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How To Properly Set-Up Your Blasting Equipment

PROPER BLASTING SETUP

AIR COMPRESSOR

The first thing you’re going to have in any blasting setup is your compressor. It will always have startup procedure instructions on the inside of the door. Start the unit, let it warm up, and then turn the air to the run cycle… and then high or low.

Next, find your air outlet there’s always a ball valve that connects to your bull hose and from there you always need to have safety restraints, called whip checks, and pins in your couplings. This is crucial to any blasting setup. Safety first!

AIR PREP

If you follow the bull hose you will work your way to an air prep. Air preps help draw the moisture out of the moist hot air created by the air compressor. For productivity sake you always want to blast with cool, dry air. Again inlet and outlet ball valves are crucial for safety and to control air flow, as well as the needed safety whip check from the outlet valve to the bull hose leading to the blast pot.

BLAST POT

The bull hose going into the blast pot again needs to have whip checks for safety issues. When you open up the pressure to the pot, using the inlet ball valve, you always want to make sure you have the dump valve closed. This allows the pot to pressurize and ready itself to blast.

This particular example involves an electric setup, so we use alligator clips and battery leads to supply the electric solenoid. From there our dead man lines hook up and go all the way to the blast nozzle. We recommend Axxiom Schmidt metering valves. In this particular set-up we have a Schmidt Thompson Valve 2, with a two inch base for high flow. The blast hose is connected at the outlet metering valve with blast couplings, safety pins, and whip checks. Control lines then run parallel with the blast hose to the deadman trigger.

PRESSURE

There are a lot of tools that people use in the field to tell if their blasting pressure is proper. One is a needle pressure gauge. You simply inject the needle into the hose facing with the abrasive stream, and that will give you a live psi test during blasting.

BREATHING AIR

From the compressor, a Chicago-line, attached with safety pins and whip check, runs into RPB GX4 and radex filter – also secured by pins and whip check. What this filter does is cleans any oils or contaminants that may have passed through the compressor air that would be going to the blaster’s helmet. The monitor is supplied by battery clips, 12 volt or 120. Turn on the monitor and the monitor will give you a reading. Anything under 10 ppm CO is good for you.

The breathing airline then goes to our NOVA3 blast helmet. Between the airline and helmet hose we have a C40 climate control regulator. This allows you to have either cold or hot air into the helmet and a dial which regulates how much air goes into the helmet. The air enters through the back side of the helmet so that you never fog up. There’s an outside cape to keep the abrasive off and an inside cape for comfort and pads inside the helmet like a motorcycle helmet. The NOVA3 actually turns with your head.

Blast gloves are mandatory. Coveralls keep you safe and clean.

  • Click to read video transcript

    Hello, I’m Vince Pezzott and today we’re going to talk about a proper blasting setup. So the first thing you’re going to have in any blasting setup is your compressor. It will always have startup procedure instructions on the inside of the door. We’ll start the unit up, let the unit warm up and then turn the air to the run cycle and then high or low.

    From there you’re going to have your air outlet. There’s always a ball valve that can connect to your house and from there you always want to have safety restraints called whipchecks and pins in your couplings. This is crucial for any blasting setup and if you follow the bull hose, you will work your way to an air prep. This is an ADS400 Air Dryer.

    And from there you’ll come out to another moisture strainer. Again, inlet and outlet ball valves are crucial. Safety whipcheck. No pins with a spud fitting. If you follow the bull hose, you’ll get to your blast pot. And on the blast plot again whipcheck, spud fittings and inlet ball valve. When you open up the pressure to the pot, you always want to make sure you have the dump valve closed.

    And what this does is allows the pot to become under pressure and ready to blast then through the choke valve, through the auto air valve, down to the pusher line, through the metering valve and off to your blast hose. Now, let’s talk a little bit about the blast pot. This is an electric setup, so we use alligator clips and battery leads to supply the electric solenoid.

    From there, our deadman lines hook up and go all the way to the end of the blast nozzle for the blast trigger. Let’s move on to the metering valve. This is a Schmidt Thompson Valve II with a two inch bass for high flow. Here’s our blast couplings, safety pins and whipchecks again. And our control lines go in parallel with the blast hose.

    And if you follow it around, you now get to the blast deadman or trigger and nozzle holder and nozzle. So in a standard application, you would push in the safety and then squeeze the handle and you would be blasting under pressure. There’s a lot of tools that people use in the field to tell if they’re blasting pressure is proper. One is a needle pressure gauge.

    You simply inject the needle – have a helper – into the hose facing with the abrasive stream, and that will give you a live PSI test during blasting. So that is our blasting procedure. And if we move on over, we’ll go through safety when it comes to breathing air. If we go back to the compressor, you’re going to see a Chicago line, safety pins, and whip checks.

    Over to what we call a GX4 and Radex filter. So the Radex filter itself – this is – comes in. Pins and whipcheck. A regulator to regulate the breathing air inside the helmet. Another regulator to regulate the PSI going in through the (GX4) monitor. What this filter does is it cleans any oils or contaminants that may have passed through the compressor air that would be going to the Blaster’s helmet.

    The monitor is supplied by battery clips, 12 volt or 120. You turn on the monitor and the monitor will give you a reading. Anything under ten PPMCO is good for you. And from there we go on to the breathing air line. Standard RPB fittings are different than a normal compressor, and they have a special fitting with a longer neck.

    And what this does is keeps you from putting any old air hose onto your breathing air in case there’s contaminants in the line. If you follow the breathing air hose, we go to our blast helmet and from here we have what we call a C40. And this allows you to have either cold or hot air into the helmet and a dial which regulates how much air goes into the helmet.

    From there, the air goes through the backside of the helmet, as you can see here and into the screen so that you never fog up and you have fresh supplied air while blasting. There’s an outside cape to keep the abrasive off and an inside cape for comfort. And pads inside the helmet like a motorcycle helmet. And what this does is allows for comfort and the helmet itself moves with your head when you turn. The older versions would stay put and you would turn your head and you would see the side of the helmet. Likewise, where the Nova 3 actually turns with your head. Of course, blast gloves are mandatory. Blast coveralls keep you safe, and that about sums it up.

    If you have any questions, contact BlastOne. We’d be glad to help you through your next job.

Looking for something more in-depth? Check out our daily abrasive blasting component checklist.

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