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Grit Blast Bead Blast Vapor Blast
The illustrations above show the differences between grit, bead and vapor blasting.
Shown is the aggressiveness and potential erosive action of the dry media
The Vapor Blast action is gentle, due to the cushioning from the water; the angle of the media is changed, producing a lapping, honing effect across the surface, providing an even clean, satin/polished finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Vapor Blasting ?
By definition; Vapor Blasting, also known as Wet Abrasive Blasting, Vapor Honing or Aqua Blast, is the acceleration and atomisation by a pressurized gas of a stream of water and fine abrasive media.
Vapor Blasting is a non-aggressive process which only removes the dirt, contamination and corrosion products and not the surface material.
The water component prevents abrasive particles from being embedded. Also the water is used to propel the abrasive media to the surface of the component but at the moment of impact, the water acts as a flushing agent to remove surface debris. This thin film of water reduces the degree of surface deformation allowing a delicate cleaning action.
Vapor Blasting is not:
I've never heard of it, is it new ?
No, The system was pioneered in the UK back in the 1940's. It was originally used in the aircraft industry to treat items such as compressor impellers, turbine blades, and fuel pump springs. After processing parts, imperfections and cracks were highlighted, and fatigue life and surface finish was considerably improved.
What chemicals are used ?
Vapor Blasting is a "Green" process, it uses NO chemicals and DOES NOT create hazardous airborne particles
No Toxic or Hazardous Chemicals used
No Atmospheric or Environmental waste are produced
What does the Vapor Blast process consist of ?
The process uses water and an abrasive media (typically fine glass beads) accelerated from a nozzle with compressed air to provide a very effective surface cleaning.
The glass bead media and water is agitated with a pump system creating a slurry, which when propelled with the compressed air, forms a vapor . .
What equipment is used for Vapor Blasting?
A specialized blast cabinet, equipped with pump, exhaust blower and nozzle system is required, along with a high volume air compressor. Click the Blue Button to see the equipment.
What types of metal benefit from Vapor Blasting?
Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Bronze, mild and stainless steel
What type of surface finish is produced ?
Depends on what type of metal and how it was formed.
Sand cast aluminum parts have a brilliant detailed finish.
Die cast aluminum parts will has a clean satin finish.
Steel parts will have a clean shine.
Click the RED Button to see examples of finishes
What are some of its applications ?
Vapor Blasting can be used for:
Decarbonising, Decontamination, Degreasing, Descaling, Deflashing, Derusting, Peening, Deburing, Glass Frosting,
Surface Preparation for bonding, polishing, welding, or coating
What Industries use Vapor Blasting ?
Machine Parts Fabrication, Cycle and Automobile Restoration, Aerospace, Defense, Industrial, Firearms Manufacturing, Plating/Coating , Medical, Nuclear and Hazardous Material decontamination, Aircraft Overhaul and Repair.
Why is Vapor Blast better than the more common types of media blasting (i.e. Sand Blasting, Soda Blasting, Glass Bead Blasting) ?
Conventional blasting methods can embed abrasives into the metal and can create porosity on the surface, this condition attracts and holds dirt and grease, making it nearly impossible to clean once soiled.
Aggressive, dry blasting may damage or erode the base metal.
Vapor Blasting eliminates media impingment, providing a peening effect to the surface so parts surfaces stay cleaner longer.
Being a liquid process, the Vapor Blast flows into areas inaccessible by other methods.
Threaded holes remain free of thread damaging abrasive particles, masking or plugging holes is not required.
No heat is generated that may distort or damage parts
What coatings are not affected by Vapor Blasting ?
- Powder Coatings
- Baked on paint, Remove paint before sending parts or additional cost will be charged
- Soft rubbery, silicon type sealants
Will it erode metal and affect dimensions or tolerances ?
No, one of the benefits of Vapor Blasting is that all critical surfaces and dimensions of components remain unchanged.
Will it affect my recently bored cylinder or new valve guides?
No, I recommend Vapor Blasting be done after machine work, so that the machining process does not contaminate or stain parts with cutting oils or coolants.
What treatment is required after Vapor Blast ?
We post-vapor blasting wash and dry parts several times to remove any residual media particles.
If you decide to give them an additional wash before assembly, used only clean water and dry with compressed air
Do Not put parts in dishwasher with detergents, it will stain the finish
Now that parts are super clean, they can be left as-is, polished, plated, painted,or clear coated.
After we remove the grease, grime, rust or oxidation, you may see cracks, pitting or damaged that was masked by these contaminates. Vapor Blast will not restore this damage, only let you know it is there.
What does Vapor Blasting Service cost ?
Vapor Blasting is more affordable than you think. Our hourly rate is $60 hour, so the cleaner the parts are you send, the less time we spend pre-cleaning them. Gross grease and dirt must be removed prior to vapor blasting, as it contaminated the vapor blast slurry.
Would you rather spend your weekends scrubbing parts with a wire brush and bucket of gas and still not get a super clean part or have us do the dirty work?
Contact us with a description of what parts you want Vapor Blasted, and you will receive the best price available.
My parts have been sand blasted, bead blasted, soda blasted and/or chemical cleaned, with unsatisfactory results, can you restore the original finish?
Yes, we usually can, a lot of parts we do have been prior treated to other processes , with un-happy results
Do Cycle/Auto parts need to be degreased before Vapor Blasting ?
Yes, Parts should be free of gross dirt and grease before being processed, this will keep the slurry and cabinet cleaner. Extra charge for parts received requiring pre-cleaning.
What parts won't you Vapor Blast ?
Painted parts, paint must be stripped prior to Vapor Blasting, DO NOT SEND PAINTED PARTS!