about Wet Bead Blasting
It is a far superior process to dry bead/sand blasting in that it cleans components by flow not by impact.
It requires no effluent forming, environmentally hazardous chemicals and eliminates the need for re-painting.
Final results are a factory finish look.
The process has been around since the 1950’s and was designed for use in the aviation industry.
We use a high quality soda-lime glass bead because of its hardness and spherical characteristics of various grit sizes.
Sodium bicarbonate (Soda blasting) is useful in general component cleaning but doesn’t have the physical characteristics and hardness necessary to cut through oxide layers and leave a satin finish like you get with glass bead.
Most alloy parts found on cars and bikes are excellent candidates for wet bead blasting. So too are aviation and marine parts or restoration projects that consist of alloy or composite metal components.
We can bring that one-off hard-to-replace piece back to an as-new finish.
Before bringing your parts in, please ensure components are disassembled and any parts you do not want blasted, removed.
Parts must be degreased, paint free and free from heavy dirt build up.
Alternatively for a small fee, we can remove paint and degrease small components.
If we take a set of crank cases as an example: When they were sand-cast, they were left to weather or age before they were fitted with all internal components, as were the cast iron parts such as the cylinder liners and cylinder heads. The natural aging of these parts was crucial to let them settle down and lose all of the inbuilt stresses created through the casting process.
Later modern castings are pressure fed die castings for greater mass production. These have lots of stresses in them and they retain them.
Vapour blasting not only cleans down to the base structure, but also normalises it. The scrubbing action of Vapour blasting on the base metal is found to have no adverse affects on material stability, whether it is in thick or thin sections. (Ref. Stotfold engineers Terry Ives)
A range of final finishes can be achieved. By selecting different sizes of glass bead and a burnishing process we can control bright to matte satin finishes.
How parts are cast originally will influence the final results.
Wet bead blasting will remove all surface rust and impurities and bring cast iron back to its original cast appearance.
Is wet bead blasting used for electroplating and anodising preparation? And can wet bead blasting remove anodising?
Yes it can. It serves as an excellent anodising and electroplating preparation.
The slurry mixture contains a flash rust inhibitor; this renders the surface “passive” a condition in which rust cannot develop. This period prior to painting, welding or further processing will last between a few days to a few weeks depending on part (e.g. for steel fittings and hardware ).
We can give a more accurate time frame after a consultation.
Before blasting, blind passages are blocked where we don’t want media to enter. After blasting the component is meticulously cleaned and blown dry with compressed air. There is the potential that some media residue may remain.
A final check prior to re assembly of the part is the responsibility of the customer to ensure no media traces remain.