We are often asked whether it’s better to buy a blast cabinet with refrigerator doors or vertical sliding doors. There are benefits and drawbacks to both kinds of doors. Vertical sliding doors do typically require more safety features because of their more complicated design. Our vertical doors roll-up and require no increase in vertical height.
If you’re not sure whether or not you should purchase a machine with vertical or refrigerator doors, we can help you decide. These seven questions may help you determine which kind of blast cabinet door is best for you.
Media Blast® is a Manufacturer You Can Trust
Media Blast® has been manufacturing 11 different categories of blasting cabinets and related machines for over 42 years. Our goal is to help you buy the right machine the first time, so you don’t have to throw good money after bad and replace a machine that doesn’t meet your needs.
We offer 8 different abrasive delivery types, consisting of wet and dry models using Siphon, Gravity Feed and Direct Pressure Delivery. We also manufacturer Vertical Cartridge Dust Collectors for Abrasive Blasting Cabinets, both Automatic and Manual Cleaning, all designed to help you keep the work area clean.
7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Blast Cabinet Doors
- Do you need a small blast cabinet footprint? It’s a common misconception that vertical doors save on the machine floor footprint. Vertical doors are often used with side tables and mobile work carts, which require additional access space with vertical door. These variables increase the footprint for any cabinet regardless of the type of doors.
- Is there enough room for Operator Access? All cabinets need part cart and operator side access even if you have vertical doors.
- What is the height of the ceiling? Vertical doors are much taller than refrigerator type doors so you have to be sure your ceiling can accommodate the required space.
- How much maintenance do you want to manage? Vertical sliding doors use counter weights or pneumatic or hydraulic actuators, cables, cylinders and air controls. These components always require more maintenance that a simple, well-designed refrigerator door. Media Blast offers roll-up doors that use the same vertical space as refrigerator type.
- What is your blast cabinet budget? Vertical sliding doors can easily add $5000.00 to the cost of any Industrial Blasting Cabinet. Because 80% of the machine maintenance is dust collector related, we suggest upgrading the dust collector first.
- How important is return on investment for your blast cabinet?As a manufacturer making both door types, your budget upgrades would be wisely spent on the dust collector. Dust collector storage capacity makes a much bigger impact on the profitability of a blast cabinet compared to upgrading to a vertical door.
- How important is a clean workspace? Some people make the claim that vertical doors are cleaner. Like anything, it is in the door design. Vertical doors must easily slide for manual operation as well as powered operation. This means the doors use track openings with low friction seals that refrigerator doors do not require. Refrigerator side access doors can be, and are often, two-piece doors with inner and outer door closing on a knife type seal that vacuums the ledges when opening the door. This is also a very clean door design, but, like many things, poor maintenance can compromise the performance of any feature. Looking back at the dust collector, upgrade to a HEPA after filter on the dust collector to ensure the cleanest workspace possible.
Pro Tip: Simple pan doors are often offered in two-door cabinets, making you think you are getting a great feature: two doors. Be advised you might want only one really well-designed refrigerator door instead of two poor quality pan doors. Often times, people tape the door on the left side of the blast cabinet shut, with 90% of the blasting done from the right to left, and the low-quality pan door on the left, door seals can be eroded and start leaking.
To Sum It Up
Both sliding vertical blast cabinet doors, roll up vertical doors and refrigerator doors are beneficial. It’s conservative to estimate vertical do not increase the cost of a mediablaster® by as much as $5000.00. Despite the additional costs, vertical doors seldom save floor footprint and they require more inspection and maintenance.