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Maximizing Time Between Blast Pot Refills

You may be surprised at what causes your abrasive and blast pot to empty so quickly

For over 40 years BlastOne has visited and consulted on contractor jobsites all over the world.  We’ve seen the very best in productivity as well as set-ups and practices akin to throwing profits down the drain.

One of strangest things we’ve encountered is the variability in how long blast pots take to empty themselves of abrasive.   An example of this tremendous discrepancy involves a standard 6.5cuft pot.  Our experience has witnessed that it takes somewhere between 12.5 minutes and 3.5 hours for one of these to empty!  Yes, you’ve read that right. Some contractors have literally emptied their pots in 12.5 minutes while other have lasted 210 minutes!

Such a gap makes an incredible difference on the cost and profitability of a project.  Our recommendation is for contractors to time how long it takes for their pots to empty at the start of a project… and then once again, partway through, to ensure your system isn’t burning through abrasive.

To get accurate and useful metrics, these measurements should be taken when the structure is large enough to ensure that the operator can blast continuously.  Stop and go projects are less accurate.

The most common factors affecting abrasive consumption are:

  • Nozzle pressure
  • Metering valve adjustment
  • Type of metering valves
  • Type of abrasive
  • Size of abrasive
  • Condition and size of pusherlines
  • Moisture problems (always use the correct size AirPrep)
  • Size of blast hose
  • Size of nozzles (increase the velocity of the abrasive)

Below are actual statistics gathered from over 4,000 job sites we visited during the past 3 years. The chart compares the consumption of NewSteel garnet versus medium slag:

NewSteel Garnet Medium Slag
Worst Best Worst Best
600lb / 6.5 cuft pot 1.5 hrs 3.5 hrs 12.5 mins 50 mins
8t bulk pot with 4 blasters 4 hrs 16 hrs 2.5 hrs 5 hrs

How can this information benefit you?

Refilling blast pots wastes valuable blasting time.   Losing 10-20 minutes per hour refilling a pot is an efficiency leak that can drain your profitability.  10-20 minutes lost is 17-30%+ of an hour lost.

What if we could boost your hourly productivity by 20%?

Contact BlastOne to schedule our jobsite/blast room efficiency and productivity check.

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