Shot Blast Machine Terminology - A glossary of common terms

Without trying to create a complete dictionary of shot blasting terms (and they do exist!), here’s a quick A-to-Z of shot blasting and surface preparation machine terms.

It’s important to understand that the names of machines usually describe how the component passes through the machine, but sometimes the name describes the component to be treated, the chamber in which the component is treated, or the application/form of treatment, and added to that you need to determine how you want the components to flow through your production process.

Let’s start with the Flow.

The Flow

Term Explanation  Image

A batch or group of components enter the blast chamber together, are processed together, and exit the chamber together through the same chamber opening.

Example: MB Batch Type Tumblast Machine

 Wheelabrator MB Tumble Blast machines

The movement of components through the blast chamber and to the next process is continuous, normally without stopping.

Example: CT Continuous Tumblast Machine

Wheelabrator CT Continuous Tumblast machine
Inline, or In-line

The movement of components through the blast chamber and to the next process is achieved in one continuous line, however the line may pause to allow the components in the blast chamber to be blasted in one concentrated area.

Example: DHB-C Pass-Through Monorail Machine

The components move into the blast chamber, are stationary, then move to the next process (are stationary again), etc.. 
Closed Loop
The components are fed through the blast chamber on a circular (closed loop) transportation device. They therefore have to be loaded and unloaded from the transportation device. Example: DHB-C Pass-Through Monorail Machine In certain cases, blast wheels may be installed only on one side of the blast cabin which lowers maintenance and energy expenses.  
Through-feed, or Pass Through
Components enter the blast chamber via one opening, and exit from another. The components are transported at a constant (yet variable) speed.
Example: Roller conveyor machines 
Rotary through-feed
As above, but the components are rotated while passing through the machine. Example: RDS Spring Peening systems
Closed Circuit 
This is slightly different, as Closed Circuit describes the movement of the abrasive. Closed circuit machines are compact and manoeuvrable – portable air blast machines - and move to the component to be blasted. Example: Closed circuit blast machine  

Component Movement Names

Term  Explanation Image 
Hanger type, or Overhead rail
Components are suspended on a hanger or tree hanging from a rail. The tree is then transported into the blast chamber, where it is blasted often while rotating (and sometimes also oscillating). Once blasted, the hanger is transported back out of the chamber – usually from the same entrance. It is common to have a track or rail in a Y formation, allowing two hangers, so that a new batch of parts can be loaded, while one batch is being processed. (Wheelblast machine.)   
Monorail, or Pass-through monorail
As above, but this time the rail is continuous, or circular (closed loop), and passes completely through the blast chamber.
Frame machine
Components are fixed or hung in a frame, the frame moves into the blast chamber and airblast robots blast the components. The frames can be stationary while in the blast chamber, indexing or continuously moving. The Frames pass through the chamber.   
Spinner hanger
The hanger – or tree – is fixed inside the blast chamber. The blast chamber usually has two compartments, so that parts can be unloaded and loaded in one compartment while the hanger in the other compartment is being blasted. The hanger spins to achieve complete coverage.
Roller conveyor
Components – usually long and low parts such as plate steel and H bars – are rolled on bars, on a conveyor line through the blast chamber. The components are transported at a constant (yet variable) speed. Blast wheels are positioned above, and sometimes below the conveyor, to blast the parts.
Work car, or Bogie table
The Work car – essentially a table on wheels moving along a track – is used to transport heavy components and fabrications, such as bridge girders and large weldments or castings, into the blast chamber. Work cars can pass through the chamber, or enter and exit from the same door. They can also rotate if required
Components are tipped into a tumbling barrel-type drum. They gently roll over each other, are blasted, and are tipped out again via the same opening. The drum can be made of a wear-resistant rubber or steel conveyor.
Example: MB blast machine
Polygon-drum systems
Polygon drum systems are polygon-shaped troughs which rock back and forth to gently tumble the parts while blasting. Example: DTC blast machine
Horizontal belt
Components are conveyed (linear transportation) at a constant speed (variable) along a belt through the blast chamber. Belts can be made of hard wearing rubber, or steel mesh/manganese mesh.
Inclined belt
Here, components are fed through the machine on a belt, but made to “stand up” on an incline to pass through the blast chamber. Designed for high production rates of flat rotational parts to expose all surfaces evenly to the blast stream.
Table machine
Components are placed on a table in a blast chamber. The table may swing out of the chamber to make loading and unloading of parts easier. Parts may be sat directly on to the table, or placed onto holders on the table. Air and Wheelblast versions are available.
Satellite table
A satellite table machine is effectively a table in a blast chamber, that has been separated into a number of compartments. This allows treated parts to be unloaded, while another batch is being processed in another chamber. The different compartments will allow for different processes to take place.
Airblast and wheelblast versions are available, and parts may be mounted on holders and rotated 
Rotary chamber
The Rotary Chamber is similar to a Satellite Table, however, the table is replaced with holders that rotate the parts.
Example: Carousel Rotary Chamber machine 
Robot gripper
A robot arm holds the workpiece and introduces it through a rubber membrane seal into the blast chamber and is tightly docked to it by a sealing plate. The membrane seal protects the robot while allowing mobility and flexibility. The programmable robot moves three-dimensionally within the chamber to guide the workpiece in the blast stream.   
Robot manipulator
Parts are loaded by a robot into the blast machine and are held there by a manipulator. This manipulator rotates the parts in two axes under the blast stream based on a specific movement program designated for each individual part.
Example: MAC Robot Manipulator System
Parts are loaded into the blast chamber by robots or a mechanical device. In the blast chamber the components are held by manipulator arms which move the component in the blast stream, ensuring complete coverage while emptying bores of any abrasive.

