Wet Blasting Techniques

Posted on: Sep 08, 2017 @ 1:50 pm

There are a variety of blasting methods used to clean metal components and remove surface materials such as paint and grease, and one of the most efficient is wet blasting. Wet blasting works by sending an abrasive liquid media through an implement using a high-pressure air source.

Common Wet Blasting Methods

wet blasting methodsWhen it comes to wet blasting, there are multiple methods that can be used, but the two most common are hydro blasting and vapor blasting. Here are some of the aspects to consider when applying these methods.


Unlike many blasting techniques which use an abrasive material to achieve results, hydro blasting relies solely on the use of water. One of the major benefits of hydro blasting is the elimination of waste materials, such as abrasives, that are dispelled as the blasting media is released. Also, the process also reduces dust that is often created as a result of dry blasting. Typically, hydroblasting equipment operates on two different levels of air pressure – a high-pressure rate of 10,000 psi and an ultra high-pressure rate of 25,000 psi.

Vapor Blasting

Similar to hydro blasting, the vapor blasting process works by projecting media at high velocity using compressed air. However, whereas hydro blasting does not rely on any abrasive materials for surface cleaning, vapor blasting uses abrasives, which are suspended in liquid, for the cleaning of surfaces. In most cases, a pump is used to agitate the slurry to keep the media from settling, which is then forced through a blast nozzle for particle acceleration.

Wet vs. Dry Blasting

There are many differences between dry blasting and wet blasting, and the most prominent of these is the use of liquid media in wet blasting. Instead of using only air pressure and abrasives to clean surfaces as is common in dry blasting, wet blasting adds the element of liquid. This use of liquid offers many advantages over the dry blasting process.

The foremost reason many companies choose to use wet blasting is the elimination of dispelled materials that are left over from the blasting process. During dry blasting, once the media has been spent, it must then be recollected to be used again, whereas with wet blasting there is a continuous flow of media. Also, wet blasting differs from dry blasting by reducing the amount of dust that is usually created during dry blasting, and this makes it easier to see the components while the blasting is taking place.

Another benefit in using water to clean components is its ability to act as a lubricant while blasting. This ability to lubricate the object during the blasting process helps to extend the life of the component. Furthermore, dry blasting, such as sandblasting and soda blasting, often inadvertently leads to a rougher surface, while wet blasting tends to leave a softer finish on materials.

In Conclusion

Wet blasting is quickly becoming the go-to method for degreasing applications and cleaning surfaces, with methods such as hydro blasting and vapor blasting leading the way. Unlike dry blasting, wet blasting allows components to be cleaned without producing significant amounts of dust and dispelled materials. This reduces time spent on cleanup after the project has been completed and reduces health hazards. Depending on the specific application of the finished product, wet blasting may be an option well-worth considering.

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