VOL. 17 November ISSUE YEAR 2016
in Vol. 17 - November Issue - Year 2016
Cuts Cost, Blasts Better: New Heavy-Duty Blast Wheel
Wheelabrator's new heavy-duty blast wheel COMET HD
The new wheel's asymmetrical precision housing is bolted and equipped with a "snap fit" liner system
COMET HD's "Precision Lok" feature ensures correct settings
COMET HD's new blades are semi-curved, with a high wear life tip
Surface preparation expert Wheelabrator has officially launched its new blast wheel for heavy-duty applications: COMET HD.
The new wheel achieves a clearly defined, even blast pattern and higher peak blast intensities at reduced abrasive flow rates, thereby reducing abrasive consumption while improving cycle times and first-time pass rates.
With COMET HD, Wheelabrator has optimised the journey of the abrasive from the ground up, using advanced testing and imaging technology to identify and eliminate all instances of waste in the blast process.
The R&D team deliberately chose a broad definition of "waste", to include things like loss of energy of each abrasive particle, unnecessary wear, overconsumption of power or blast media, uneven hotspot or uncontrolled blast pattern, as well as time spent on overly complicated maintenance or time lost due to incorrect machine set-ups.
The result is a blast wheel that achieves more with less, is easy to assemble, service and upgrade, is impossible to configure incorrectly on re-assembly, wears less, and blasts rapidly and with precision. All this adds up to measurable and considerable cost savings.
Examples of savings:
• COMET HD achieves over 5% higher peak blast intensities at 7% less abrasive flow, when compared to a proven, current HD blast wheel design, resulting in at least a 7% saving in abrasive (a typical foundry may use around 100t of abrasive per year);
• In the same set-up, the abrasive breakdown rate is reduced by up to 24%;
• Tested against an existing wheel design on a foundry application, COMET HD achieved a similar blast result within a blast cycle time that was almost a fifth (17%) shorter, and at an abrasive flow reduced by 8%.
• Taken together, the above equates to a potential total abrasive saving of up to 29%.
• COMET HD's semi-curved blades with special wear tip last around a third longer than previous blade types, reducing maintenance and part costs and increasing machine uptime;
• Thanks to its clever design, COMET HD is uniquely accessible for maintenance, reducing maintenance time by around 30%, freeing up headroom for additional production.
First shown as a prototype at GIFA 2015, COMET HD is available globally, both in metric and imperial dimensions. It can be retrofitted on existing Wheelabrator or non-Wheelabrator equipment.
Key characteristics of the new COMET HD blast wheel are:
• single-directional design for optimised performance
• asymmetrical housing for better blast pattern position
• smaller footprint to suit almost any existing wheelblast machine
• front-face access to wheel assembly and "hot parts" via 4-point quick release
• precision bolted housing construction, for improved fit and alignment
• simplified, easy-to-change five-part liner system - end liners "snap fit" without fasteners
• optimised control cage with machined areas, acceleration ramp and special wear tip
• self-securing double taper fit blade lock-up system
• blades optimised for best abrasive pick-up point, strategically strengthened to reduce wear
• "Precision Lok" and centring plate for repeatably correct blast wheel set-up
Clifford Parr, President & COO at Wheelabrator Plus, said: "With COMET HD, we are redefining what constitutes a great blast wheel. It's one that tackles all the concerns around blast machines that our customers have told us about: operational costs (how much abrasive is used and how often do I have to change wear parts?), machine and part durability (how often does a machine need maintenance or repairs, how long will it last?) and performance (how long does it take the machine to process a part, will it achieve the desired result in one go?). We've taken an R&D approach that results not in just a million precise impacts on a part surface, but in one big impact on our customers' bottom line."