Vixen’s’ front loading Aquablast tumbler machine is designed to finish batches of components through an automatic wetblast process.
The key to wetblasting is that the finish is produced through flow of water borne abrasive and not by impact. This creates a finer finish due to the lubrication and flushing action of the water during the blasting process.
Media impregnation into the component is avoided and the life of the blast media is extended.
The machine operates using a PLC controller. This controller is programmed with the various functions needed to produce a consistent finish on batches of components. Various drum designs are available as well as rinse options.
Operation of the machine:
- The components to be cleaned are placed inside the octagonal drum (sometimes circular with paddles) and slowly rotated while simultaneously being blasted
- A detergent may be added to the water/slurry where a light degreasing/removal of oils may be required – The benefit of the wet blasting system is that components can be placed in the machine without the need of degreasing prior
- The blasting slurry can be heated to 30-40 degrees if necessary and this temperature will initially warm the components being blasted
- At the end of the blast cycle the PLC controls the draining of the solution and the rinse cycle begins
- A first stage rinse normally uses the recycled solution without the abrasive
- A second stage rinse can follow using clean or recycled water. This rinse can often heat to 60 or 70 degrees, allowing the components to flash dry
- At the end of the second stage rinse the PLC will indicate to the operator, either by an alarm or light, that the cycle is complete and ready for unloading