Tips for Maintaining Abrasive Blasting Equipment

Tips for Maintaining Abrasive Blasting EquipmentSticking to a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule is key when using a blasting cabinet. Here are some factors that determine how often maintenance will need to be done:

Volume of parts

Just like putting miles on your car. Your equipment can only get you so far without revitalizing it with performance maintenance or cleaning.

Type of media used

Steel shot will eventually work its way through the walls of a blasting cabinet unlike cast zinc shot which cannot.  Durability, dust generation & mechanical wear are all factors.

Age of blaster

Below is a general list of tips you can use to help keep your basting equipment running like new.

Wheel Blast

Inspect the exterior of the machine to ensure that there are no leaks—these can happen in hoses or around the door.

Replace worn hoses and gasketing around doors as needed.

Check the amp gauge to ensure the machine is full. If full and amps are still low, check for clogs or obstructions between the hopper and blast wheel.

Do a pattern test of the wheel using a scrap steel panel painted to determine the blast pattern. Adjust the control cage accordingly.

Take a picture of the blast wheel blades using a cell phone camera. Look for wear on the blades.

Make sure grease points on all bearings are being hit based on the manufacturer’s recommendation.

From the outside of the machine look at all of the tumble blast roller shafts, elevator pulley shafts, or table blast motor shafts to make sure all are operating correctly.

Keep your dust collector clean. A dirty dust collector can result in dark dingy coated parts.

Air Blast

Check air hoses for leaks and inspect all connections. Listen for air leaks. We recommend double grip locking couplings, also known as Thor Couplings, in order to get a more secure hold on larger hoses.

Look at the nozzle bore to make sure it is not worn, and replace when the nozzle expands to the next size. For example, when your # 5 nozzle expands to a number #7 nozzle, it means you’re using too much abrasive and taking too long to blast.

Listen and look for clogs in the media pickup.

If you’re blasting large paint chips off parts, install a screen to remove paint chips from the media. This will prevent clogging of the media.

Keep an eye out for any cracks in the observation safety glass. Replace the glass window if it is frosted from media impacts (Cast zinc and cast aluminum will not frost glass windows).

Keep your dust collector clean. A dirty dust collector can result in dirty parts after blasting.

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