaces for a bright, clean look
  • Aviation engine rebuilding
  • Automotive overhaul and engine rebuilding
  • Clean plastic injection molds
  • Surface preparation for bonding coatings
  • Surface preparation for bonding composites
  • Hole cleaning for printed circuit boards
  • Burr removal without damage to substrates