Air Abrasive Blast Cleaning

Last updated: June 10, 2020

What Does Air Abrasive Blast Cleaning Mean?

Air abrasive blasting cleaning refers to the cleaning process of a surface. In this process, loose abrasive media with compressed air are propelled against a work surface. This process has a wide range of applications in surface preparation:

  • rust and scale removal
  • Anchor pattern creation prior to bonding or coating
  • Cosmetic finishing and coating or contaminant removal

This process helps to clean a surface before applying coatings, and helps to reduce corrosion.


Corrosionpedia Explains Air Abrasive Blast Cleaning

Air abrasive blast cleaning uses an air compressor's energy to deliver an air/media mixture at certain speeds and volumes to impact the surface or parts being processed. A pressure regulator is used to control the air speed of an air compressor. The air compressor supplies high-pressure air for the blasting operation. Determining the volume of the air/media mixture delivered is done by the diameter of the nozzle opening with pressure blast systems, or the air jet diameter of the suction blast gun body. One needs to be cautious when using dry air, which prevents moist abrasive material, because it may cause increased wear and downtime, as well as additional servicing.

Air abrasive blast equipment has several major components, which are:

  • Air compressor
  • Blast pot (pressure blast tank)
  • Abrasive (blast media)
  • Blast nozzle
  • Moisture trap
  • Dead man's switch
  • Blast hood
  • Interconnect hoses

Air abrasive blasting has two types:

  • Suction Abrasive Blast Equipment – Applies the Venturi principle to suction abrasives from a non-pressurized hopper to the blast gun. This equipment has two hoses (one for air and one for abrasives) running to the blast gun.
  • Pressure Abrasive Blast Equipment – Applies a pressurized vessel or “blast pot” that holds the abrasive media. In a pressure blast machine, the air pressure in the vessel and in the “pusher” line is the same. This equipment has a single hose running to the blast nozzle.

Direct air pressure blast-cleaning machines are used alone as portable units for site work, or they can be built into cabinets or blast rooms.


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