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Home / Abrasive Vacuum Blasting Buying Guide

Abrasive Vacuum Blasting Systems Buying Guide

With nearly 50 years experience in abrasive blasting and industrial coating, BlastOne promotes only superior equipment, abrasives and technical know-how. Use this vacuum blasting buyers guide to introduce yourself to the vacuum equipment best for your application.

Should you have a special application and need advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service.

Name Available for Rent Includes Options Tank Capacity Requirements Advantages Disadvantages Weight lbs/kgs
SCHMIDT® MINI BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM

SCHMIDT® MINI BLAST AND
VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM

Yes
  • Complete setup to start blasting immediately, you just need a compressor
  • Comes with combination blast and vac workhead
  • Mounted on a skid with Wheels and Fork pockets
Electric Deadman Controls
  • Blast Vessel: 0.46 cu ft
  • 185 cfm compressed air
  • Closed circuit blasting, great for jobs where you cant have dust or media escape
  • Captures 95% of all dust and blasting media
  • Blasting Rates up to 20ft2/hr
  • Operator can be up 200 feet away from vessel
  • Small compact system, will fit into a standard facility personnel lift.
  • All blast and vac systems are slower then open blasting
  • Recommended to use with Steel grit only
  • Dust collector is suitable for low dust abrasives only
  • 439 lbs / 200 kg
BLAST AND VAC SYSTEM

BLAST AND VAC SYSTEM

Yes
  • System is set up with blast pot and vacuum all in one closed loop system
  • Work head and hoses must be purchased separately
  • Mounted on skid with Fork Pockets
Can be wheel mounted
  • 3.5 cu ft
  • 750 cfm compressed air
  • Great for Blast and Vac projects where you need a higher production rate
  • Blasting Rates 40 ft2/hr
  • Recycles abrasive if not broken down
  • Recommended for use with Steel grit only
  • Dust collector is suitable for low dust abrasives only
  • Larger transport size, footprint similar to 2 standard pallets
  • Skidmount: 2879 lbs / 1306 kg
  • Portable: 3106 lbs / 1409 kg
VACULOAD SERIES I – SKID MOUNTED VACUUM SYSTEM

VACULOAD SERIES I – SKID
MOUNTED VACUUM SYSTEM

Yes
  • Use with your existing blasting system, plus this vacuum, and a special workhead
  • Vacuum Recovery system only includes the vacuum and the drum
  • 55 gal barrel drums for disposal
  • 350 cfm compressed air at 120 psi
  • Allows you to use standard blasting equipment.
  • Suitable for projects where use of virgin abrasive is specified (does not recycle)
  • Will vacuum up to 2 tons/ hour
  • Requires a separate blast pot for blasting
  • Cannot recycle abrasive
  • 890 lbs/400 kg (recovery system)
  • 330 lbs / 150 kg (3.5 cu ft blast pot)
Blast and Vacuum Recovery System

BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM

Built to order
  • Custom Skid built package
  • 3.5 Cubic Foot Blast Pot
  • AirDryer
  • Vacuum System
  • Blast and Vac Work Head with Blast and Vacuum Hoses
  • 3.5 cubic foot
  • Pneumatic Requires 750 CFM
  • Highest production vacuum blasting system available
  • Suitable for projects where use of virgin abrasive is specified (does not recycle)
  • Ability to decouple with blast and vacuum and use independently where projects dictate.
  • Suitable for Lead Paint removal
  • Built to order availability.
  • More limited portability than alternative systems
  • Can not recycle abrasive
  • 2200 lbs / 990 kg
SCHMIDT MINI BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM BLAST AND VAC SYSTEM VACULOAD SERIES I – SKID MOUNTED VACUUM SYSTEM BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM
SCHMIDT® MINI BLAST AND
VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM
BLAST AND VAC SYSTEM VACULOAD SERIES I – SKID
MOUNTED VACUUM SYSTEM
BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM
Available to Rent

