It may seem prudent and cost effective to try and make your blast nozzles last as long as possible. But the truth is, continuing with a worn nozzle may be costing you much more money than the price of a new nozzle. Blasters who replace their nozzles regularly are more effective and productive than those who try to get an extra few weeks out of them.
When a nozzle wears out, the orifice diameter grows larger – the pressure decreases and both the air velocity and the abrasive drop in speed. As a result, the blasting slows down and cleans less of the surface. This puts a drag on the entire system:
- Blasters have to work harder to keep up with the timeline
- Compressors have to work harder to keep up with inefficient air consumption
- More fuel is burned
- More abrasive is spent
- Clean-up costs rise
You get the picture. Worn blast nozzles, although they seem like a minor factor in the efficiency equation, can actually cost you 10%, 15%, possibly even 20% more than if you were to replace them with new, efficient nozzles.
Use a Nozzle Analyzer Gauge
The good news is that it’s easy to tell if your blast nozzle is worn by using a nozzle analyzer gauge. It is recommended that you measure your nozzle weekly. A rule of thumb is to always replace the nozzle when it’s worn out by 1/16 of an inch.
Every 1PSI below 100PSI = 1.5% Loss of Efficiency
For every 1 PSI below 100 you have at the blast nozzle, you lose 1.5% of your efficiency. That means if you’ve lost 20 PSI and you’re blasting at 80 PSI, you’ve lost 30% of your efficiency. That’s more than a day and a half per week of lost productivity.