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Aqua Blasting

redbloke1956

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hi Guys,
I am currently converting a sand blaster (glass blaster or whatever) into a wet blaster/aqua blaster/vapour blaster (this method seems to have many names at the moment) My explanation of this machine is simply: Same as a sand blaster except that it uses a slurry of water and blasting medium to do the job, this can give a finish similar to sand blasting but smoother/slightly glossy and MUCH less prone to staining from oil and grease.
Now, the question is, does anyone know what medium is used with the water to get that finish? I have tried the crushed glass and Garnet so far and no luck, I have tried Soda Blasting (dry) with Bi-Carb and while it comes closer than standard grits, it works out VERY expensive due the amount of Bi-carb you go through and it is too slow.
I have tried Googling for info and even contacted professional blasters who are reluctant to share info, and a company I found that sells blast medium just hasn't bothered to get back to me (I think they only sell by the ton)
Any help would be appreciated.

Kev
 

Black Flash

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I know that Sean Hawker used this method on the magnetos he did. So maybe Peter Barker knows more about it as he lives about a mile from where Sean had his place.
 

ClassicBiker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hi Guys,
I am currently converting a sand blaster (glass blaster or whatever) into a wet blaster/aqua blaster/vapour blaster (this method seems to have many names at the moment) My explanation of this machine is simply: Same as a sand blaster except that it uses a slurry of water and blasting medium to do the job, this can give a finish similar to sand blasting but smoother/slightly glossy and MUCH less prone to staining from oil and grease.
Now, the question is, does anyone know what medium is used with the water to get that finish? I have tried the crushed glass and Garnet so far and no luck, I have tried Soda Blasting (dry) with Bi-Carb and while it comes closer than standard grits, it works out VERY expensive due the amount of Bi-carb you go through and it is too slow.
I have tried Googling for info and even contacted professional blasters who are reluctant to share info, and a company I found that sells blast medium just hasn't bothered to get back to me (I think they only sell by the ton)
Any help would be appreciated.

Kev

According to this http://www.wetblasting.com/Services glass bead.
Steven
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Aquablasting does a really nice job. This is Scott Dell's blaster. I contributed the bead blaster, which I still like, but I use baking soda almost exclusively now. Scott uses detergent. I will ask him what type, but I suspect it is regular household detergent.

What you are looking for is a "Graymills Tempest". They are quite pricey. It is has a heated vat that the liquid is in and a high pressure pump. Ours is steel, but most now are SS, which is why they are pricey.

Graymills Tempest.JPG
David
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Kevin,

The detergent is Aquatene. This link is good because it has the MSD which tells you whats in it in what percentage. The manual is available on line and it is useful if you are trying to build one. I can open it up and show you more photos if you like. One detail you can see through the glass is ducting forcing hot air over the glass for vision. It has a 3/4 hp motor and pump that is 2.2 gallons per minute and supplies somewhere around 400 psi.

http://sales.paxpat.com/graymills-aquatene-cleaning-fluid-for-heated-systems-only-4-1-2-lb.html

David
 

redbloke1956

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Thanks for all of that David, do you use a cabinet for your soda or a total loss outdoor setup?
Why do you prefer the Soda?
The cheapest soda I could find is $2 a kilogram and intial trials (outside) proved to use a LOT of soda, i was using 100PSI and the gun from by blast cabinet.
Kevin
 

davidd

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Kevin,

It sounded like you were using high pressure! I have a bead blast booth that I use for the dry blasting. I like soda because it is easy to get and relatively cheap. I just buy boxes at the grocers. I do have glass and walnut shells if need be. I like the soda because it is gentle and can be used on internal parts without much fear of grit in the oil line damage. A good rinse in water would take care of that.

I soda blast at about 30 lbs. It does take longer, but at that pressure the soda lasts much longer. I don't go too much higher, maybe 40 for glass bead. If I am stripping baked enamel off steel I use Black Beauty, which is coarse and sharp and run a 60 lbs. The soda is a lot lighter so I use a vibrator ("Honey, have you seen the ....") on the collection funnel.

David
 
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