You may be familiar with wet blasting: the metal finishing process that involves the use of compressed air to project a combination of abrasive media and liquid onto the surface of a substrate. Wet blasting has been used since the 1950s for applications such as degreasing, die and mold cleaning, paint removal, and surface preparation prior to painting and edgebreaking.
Aerospace is one of the many industries that now uses wet blasting in various manufacturing processes. Aerospace wet blasting applications can range from metal removal from jet engine turbine discs to surface preparation when manufacturing or repairing various aircraft parts and components.
Wet Blasting Offers Superior Process Control
An important advantage of wet blasting is that it enables the user to control the blasting process, which is especially important in the high-precision manufacturing applications that are a constant in the aerospace industry. Innovations in wet blasting technology over the years enable users to adjust the parameters to produce a slurry flow and blasting pressure that can range from extremely delicate to very aggressive. Many aerospace applications involving turbines and fan blades require a controlled peening blasting effect that can easily be achieved with wet blasting. The liquid provides a cushioning effect that will minimize the risk of damage to these parts.
Repeatability of the Wet Blasting Process
Another important wet blasting benefit is that the process is easily repeatable. Aerospace manufacturers must adhere to strict performance and quality standards. The ability to repeat the wet blasting procedure from one application to the next ensures the consistent, uniform results that meet these stringent specifications.
Protecting the Environment
Manufacturers in virtually every industry must adhere to increasingly stringent environmental standards. In many aerospace applications, wet blasting can serve as an effective substitute for metal finishing processes that use harsh chemicals to achieve the desired result. A common example is the removal of paint from aircraft wheels. Utilizing wet blasting in lieu of chemical finishing processes can also result in significant cost savings over time.
Faster Production Times
For companies that rely on chemicals or even manual finishing processes such as hand-stripping, wet blasting can significantly increase production rates. This allows projects to be completed with greater speed, which can ultimately generate additional revenue for the manufacturer. The fact that wet blasting can be as much as 10 times faster than these processes can also provide a substantial reduction in labor costs.
Contact Sharretts Plating Company to Learn More About Wet Blasting for Aerospace
SPC includes wet blasting among our many metal finishing processes that can increase the efficiency of your operation and boost your bottom line. Contact us to learn more about the many benefits of wet blasting for the aerospace industry.