A History of Innovation

Prepared for Innovation and Invention
The Creation of an Industry


Benjamin Chew Tilghman invented the sandblasting process in 1869 and filed a patent in the USA. He formed "Tilghman's Patent Sand Blast Co." at Gray's Inn Road, London and in 1879 moved the company to Altrincham. This company later became Tilghman Wheelabrator, and eventually Wheelabrator Group. Our head office is still in Altrincham, in the UK.

Tilghman accounts book from 1896 -1914
Click to see details - inc. orders for
"sand blast plant for cleaning pipes"

Louis D. Peik, of the American Foundry equipment Co., invented wheelblasting in 1933, with the patent. As the machine threw an abrasive by a wheel-like device, the term "Wheelabrator" was born. In 1933, the new Wheelabrator machines were launched with great success, and in 1935, Tilghman's in the UK started to build licensed Wheelabrator machines. 

In 1945, American Foundry changed it's name to American Wheelabrator & Equipment Company, in 1966 it acquired 40% of Tilghman's, and the company became Tilghman Wheelabrator - which then became fully owned by American Wheelabrator in 1973.

Throughout it's history, Wheelabrator has continued to pioneer new techniques and technologies, continually striving to serve it's customers.

Notable innovation at Wheelabrator:

1869:  Patent for the sand blast process (Tilghman, UK)

1932:  Patent for the first tumblast machine (American Foundry, USA)

1933:  Patent for the first blast wheel, the “Wheelabrator”, by American Foundry

1940:  Led the development of shot peening equipment

1950:  Introduction of wire and strip descalers

1978:  Introduction of the first Continuous Throughfeed machine

1980:  Introduction of Manipulator machines for powertrain castings

1980:  Launch of the Universal (U-) wheel

1986:  Sale of the first Preservation Line into China

2000:  Patent for the Robot GripperModule8 RG whole machine 170 pix

2003:  Launch of the EZEFIT wheel (USA)

2007:  Launch of the TITAN wheel

2011:  Introduction of the Inclined Belt (IBC) machine

2012:  Introduction of the Advanced Internal Cleaning (AIC) machine

2013:  Launch of the SG130 Blast Head

2015:  Introduction of the Compact Blast machine

2015:  Launch of the Carousel Rotating Chamber machine

2015:  Introduction of the Flexible Lance Internal Peening system

2015:  Launch of the COMET HD wheel

  • Login


To download your requested file, please enter your details below.
Your download will begin when you click Download.