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CEO Answers Questions About SnakeBite Blast Nozzle

During a recent visit to the United States, BlastOne CEO, Matthew Rowland, sat down to discuss various questions about the SnakeBite XQ and how it benefits the blasting industry.

What Makes The Nozzle Quiet?

QUESTION:
Matthew, so not only are you the CEO but you’re an actual engineer, you understand the science of the nozzle, and I was hoping that you might be able to shed some light on the development and what causes this nozzle to be so much quieter than a typical nozzle?

ANSWER:
That’s a great question. With BlastOne, we’ve invested heavily in looking at ways to improve the blasting environment for our workers and operators. So one of the common complaints we get from our customers is that blasting is dusty, it’s noisy, it’s dirty. What we’re looking for is technology that changes that environment for them – makes it safer, simpler, and easier… and hence more productive in the work that they have to do. So what we did is, we went back to first principles to really understand how a blast nozzle works, and how those processes within that nozzle generates the abrasive flow and also a by-product generating noise.

A little known fact is that less than 10% of the energy used in a blasting environment is actually beneficially used in blasting.

So that means that there’s more than 90% of the energy that’s used in the compressed air and the abrasive that is wasted.

And a lot of that wasted energy creates noise. So what we did was look at how do we develop a silenced nozzle.

We’re not the first company that’s tried to do this but what we have come up with is a revolutionary way to reduce the noise and maintain the productivity of blasting.

So we’re really excited by this technology development and the silencer is very effective in a wide range of operating conditions and we’re really hoping that our customers have a great experience using it.

Will This Replace Standard Nozzles?

QUESTION:
So does BlastOne expect this will replace the standard blast nozzles out there?

ANSWER:
No.

This nozzle is great for applications where you need lower noise.

So in those environments where you’ve got nearby neighbors… you’ve got other trades working… that you need to reduce noise this is where it’s ideally suited.

If you’re just after productivity at the lowest cost this isn’t the nozzle for you. It is designed to be used in areas where you need to reduce noise.

Did We Copy The Design Of Other Quiet Nozzles?

QUESTION:
There have been a few comments on social media comparing the SnakeBite to other quiet nozzles out there competing nozzles – and they’re basically asking us if we copied those designs.
And can you just clear up any confusion about that?

ANSWER:
We’re not the first quiet nozzle… but we’re the world’s quietest blast nozzle.

But the reality is that our industry has been trying for decades to come up with a quieter way to blast, and there are other technologies and we really look forward to the whole industry improving the reduction of noise in blasting. We went back to first principles and we engaged a university – the Center of Hypersonics at the University of Queensland, and we redesigned the whole process of the blast nozzle and the silencer that we use so it’s a very unique design but delivers outstanding results but based on fundamental research.

So… there was no copying involved in that design.

How Does This Nozzle Have Lower Thrust?

QUESTION:
Can you discuss the nozzles reduction in thrust?

ANSWER:
When we developed SnakeBite our primary goal was to reduce the noise of blasting.

As we’re developing this technology we also identified a way to reduce the thrust of the blast nozzle while maintaining the abrasive energy. So allowing the same productivity but as a significantly lower noise level. We’re really excited that it’s got a lower thrust because what that does is it reduces the fatigue on the operator and allows them to work longer not only in their the day but also for their career.

So they’re not being injured and they’re not experiencing those high forces that really takes a toll on their body… so people are keen to stay longer in their careers of blasting.

Why Is This So Much More Expensive Than Regular Blast Nozzles?

QUESTION:
And finally, the price is pretty steep compared to a standard abrasive blast nozzle can you shed some light onto the reasons why? I mean, maybe explain its value?

ANSWER:
Yeah great question… when we developed this product we’re really focused on the feedback from our customers who are finding it more and more challenging to blast in environments
where noise was an issue.

So increased complaints from nearby trades… from community near the blast site… and that was costing our customers significant money. So they’re either having to reduce their hours… take people off site… so we see that this technology can deliver outstanding value for our customers. We had a customer recently who had a blast room and also five workers doing other fabrication nearby and for every hour that the blasting occurred those eight workers had to go off site because it was too noisy for them to continue to work.

With the introduction of SnakeBite those eight workers could continue working in the same area and be productive.

And we estimate that the customer saved over $30,000 per week by having that work continue during blasting. The other way to look at it is in terms of the cost of health.

What is the cost of hearing? So it might be $2k-10k dollars for a hearing aid but what’s the cost of a blaster or someone else working in that environment whose hearing is damaged that can’t be replaced? We think the cost of that is much greater.

And the other one is it’s just safer you know when people are blasting in difficult environments on a bridge or other situations rather than having to fight a hose with such thrust it’s much lower through half the thrust so they’re much safer than they’re less likely to be pushed off or put in a dangerous situation.

At BlastOne we are really passionate about the safety and health of our customers and we continue to invest in technologies that makes life not only more productive but safer and more enjoyable.

So… SnakeBite’s a new technology and we’re really excited with a number of new technologies that we’ll also be bringing to market that will further improve the health and safety of our customers.

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