Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers



Last updated: January 11, 2019

What Does Blasting Mean?

Blasting is a process where small angular or spherical particles are propelled at a substrate by compressed air, mechanical high-speed rotating wheels or water pumps. This process is widely used because it is efficient, economical and fast.

Blasting is an excellent method for removing:

  • Rust
  • Heat-treat scale
  • Corrosion
  • Paint
  • Flash-burn
  • Dirt

Blasting also prepares parts for:

  • Assembly
  • Plating
  • Anodizing
  • Painting
  • Coating

Corrosionpedia Explains Blasting

Blasting is the process of treating a surface by propelling particles at high velocity toward it. It is a quick and easy way to remove foreign matter from metal, rubber or plastic.

Blasting is generally performed in enclosed environments like blasting chambers or cabinets, or on open sites, for example on buildings, bridges, tanks, boats or mobile plants. Common hazards include dusts, hazardous chemicals and risks associated with the use of plant and equipment.

Blasting has many variants, including:

  • Abrasive blasting
  • Rock blasting
  • Sand blasting
  • Grit blasting
  • Shot blasting

Important factors to consider when using the blasting process include:

  • Blast media type
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Density
  • Hardness
  • Media acceleration
  • Media volume
  • Blasting distance from the work piece
  • Angle of impact
  • Time cycles

There are three media delivery systems that propel and deliver media for high speed impact to the part being processed:

  • Air blasting (pneumatic)
  • Mechanical wheel (airless blasting)
  • Hydro blasting (pumped water)

Air blasting utilizes an air compressor's energy to deliver an air/media mix at speeds and volumes to impact the parts being processed. The air speed or pressure of an air compressor is controlled by a pressure regulator. The regulator can increase or decrease the speed of the media delivery.

A wheel blast system utilizes a high-speed wheel using centrifugal force to propel the media. The abrasive is fed into the rotating wheel. Wheel blast machines are used where big parts or large areas of parts have to be derusted, descaled, deburred, desanded or cleaned in some form. Wheel blast systems are a less expensive way to blast (due to higher media recycleability and automation) than air blasting by a factor of 10. Their disadvantage is their restriction to very few media types.

A hydro blasting system uses a pressurized water stream generated by pumps that are capable of pumping an abrasive-charged water supply at high rates of speed. Hydro systems are good for conveying very fine abrasives and are used in cleaning gunky, greasy parts, and parts containing toxic materials. The wet blast systems are very good at blasting surfaces without causing damage and blasting internal surfaces.


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