Abrasive Recovery for Blasting Facilities

Drastically reduce the cost of your blasting operation by recycling your abrasive

When designing a new blastroom, choosing your Abrasive Recovery System is one of the key decisions you will need to make. This summary describes the different designs available and when to use each one. To make a decision, ask yourself “What is the best use of my time”.

Selecting the correct type of recovery system

It is recommended that a consultation with industry experienced personnel can greatly improve the cost effectiveness and overall solution selection.

1 Hand shovel system

This is a manual or semi-manual abrasive recovery system and requires no inground works to install. It you are putting in a Blastroom for temporary or infrequent use, a Shovel-In System is very cost effective. It could be as simple as a Vacuum Chamber, Screw Conveyor or Classifier System situated inside the Blastroom whereby you simply sweep up the abrasive and shovel or bobcat it into a hopper for recycling.

2 Floor sweep system

This is a semi-manual system which is typically used when the blasting operation is required less than 10 hours per week and includes an inground hopper into which spent abrasive is swept. Many operations utilize a bobcat or forklift fitted with broom or scraper blade, making abrasive recovery quick and easy.

3 Single cross conveyor system

This is a semi-manual system which includes an inground Trench or Cross Conveyor. It is a very cost effective option and is typically used when the blasting operation is required less than 20 hours per week. The Cross Conveyor can be situated inground at the end or center of the Blastroom and all abrasive is swept or blown down the length of the room into the Conveyor Hopper. The most common conveying types are Screw, Waffle, Reciprocating Blade or Oscillating conveyor.

4 U-shaped or H-shaped conveyor system

This system utilizes the Cross Conveyor System in either ‘U’ or ‘H’ formation which is the most common type of recovery system, and is sold for small to medium sized blasting operations that blast less than 40 hours per week. When blasting 80% of all abrasive will fall along the walls automatically leaving the remaining 20% to be swept or blown into the conveyors for recovery and re-use. This makes it very easy to install and maintain, and requires minimal in ground work on installation. You will find that these types of recovery systems will remain running while blasting is in process, whereas Sweep-In and Single Conveyor Systems are generally run at the end of each shift or whenever it is necessary to reclaim the spent abrasive.

5 Full floor recovery system

The full floor recovery system utilizes a grate floor under which is a recovery system that will capture every particle of spent abrasive from the Blastroom. When high production is called for, full floor recovery is the optimal solution.

The Blastroom becomes fully automatic and no manual clean-up is required. It is the essence of productivity and profitability. If you have more than one blaster or more than one shift – you need a full floor recovery system. This will ensure your blaster never has to wait for the abrasive to be recovered, or waste time sweeping or blowing down the spent abrasive off the floor. All abrasive is conveyed to the abrasive classifier, cleaned from dust and debris and reloaded back into your storage hopper ready for re-use.

Different Styles of Underfloor Recovery Systems

Oscillating Conveyors

Oscillating Tray Conveyors will perform well with all types and sizes of abrasive. The System consists of a “tray” underneath the grid mesh floor that range from 1’ to 6’ wide. These trays are supported at regular intervals along each side on special suspension blocks, which have a base firmly fixed to the floor of the in ground pit. The horizontal tray oscillates in such a way that it causes the abrasive to ‘hop’ along it, and feeds into the abrasive classifier.

Mounting blocks of Engineered Rubber have been used for many years, and have proved the advantage of there being no bearings to wear out. The rubber mounting blocks are checked periodically as part of the Maintenance Program supplied.

Reciprocating Blade Conveyors

Reciprocating blade conveyors are very common low-to-medium duty blast rooms. The spent abrasive is conveyed by the action of a series of reciprocating blades that move back and forth pushing the abrasive into the reclaim unit. They have been proved to give good service life and relatively easy to install as they require little or no in ground works.

Pneumatic Conveyors

Pneumatic Conveyors or ‘Waffle’ Floors utilize high velocity air to convey the spent abrasive back into the reclaimer. They are recommended for use only with the finer grades of grit. They require little or no in ground works but need large capacity electric motors. This translates into higher running costs and lower abrasive recovery efficiency which makes it less practical to change from one abrasive to another

Screw Conveyors

Screw Conveyors utilize a rotating auger to move the abrasive from the blastroom to the reclaim system. They mostly require inground work and need to be well maintained to operate effectively. Power draw is less than Pneumatic Systems but abrasive recovery efficiency is similar. Because of the design, wear is high and it is not easy to change abrasive types due to the amount that is always left in the system.

Belt Conveyors

Belt conveyors are occasionally used in blast rooms as the means of returning spent abrasive to the reclaimer. Overloading is prevented by the use of a series of places that restrict the flow of abrasive onto the belt but due to wear issues they remain only an occasional solution.

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Important information regarding Blastrooms