Wet Abrasive Blasting – An Introduction
Water blasting is an effective surface pre-treatment prior to adding a protective finish such as powder coating, ’2K’ paint. It also functions as an effective cleaning process for many applications that don’t require a painted finish.
Wet blasting, also known as, vapour honing, silk etching, aqua blasting, or slurry blasting, is a less aggressive abrasive blasting process often used as an alternative to dry media/sand abrasive blasting. This blasting process uses a combination of air and water to propel the abrasive media across the metal surface, and provides a smoother finish than dry blasting. The media slurry from wet blasting can be recycled, and chemicals can be added to prevent any ’flash rusting’ after cleaning the metal product or as an added pre-treatment to remove surface contaminants. Wet blasting cleans the product more gently than abrasive blasting, as it uses the flow of water to remove particles rather than high-pressure force.
The water used in the wet blasting process creates a lubricating cushion against the material, which can prevent it from breaking down during the process. Wet blasting also reduces the generation of dust particles during the blasting process, preventing dust particles from sticking to the surface of the metal component and causing it to require further cleaning. It is usually safer than dry blasting, as the lack of dust particles can reduce the risk of sand or dust inhalation.