Chamber Descriptions



Manual or Hand cabinet 
Airblast application – a component is loaded in a cabinet, via a side door, where it is blasted by hand. Gloves are in-built into the machine, the operator inserts his hands into the gloves, picks up a hose/nozzle, and manually blasts the part
Barrel blast machine

Parts are transported into a room, where an operator in a full suit and helmet, will manually blast the components – although automated versions are also available.
Example: Blastroom

Component Descriptions



Concrete block machine
A Horizontal blast machine (wheelblast) to give a high quality finish to concrete blocks and paving slabs. Linear transportation, at variable constant speed. Example: Concrete Block machine wheelabrator concrete blasting
Pipe machine
Pipes are transported through the machine on a skew roll conveyor to turn the pipe while the blast stream removes mill scale and rust. Example: Pipe machine  
Stress peening system
For shot peening springs. A predefined load is applied to each spring during peening on a satellite table machine. Example: SRS Stress peening machine
Strip descaling
Narrow, medium and wide steel strip is fed through a machine horizontally as part of an integrated processing line. Example: Strip descaling machine HB Strip Descaling Machine Blast Cleaning Process 
Wire bar and billet descaling
Single or multiple strands of wires and bars are fed through the machine, which can be standalone, or integrated into a drawing line. Example: Wire, Bar and Billet Descaling
Preservation line
A preservation line is a roller conveyor machine which transports sheet steel through many processes including preheating, shot blast cleaning, priming and drying. Example: Preservation Line

Internal cleaning
The airblast advanced internal cleaning machine is a pass through, horizontal machine. A roller conveyor transports the component – cylinder heads, motor blocks, crank cases etc. – into the blast chamber, where a pivoting device lifts the component towards the nozzles. Pivoting nozzles may also simultaneously blast the underside apertures and bores. Example: Advanced Internal Cleaning machine (AIC)
Gear peening cells
Airblast, satellite table machines with specific tooling to hold and rotate parts, With complex parts recognition technology for precise, process reliable, repeatable shot peening results. Example CFX 600