Manually preparing workpieces for finishing can be both time-consuming and labor-intensive, driving up costs and driving down productivity — but wheel blasting can address both of these concerns while guaranteeing consistent, reliable surface preparation for an ideal finish every time.
Wheel blasting is a highly versatile process that can be used across all types of industries for a wide range of preparation needs. Since 1967, DeLong Equipment has been a trusted leader in blasting equipment, and our expert team can work with you to determine the ideal blasting machine for your specific needs.
With a skilled services team on hand for comprehensive maintenance and inspection, and fully trained technicians working 24/7 for around-the-clock customer support, DeLong Equipment is proud to serve as a leading supplier of blasting equipment.
How Does Wheel Blasting Work?
Wheel blasting systems are available in several different styles, but all make use of a rotating wheel to “blast” a material, known as shot or grit, at a surface in order to clean and prepare it for finishing, coating, and painting.
The core of a wheel blasting system is the wheel turbine, which contains an impeller pump. The impeller propels shot or grit into the “control cage,” located in the middle of a central rotating wheel. From the control cage, the shot or grit is pumped onto the blades of the wheel, and the rotating motion of the wheel then throws the shot or grit at the surface being prepared. Various factors — including how many times per second this process occurs, the distance between the wheel and the surface being prepared, the angle at which the shot or grit is thrown at the surface, and the kind of shot or grit used — can be controlled and customized for different applications.
Benefits of Wheel Blasting
Wheel blasting provides highly consistent surface preparation results, typically at lower costs than other preparation options. This process is much more efficient, fast, and cost-effective than air blasting and sandblasting methods, in particular. Because these systems do not require compressed air, which can be both expensive to maintain and time-consuming to use, these machines excel at preparing large workpieces that would be difficult to prepare otherwise.
Types of Wheel Blasting Equipment
Several different types of wheel blasting machines are available, each featuring unique properties and benefits. Although they all follow the general process discussed above, each machine works slightly differently and is best suited for different uses.
For instance, there are several options available for batch machines, in which the workpiece is blasted inside a blasting chamber, while models that feed parts through the machine with a conveyer belt may be better suited for some applications.
We’ve highlighted a few popular systems below:
- Tumble blast machines are a type of batch system in which the surface being blasted is equally exposed on all sides; this is achieved via a rotating blasting cabinet that gently “tumbles” or turns the workpiece over and over again to ensure uniform exposure.
- Another kind of batch system, table machines place the workpiece on a turntable inside the blasting cabinet. Depending on the size of the machine, these systems can often accommodate extremely large workpieces.
- In spinner hanger batch machines, the workpiece is suspended and hangs from the top of the blasting cabinet to prevent part-on-part contact. These systems are particularly well-suited for fragile or oddly shaped workpieces.
- Unlike the options listed above, continuous or in-line blast machines carry workpieces through the wheel blasting machine via a rail or conveyor system rather than placing them into a blast cabinet beforehand.
Working with DeLong Equipment
In addition to wheel blasting machines, we also have a full inventory of air blasting equipment, vibratory media, and abrasives, and offer a wide range of surface preparation and metal finishing services. To learn more about wheel blasting or to discuss how we can help with your next project, contact the team today!