Wheel Blasting is an airless blast operation that uses a wheel with centrifugal force to propel the abrasive against the parts. Because the wheel spins at 3600 RPM, it is a high velocity, high efficiency blasting operation with typically quick time cycles. Due to it’s high velocity this type of blast utilizes metallic abrasives such as steel shot, steel grit, stainless steel shot and grit and cut-wire which are available in different hardness’s.
The advantage of wheel blasting over air blasting is its speed of cleaning and the ability to efficiently blast large components. Also, it does not require compressed air to operate like air blast equipment. This can be very expensive, especially when blasting a large component which would require multiple air blast guns. However, the high velocity is also its nemesis because it can damage parts that can’t withstand this pressure and you are also limited to the type of abrasive that you can use.
Typical wheel blast machines are tumble blast, table blast, spinner hanger and feed thru structural steel machines. The size of the wheel blast machine and number of wheels necessary will depend on the parts to be blasted as well as production rates.
Tumble blast machines work very efficiently on parts that can be tumbled such as forgings, stamped parts and castings.
Spinner hangar machines use a tree-like fixture for hanging medium size parts that can’t have any part-on-part contact such as aluminum die castings and sand castings.
Table blast machines are typically used for larger components such as pump & compressor housings.
Lastly, structural steel machine are large flow thru machines which blast building and bridge supports prior to coating.