What is Shot Blasting?

Shotblasting is a method used to clean, strengthen (peen) or polish metal. Shot blasting is used in almost every industry that uses metal, including aerospace, automotive, construction, foundry, shipbuilding, rail, and many others. There are two technologies used: wheelblasting or airblasting.

 

This video from the Discovery Channel's "Build It Bigger" illustrates shot blasting perfectly, and features a Wheelabrator Hanger Type wheelblast machine at Arniston Army base in the USA.

Tank Hull Cleaning

Watch the Discovery Channel's Anniston Army base video to see how a Wheelabrator machine cleans these huge vehicle sections.

Wheelblasting

Wheelblasting directly converts electric motor energy into kinetic abrasive energy by rotating a turbine wheel. The capacity of each wheel goes from approximately 60 kg per minute up to 1200kg/min. With these large amounts of accelerated abrasive, wheelblast machines are used where big parts or large areas of parts have to be derusted, descaled, deburred, desanded or cleaned in some form.

Often the method of transportation of the components to be blasted will define the type of machine: from simple table machines to integrated, fully automatic manipulator machines for full series automotive manufacturers, through to roller conveyors and strip descaling systems.

Airblasting

Airblast machines can take the form of a blastroom or a blast cabinet, the blast media is pneumatically accelerated by compressed air and projected by nozzles onto the component. For special applications a media-water mix can be used, this is called wet blasting.

In both air and wet blasting the blast nozzles can be installed in fixed positions or can be operated manually or by automatic nozzle manipulators or robots.
The blasting task determines the choice of the abrasive media, in most cases any type of dry or free running abrasive media can be used.