Many of the Vixen machines we distribute are purchased specifically for the cleaning of aluminium based components, mainly engine parts or alloy wheels.
Aluminium components can be cleaned by both wetblasting and dry blasting machines. In general wet blasting is a slower process compared to dry blasting, however wet blasting is seen to be more effective as components are cleaned by flow of water borne abrasive and not by impact.
As with any blasting process, depending on how dirty or burnished the part is, this will affect the overall blasting time.
The Aquablast wetblasting machine is a popular choice for cleaning aluminium parts.
Many customers are often unclear as to which water abrasives, i.e. non foaming detergents and rust inhibitors, they should be using in their machines to achieve their desired finish.
Vixen Surface Treatments, the sole suppliers of all the machines we distribute here at wetblasting.com, would often advise their customers to use a glass bead abrasive called Vixosheen. Although this is an effective media to be using, it is important to consider that it may not be practical nor cost effective when it comes to importing, depending on where it is you are based.
Media similar to Vixosheen, which helps to prevent rust and provides a form of detergent action, can often be sourced locally around the world. If we can’t help you here at wetblasting.com, we would advise you to contact a sales representative local to yourself as they often give out generous samples since they are looking for long term, repeat business. Doing so would allow you to trial the media on your component, allowing you to see the end result before making an overall commitment.
When trying to determine which grade of glass bead to use, here at wetblasting.com we recommend 80-100 mesh. Anything higher than this will be too fine.
You may find that on some areas of your component, especially on engine parts, you have surface areas which are ‘burnished’ or slow to blast. If this is the case, it is recommended that you add a little aluminium oxide, however, it is important that you do not exceed 10%.
With regards to pressure, lower blasting pressures will preserve your media, therefore should be used where tolerable. The blasting distance from the component can also impact blast intensity – the closer the blast nozzle to the surface area, the better the impact.
For any further help or assistance required regarding wet blasting aluminium engine parts… just ask Rick!