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Nozzle Pressure a primary factor for any Abrasive Blast operation

Nozzle Pressure a primary factor for any Abrasive Blast operation

  • Posted by: Keith Gabbard
  • Category: Abrasive Knowledge

Nozzle Pressure is the primary ingredient in efficiency for any Abrasive Blast operation.

When visiting a Blast Shop operation for the first time, our first measurement taken is the Nozzle Pressure.

Turns out that Nozzle Pressure is the primary indicator whether a Blast Shop will benefit from the use of High Performance Abrasives – or, if Nozzle Pressure is too low then we immediately work with the Blast Shop to show how to raise psi at the Nozzle.

High Performance Abrasives (such as selected Garnet, Iron Silicates or Copper Slag Abrasives) are more stable than conventional abrasives such as coal slag.  That is, even at Nozzle Pressures at or above 100 psi, High Performance Abrasives will not break down excessively.  High Performance Abrasives exhibit low dust levels which is indicative of the resistance to breakdown.  Conventional abrasives (e.g., coal slag, silica sand) on the other hand are extremely dusty – even more so at elevated Nozzle psi’s.

When dust is evident, we are losing Blasting energy to the particle breakdown – and thus less work is actually done on substrate.  In fact when using dusty abrasives, much more abrasive is will be used compared to abrasive that exhibits low dust levels.

Empirical testing shows that at Nozzle Pressures above 90 psi, every 10% increase in Nozzle psi results in a 15% increase in efficiency (Production Rate).  This is only true if the abrasive remains intact – hence, the use of a High Performance Abrasive, coupled with Nozzle Pressures at or above 100 psi will clearly be the most Productive combination.

On top of increased efficiency when using High Performance Abrasives above 100 psi, the Consumption Rate (lbs per sf) will actually be reduced compared to lower Nozzle psi – even utilizing the same abrasive – and certainly much lower when compared to conventional (dusty) abrasives.

Typical Hypodermic Needle Gauge is shown below (around $150) for measuring Nozzle Pressure in psi:

Combining elevated Nozzle Pressures (at or above 100 psi) with High Performance Abrasives (low dust) will result in the lowest cost per sf Blast Operation possible – and coincidentally, generate the LEAST amount of Waste.

Let us know if you have any questions or would like to have us check your Blast Operation.

Author: Keith Gabbard
Keith Gabbard has been helping blast shops and industrial painting contractors for almost 40 years and he understands the keys to improving blasting systems that can make a huge difference in your performance and profits.