We try to give general guidelines about when to clean a blasting cabinet dust collector in each machine’s user manual. Our official recommendation for any Media Blast® Industrial model is two, (2), to three, (3), minute cleaning cycles every two, (2), hours of machine operation. But the reality is that the cleaning and maintenance frequency of blast cabinet dust collectors is based on several variables. It’s the responsibility of the user to adapt our recommendation based on how the machine is being used.
Why is it Important to Clean a Blasting Cabinet Dust Collector?
A dust collector filter is among the most important components for sandblasting cabinets. Although we’ve made huge strides in innovation, dust collector filter maintenance is still an important factor. If you’re not sure how to perform the required maintenance, this is a great resource for how to clean a blasting cabinet dust collector.
How Often Should Users Clean a Blasting Cabinet Dust Collector?
In addition to the 10 common dust collector maintenance variables we outlined last year, keep these in mind:
- Poor quality abrasives are cheap and increase the seller’s profit margin while increasing the user’s need to clean a blasting cabinet dust collector. Never use sand, slag or garnet in any blasting machine because these impact velocity abrasives require that the dust collector be cleaned twice or three times as often as higher quality abrasives.
- Using a worn-out nozzle can require users to clean a blasting cabinet dust collector more often. For example, in a pressure delivery cabinet the standard 3/16″ pressure nozzle at 40 psi delivers about 7 pounds of standard weight abrasive per minute. Standard weight abrasive weighs about 100 pounds per cubic foot. A 1/4″ pressure nozzle at 40 psi delivers 10 pounds per minute but as the nozzle wears out that changes the cleaning speed, maintenance interval, etc.
- Part surface condition; not all parts have large amounts of material being removed. Welding discoloration has very little dust being sent to the dust collector but submersible trash pumps have high levels of material being removed from the part.
- Size of the dust collector filter surface in square feet. The Media Blast® PowerPeen direct pressure model has two standard dust collector sizes, 220 and 440 sq.ft. with an optional 880 square foot self-cleaning automatic free-standing dust collector. The 880 is self- cleaning during the blasting operation and if this is what your application requires no standard self-contained dust collector will work.
Because so many variables affect how often users should clean a blasting cabinet dust collector it’s important to buy the right MediaBlaster®. Matching the application to the machine will help ensure that the rate of machine maintenance is manageable.
Pro Tip: The most common reason a direct pressure machine frequently needs dust collector maintenance is blasting above the abrasive’s maximum impact velocity. This can easily reduce glass bead recycle rates from 25 or 30 times down to 2 or 3 times. This results in more dust collector maintenance because the worn-out abrasive powder is easily sent to the dust collector and must be removed from the dust collector filters every 2 to 3 recycles The separator reclaimer is designed to remove worn out abrasive, but blasting above impact velocity essentially creates all dust, no reusable abrasive, so everything is removed to the dust collector. This is a very common mistake made by operators that simply don’t understand what they are doing.
Real World Example: Using 7 pounds per minute delivery and 100 pounds abrasive in the machine as an example you can turn all 100 pounds of abrasive into powder every 14 minutes using a direct pressure cabinet blasting above maximum abrasive impact velocity. A pressure machine will deliver 7 pounds of media per minute and, if you are exceeding maximum impact velocity of the abrasive, you only get 1 to 2 recycles of the 100 pounds. It only takes 14 to 28 minutes using a pressure nozzle to destroy all the abrasive. Also remember you’re collecting the coating being removed from the part at the same time. It is all being sent to the dust collector!
To Sum It Up
It may seem overwhelming to stay on top of blast cabinet dust collector maintenance cycles. We recommend speaking to one of our expert technicians before purchasing a MediaBlaster®. We can identify the best machine configuration for your specific needs. It’s important that your budget not dictate your purchase or you are likely to be disappointed in your machine. The safest decision is buying the most dust collector your budget will allow or following the manufacturer’s recommendations based on your daily usage needs.
Media Blast®, a 42-year manufacture of Wet, Dry, Siphon, Direct Pressure and Light Duty to Industrial, with a line of free-standing Dust Collectors can help you purchase the right machine the first time, give us a call and talk to us about your application and spend your dollars wisely.