Vol. 22
November Issue
Year 2021


in Vol. 22 - November Issue - Year 2021
Wet Blasting – The Flushing Action Of A Water-Abrasive Combination Provides Optimal Surface Cleanliness

Figure 1: FerroECOblast’s manufacturing and assembly facility

Figure 2: Automatic WetBlasting machine, type: “WetBlast 20-20”

Figure 3: “WetBlast 20-20” with open pneumatic doors

Picture 4: Automatic wet blasting process

Picture 5: Touchscreen for machine operating

A Dolenjske Toplice-based family business with more than 57 years of tradition, FerroČrtalič d.o.o. develops and manufactures machines for cutting-edge surface treatment technologies, which are marketed under their proprietary FerroECOBlast® Europe brand. With a strong focus on developing comprehensive solutions, the company has seen successful expansion into the global market for years now and is becoming one of the leading companies in numerous industries. Its solutions in the technologies of manual, automatic and robotic air blasting, shot peening, dry ice or dry snow cleaning, ultra-high-pressure water jetting as well as fully automated enamelling solutions, are being used in the most technology-intensive industries – from aviation, automotive, metalworking, foundry and casting, energy and 3D printing to medical implants and pharmaceutical industries.

One of the common air blasting processes, which is similar to suction dry blasting but with the addition of water, is Wet Blasting, where a pump mixes an abrasive media and water from the bottom of the cabinet in a controlled mixing ratio before pushing it into a nozzle, from where compressed air propels the mixture of water, abrasive and air onto the workpiece.

This type of surface preparation is generally used before applying coating on cutting, drilling and milling tools or for delivering smooth and gently polished surfaces and edges, which is common in many industries such as cutting tool manufacturing, automotive and aeronautical engine parts production, nuclear industry for safe decontamination processes, etc.

By choosing different abrasive media, one can achieve different surface finishes. For a polished effect, fine glass beads are used, while if the surface requires roughness, aluminium oxide is typically used for creating a matte look and a surface ready for further processing like coating or achieving final "silk effect" smooth surfaces. When using ceramic beads, wet shot peening can also create a very special effect that reduces residual stresses in the material and significantly extends its lifespan.

The many advantages of this process include lower maintenance costs, since the added water reduces wear on the pipes, blasting nozzles and, of course, the cabinet itself.

Water also reduces abrasive media consumption, so operating costs are lower compared to other blasting processes. What is more, wet blasting does not generate any dust, which eliminates the need for installing additional filtration systems for cabinet ventilation and dust extraction. And there is more: with no dust in the air, the process does not affect the operators' health in any way, making this solution highly effective in health and safety terms, which is particularly important when working with "exotic" materials. 

Wet blasting is as versatile as conventional air blasting. These solutions are designed for manual, automatic or robotic blasting processes and also allow the combined use of both manual and automatic operating modes. This process is used for fine and delicate surface preparation because it can follow and withstand high tolerance levels, so it is also suitable for blasting thin surfaces. The use of a mixture of water and abrasive media eliminates the risk of fire or explosion and, unlike the dry blasting process, generates no dust at all.

The built-in user-friendly "FerroSmartPanel" touchscreen interface provides a very simple and intuitive way for the operator to regulate the air pressure, adjust the water-abrasive ratio, create an operating program, and set turntable and manipulator speeds, timing and path of the operating process. 

Different programs can be saved for different parts and processes. When manual operation is needed, the operator simply flips the switch to manual mode, grabs the manual nozzle and starts wet blasting. As a safety measure, the manipulator cannot be moved during manual operation and the turntable can only be rotated while the operator is pushing down on the foot pedal.
The water recycling system features a hydrocyclone and sediment tank combined with a paper filter roll, which make up a closed-loop system for washing the blasted parts with clean, residue-free water. Wet blasting is applicable to many industries and suitable for so many processes that it is indispensable for every workshop where smooth, precise, fine and low-roughness surface finishing is needed.

FerroECOBlast® Europe Wet Blasting solutions are excellent substitutes for ecologically unsustainable chemical surface pre-treatment processes and effectively replace manual sanding and roughening operations, delivering superior quality in accordance with the most stringent standards across various industries.

For Information: 
FerroČrtalič d.o.o.
Sela pri Dolenjskih Toplicah 47 
SI-8350 Dolenjske Toplice, Slovenia 
Tel. +386.7.38 45 100
E-mail: sales@ferrocrtalic.com