Water Blast Cleaning

Definition - What does Water Blast Cleaning mean?

Water blast cleaning is a technique for cleaning internal and external surfaces, which relies entirely on the sheer force of water from a pressurized source to achieve the desired cleaning effect on the intended surface. Abrasives, toxic and potentially harmful chemicals are not used in water blast cleaning systems.

A highly pressurized and focused stream of water, generally above 10,000 psi, comes from a water blasting machine, which includes a pressure pump and the right nozzles. This cleaning method may also require enclosures to protect the adjacent areas or structures from unwanted water spray, as well as a collector or catcher of the blasted-off waste or contamination.

Water blast cleaning is also called "hydroblasting". It is being used in a growing number of applications previously dominated by abrasive blasting techniques.

Corrosionpedia explains Water Blast Cleaning

Hydroblasting or water blast cleaning can effectively remove a wide variety of tough dirt in difficult-to-reach points or locations in a safe and efficient manner. In fact, the results are comparable to those of cleaning techniques that use abrasives and cleaning agents, but without the dust and other health hazards, which allows the workers to focus on their daily tasks in a health-friendly workplace environment.

Water blasting operations are commonly categorized as high-pressure and ultra-high pressure hydroblasting based on the following operating pressures:

  • High-pressure water blasting – pressures from 690 bar (10,000 psi) to 1,700 bar (25,000 psi)
  • Ultra high-pressure water blasting – pressures of more than 1,700 bar (25,000 psi)

Warning: It is important that water blasting is done correctly. The very high-pressure water stream can injure a person or animal that it hits. Also, there are coatings, residues and other dirt buildups that will be resistant to water blasting.

In addition to its effectiveness as an industrial, commercial and domestic cleaning method, water blasting offers the following advantages:

  • The water stream can be focused even on small areas so that it can selectively remove coatings without damaging the nearby surfaces.
  • Water is the least corrosive and harmful compared to other cleaning agents.
  • After blasting, there is less clean-up work because water will just flow or dry up; there is no risk of clogging the blasting machine and other equipment.

For home or small-scale use, water blasting machines are sometimes available for rent at home improvement centers.

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