Wet Abrasive Blasting, Dustless Blasting, Vapour Blasting, Slurry Blasting, Venturi Blasting, Mist Blasting.
If you have heard the different terms of wet blasting thrown around in the industry and are confused, here is a simple explanation.
Vapour abrasive blasting is alternatively and interchangeably referred to as wet blasting, wet abrasive blasting, vapour blasting, slurry blasting, wet sandblasting, dustless blasting or mist blasting.
What is Wet Blasting?
Wet blasting uses three elements – being water, air and abrasive media to remove coatings, contaminants, corrosion and residue from different surfaces. The introduction of water cuts down the dust dramatically. In response to increasing environmental protection and workplace safety laws, wet blasting is gaining rapid popularity.
Different blast machine manufacturers have come up with different ways of delivering wet media. Four of the most common ways are Slurry Blasting, Venturi Blasting, Vapor Blasting, Mist Blasting.
Slurry Blasters take traditional dry blasting technology and add water for dust suppression. In slurry blasting, water is introduced just past the media valve in the blast hose as it is being carried out to the nozzle. The disadvantage to this is that the amount of water being introduced must be dialled in before blasting.
Venturi Blasters store both media and water inside the blast pot. This type of setup takes away valuable space within the blast pot for media to be stored and requires more frequent filling of the pot and increases downtime and inefficiency.
Venturi Blasters require a careful balance of water and media within the pot. Too much water makes the blasting process like a pressure washer on steroids. Too little water results in clogging the blast pot.
Venturi Blasters force a stream of high-pressure air through the pot, carrying with it the media and water mixture out to the blast hose. Venturi blasters are effective at high pressures only and not suitable for blasting delicate surfaces like wood or thin metals.
Vapour Abrasive Blasters
Vapour Abrasive Blasters use a mixture of water and media within the blast pot. The delivery of this mix is what differentiates the two. Vapor Blasters use water pressure within the pot to force the mix out and into the blast hose where it is then carried out to the nozzle by air pressure. Vapor Blasters can be used at lower pressures since the water pressure is what is forcing the mix out of the pot.
Vapour Abrasive Blasters afford fine control over the air pressure and water/abrasive mixture, allowing for blasting of a wider range of surfaces and reducing the amount of media and water expended.
Mist blaster is a term used by some equipment brands to differentiate the technology based on the amount of water used in the blasting process. The little bit of additional of water used in the blasting process is usually not a concern for most applications and for most users as the water is the cheapest consumable and when the abrasive media is saturated with water, it adds much more impact. (Imagine throwing a wet sock vs a dry sock). The savings on labour, abrasive media and power is usually worth much more than the saving on water.