Blast Simulation Technology

Advanced technology to aid better machine design and quicker machine delivery to you

Knowing how a blast machine will blast a given workpiece before the machine is built – or even before the first drawing is made – means that decisions on the right machine concept can be made faster, saving time and money. Wheelabrator does this using blast simulation technology to show the blast result on a workpiece as a heat map – for any blast wheel or blast nozzle configuration.

How does it work?

The team uses a virtual model of the workpiece and runs it through a virtual blast wheel or nozzle arrangement, controlling all relevant parameters.

The blast pattern is programmed as a Gauß distribution and each hit of the abrasive on the surface is counted and translated into a colour that indicates the intensity of the treatment.

The resulting heat map shows exactly where a part has been over- or underblasted, where an area is evenly exposed to the abrasive fan or where there are blast shadows.

In the images shown here, cooler areas in greenish blue, green or greenish yellow are considered well covered, purple indicates an unblasted area, red shows overblasting. The colour spectrum generated in the simulation can be translated directly into Sa cleaning degrees.

This takes a great deal of technical risk out of the design process, as well as saving time and money.

Heinrich Dropmann

Heinrich Dropmann, who heads up the wheelblast team at Wheelabrator’s Technology Centre in Metelen, Germany, explains: “Blast simulation technology allows us to find and fine-tune the right machine type and configuration before anything is designed or built. The visualisations are a great basis for discussion with the customer, helping us to hone the specification pre-contract and find the most efficient solution. This takes a great deal of technical risk out of the design process, as well as saving time and money.”

Already, the simulation takes into account over 140 parameters to provide a “close-to-reality” blast pattern, but the Wheelabrator team is working on further verifying the effects of specific variables, such as angle, velocity, amount, size and shape of the abrasive, as well as ricochet effects. Efforts are also underway to map various parameters of surface quality as part of the simulation – for example, roughness and almen values.

Heinrich Dropmann concludes: “The more accurate our blast simulation, the more effective and efficient is the resulting machine. For example, the simulation might give us and the customer the confidence to reduce the number of blast wheels, resulting in energy and abrasive savings. Overall, using simulations at concept stage means we can cut lead times for new machines drastically, but with maximum confidence in the blast process.”

At Wheelabrator we are committed to achieving the optimum blast result for you and utilise innovative blast simulation technology to ensure this.

Blast simulation technology guarantees we find the optimal machine type and wheel arrangement for your exact specifications, for your workpiece. It saves energy, enables the machine to be delivered in a shorter lead time, the technical risk is minimised and a basis for the technical specification is achieved.