Over the past several years we’ve seen more and more people requesting information about “dustless blast cabinets” or “wet abrasive blasters.” Often this is because the user is currently operating a poorly-made dry blast cabinet that often creates a large mess.
Why Are Dry Blasting Cabinets Messy?
First of all, not all media blasters are messy. Unfortunately, many of the budget-friendly cabinets on the market sacrifice construction design for a lower price tag. This is almost always because the dust collector supplied with these machines is inexpensive, and meets minimum code requirements. Typically, the storage capacity of the dust collector equals service and cleaning time, so the smaller the blower cfm the more you will need to clean and service. Cabinets using vacuum blowers create the most horrific messes because of the limited 100 cfm air movement and poor visibility. Industrial and production capacity blasting cabinets may have as much as 50% or more of the machine cost attributed to the dust collector itself.
Real World Example: Think about abrasive blasting the way you think about the Indy 500 – if it takes you 15 minutes to change tires, there’s no way that even the FASTEST car on the track can win the race. It’s not a race car just a fast car.
The Appeal of Dustless Blasting Cabinets
Media Blast® has always made wet blasting cabinets even though they occupied a very small market share. We have understood the benefits of these machines since wet blasting cabinets were king in the late 50s. Today more and more applications require wet blasting and more manufacturers are offering wet cabinets to meet the market demand.
The Drawback of Wet, Dustless Blasting Cabinets
One important thing to realize is that wet abrasive delivery is about 4-6 times slower than dry blasting remembering there are many different blast nozzle sizes. This becomes critical if you are already using a smaller size air compressor on an inexpensive dry blasting cabinet cleaning slowly. Slow cleaning speed using a small cfm air compressor can make changing to wet abrasive delivery too slow to be acceptable.
Pro Tip: Wet sanding is much slower than dry sanding because you have no frictional heat! If you’re unhappy with the speed of your current dry blasting cabinet think about more compressed air in your future first.
A New Dustless Blasting Cabinet
Media Blast® is now offering a second wet blasting model: HydroSlurry™. This model is built for use with smaller air compressors but is still a well-built, all slurry stainless-steel cabinet. We designed this machine for smaller part volume, users looking for dustless blasting, a superior looking part, and lower investment cost.
ProTip: Understand not all wet blasting cabinets are dustless.
The HydroSlurry™ is available in three standard cabinet sizes starting with the smallest, the 363030 HydroSlurry operating on 120-volt power. All sizes use a new slurry pump design for both agitation and supply to the gun when blasting wet. The larger cabinet sizes can require an increase in the pump size, but the HydroSlurry lineup is aimed at the automotive market to supply an all stainless-steel cabinet using slurry pump agitation with higher abrasive percentages in suspension. The new HydroSlurry models have been designed to accept our Industrial pump but the Hurricane Industrial Wet model is a better match.
Pro Tip: Never look at any mild-steel wet blasting cabinet construction for a cost savings, you’ll see how fast a sandblasted cabinet can rust!
To Sum It Up
Media Blast® is a trusted industry leader – not a follower! We manufacture wet, dry, siphon, direct pressure, micro, plastic, shot peening and soda cabinets! If you want to work with a company that is well-versed in wet, dustless blasting cabinets, we’re the partner for you! Wet machines without a mist collector and negative pressure inside the cabinets ARE NOT DUSTLESS! If you’re not sure what cabinet is the right fit for your needs, give us a call or visit our Buying Guide.