A wet blast cabinet is the perfect equipment for stripping oxidation, old powder coating, paint, grease, and other contaminants from the surface of an alloy wheel. The range of abrasive media available offers the options of creating an anchor profile for re-powder coating/re-painting or creating a smooth polished surface finish. There are various other options but none are as effective and efficient and economical as a wet blast cabinet for blasting alloy wheels.
Inspecting the alloy wheel and understanding the customer’s requirements.
Clean the alloy wheel of the car or SUV thoroughly with a cloth and remove the tire/tube. The customer requirements can be as under:
- Stripping of rust, old powder-coating, paint, grease, and other contaminants and create an anchor profile for re-powder coating or re-painting.
- Stripping oxidation, grease, and other contaminants and to create a smooth polished surface finish
- Cleaning grease and other contaminants and creating a smooth surface finish
Selecting the correct media
The suggested abrasive media for the customer requirements (stated above) is compiled in a simple table for your easy reference.
|Suggested abrasive media and size
|Type of wet blasting and the required surface finish
|Stripping of rust, old powder-coating, paint, grease, and other contaminants and create an anchor profile for re-powder coating or re-painting.
|Stripping oxidation, grease, and other contaminants and to create a smooth polished surface finish
|Cleaning grease and other contaminants and creating a smooth surface finish
|Glass beads, 80 mesh
|Can be used
|Glass beads, 100 mesh
|Can be used
|Crushed glass, 40/70 or 80 mesh
|Aluminum Oxide 80 mesh
|Garnet 80 mesh
|In all the above cases, select an optimum blasting velocity, do a trial spot, and go ahead after getting a satisfactory result. Vary the blasting velocity to achieve the desired surface finish. You may also vary the size of the abrasive media a little and see if it gives a better result.
Using the wet blast cabinet for blasting alloy wheels
Add the selected abrasive media of the recommended quantity to the hopper of the wet blast cabinet, add water to the specified level, and close the grate.
Load the alloy wheel into the wet blast cabinet. You can make use of the swing arm or the fixture for easy loading and handling of the alloy wheel in the wet blast cabinet.
Close the cabinet door firmly, start the wash water and wiper for the view window, start the extractor fan, and set the blast velocity.
Use the hand gloves to hold the alloy wheel in one hand and the blasting gun in the other hand. Press the foot switch to start the slurry pump and start wet blasting of the alloy wheel.
Blast a sample area and inspect if it meets the customer’s requirements. You can vary the blast velocity to get the correct result. Once you are happy with the finish, continue and complete the blasting. Rinse the alloy wheel with water, stop the wet blast cabinet, and take out the alloy wheel. The used slurry is drained into the cabinet sump and it goes through a filtration system before recycling.
Use clean compressed air to blow off the water layer from alloy wheel surfaces. If the alloy wheel is to be re-powder coated, it is better to take it for the powder coating process as early as possible to avoid flash rusting/oxidation.
Wet blasting eliminates the embedded particles of abrasive media on the alloy wheel surface; however, the alloy wheels should be painted or powder-coated quickly after removing them from the wet blast cabinet to avoid flash surface rusting for steel wheels or surface oxidation for aluminum alloy wheels.