Roughening a smooth surface, smoothening a rough surface, cleaning sprawling commercial structures, and even shaping pieces of art — blasting does it all.
But a proper blasting environment, equipped with the proper machinery, is critical for ensuring optimal results. And this is where many businesses go wrong. Blasting success is contingent on the ability of the blast room to accommodate uniquely shaped workpieces, seal and contain the blast media, and effectively reclaim the media.
The DeLong Equipment team has a cumulative 240 years of blasting experience, serving a range of highly demanding industries, including aerospace, automotive, investment casting, military, and steel fabrication sectors.
Key Considerations When Planning a Blasting Job
- Will the blast room be prebuilt or self-made? Prebuilt blasting facilities are structurally sounder and offer better sealing. On the other hand, self-made blast rooms can be customized to accommodate large and awkwardly shaped workpieces.
- What type of blasting medium and recovery system will you use? Metal shot, glass beads, baking soda, and even ice — different categories of blasting media offer varying levels of abrasiveness and require different reclamation systems. Researching the best fit can be tedious, and many businesses end up going with the most popular setup rather than the best setup.
- Can you meet OSHA requirements? This is by far the most complex aspect of constructing a blast room. OSHA has stringent standards in place regarding vacating blasting facilities of blast medium and keeping spaces ventilated to prevent accidents.
Constructing a Sandblasting Room That Serves Your Unique Purpose
- The ideal design for a blast room will depend on the size of the largest workpiece that the facility can accommodate. Typically, it’s the rule of thumb to add 4 feet on either side of the anticipated largest workpiece to account for maneuverability and worker movement clearance.
- The same rule applies to the height of the blasting room. Clearances of 5 feet to 7 feet are common, as they allow technicians to blast items from every angle, including the top.
- The actual layout of the blasting room will also be influenced by the mode of ventilation chosen. Downdraft, end-to-center, and cross-draft ventilation are popular choices.
- Ventilation not only renders the blast rooms OSHA-compliant by reducing the buildup of particulate matter and blast media, it also determines the size of the dust collection system.
- Keep in mind this convenient formula: Width of room x height of room x cross-sectional air speed (based on air flow design) = size of dust or blast media collector.
- Even though abrasive blasting is often referred to as sandblasting, specific media may run the spectrum from extremely abrasive metal shots to mildly abrasive plastic or glass. The actual blasting system is chosen based on key factors like the weight of the blast medium, the blasting cycle duration, and the degree of blasting required.
- Most blasting facilities go with wheel blasting or air blasting systems.
- Last but not the least are blasting media reclamation systems. Businesses can choose to work with sophisticated setups that reduce medium wastage drastically, or they can stick with the manual method, in which the blast material is shoveled back into the blast pot.
- It is important to maintain the integrity of the blast material. It should be free of contaminants.
- Reclamation systems can be as small as a 3 x 3 foot hopper or as large as the entire corner of the blasting room.
- Most abrasive blast media require mechanical recovery systems, in which cyclonic separators are used to eliminate contaminants from the reclaimed material. Relatively lighter blast media do well with pneumatic recovery systems. Reclaim floors in the single screw, U-shaped, H-shaped, and full-reclaim variants are available for larger operations.
A properly constructed, robust blast room not only improves overall facility efficiency, it also improves the quality of the output while allowing for optimal cost savings.
Interested in learning how DeLong Equipment’s blasting rooms can take your business to the next level? Request a custom quote today to discuss your options with an expert.