Yes

Yes Yes No
Includes
  • Complete setup to start blasting immediately, you just need a compressor
  • Comes with combination blast and vac workhead
  • Mounted on a skid with Wheels and Fork pockets
  • System is set up with blast pot and vacuum all in one closed loop system
  • Work head and hoses must be purchased separately
  • Mounted on skid with Fork Pockets
  • Use with your existing blasting system, plus this vacuum, and a special workhead
  • Vacuum Recovery system only includes the vacuum and the drum
  • Custom Skid built package
  • 3.5 Cubic Foot Blast Pot
  • AirDryer
  • Vacuum System
  • Blast and Vac Work Head with Blast and Vacuum Hoses
Options Electric Deadman Controls

Can be wheel mounted

Tank Capacity
  • Blast Vessel: 0.46 cu ft
  • 3.5 cu ft
  • 55 gal barrel drums
  • 3.5 cubic foot
Requirements
  • 185 cfm compressed air
  • 750 cfm compressed air
  • 350 cfm compressed air at 120 psi
  • Pneumatic Requires 750 CFM
Advantages
  • Closed circuit blasting, great for jobs where you cant have dust or media escape
  • Captures 95% of all dust and blasting media
  • Blasting Rates up to 20ft2/hr
  • Operator can be up 200 feet away from vessel
  • Small compact system, will fit into a standard facility personnel lift
  • Great for Blast and Vac projects where you need a higher production rate
  • Blasting Rates 40 ft2/hr
  • Recycles abrasive if not broken down
  • Allows you to use standard blasting equipment.
  • Suitable for projects where use of virgin abrasive is specified (does not recycle)
  • Will vacuum up to 2 tons/ hour
  • Highest production vacuum blasting system available
  • Suitable for projects where use of virgin abrasive is specified (does not recycle)
  • Ability to decouple with blast and vacuum and use independently where projects dictate.
  • Suitable for Lead Paint removal
Disadvantages
  • All blast and vac systems are slower then open blasting
  • Recommended to use with Steel grit only
  • Dust collector is suitable for low dust abrasives only
  • Recommended for use with Steel grit only
  • Dust collector is suitable for low dust abrasives only
  • Larger transport size, footprint similar to 2 standard pallets
  • Requires a separate blast pot for blasting
  • Cannot recycle abrasive
  • Built to order availability.
  • More limited portability than alternative systems
  • Can not recycle abrasive
Weight lbs/kgs
  • 439 lbs / 200 kg
  • Skidmount: 2,879 lbs / 1,306 kg
  • Portable: 3,106 lbs / 1,409 kg
  • 890 lbs/400 kg (recovery system)
  • 330 lbs / 150 kg (3.5 cu ft blast pot)
  • 2,200 lbs / 990 kg

Vacuum blasting, although very clean, is slow and meticulous work. For that reason – (it slows productivity) – it’s not the most practical choice for most blasting projects.

However, our 4+ decades of industry experience finds there are a few scenarios where vacuum blasting is the smart option.

Vacuum blasting requires a high-pressure vacuum built into a specifically designed workhead that brings both blast and vacuum together at the blast surface.

Vacuum blasting can’t be rushed. Productivity tends to max out at 50 ft2/hr (5 m2/hr) and that’s when you’re blasting large flat surfaces with easy access. Projects requiring- say, the vacuum blasting of pipework, will more likely max out around 10-20 ft2/hr (1-2 m2/hr).

When should a contractor consider vacuum blasting?

  • Small touch up jobs
  • Jobs where access is hard
  • Where you don’t want to put up encapsulation.
  • Removing a hazardous coating in an environment where you cannot establish dust containment. *

*  Vacuum blasting effectively reclaims about 95% Dust and abrasive.

BEST SCENARIOS FOR VACUUM BLASTING

Vacuum blasting as a whole is much slower than open blasting. The Mini-BRS units give you up to 20 ft2/hour (1.85m2/hour). While a 3.5 or 6.5 BRS unit might get you up to 40 ft2/hour (3.71m2/hour). It all depends on the complexity of the space. But in this tip we’re going to give you four scenarios where vacuum blasting is the ideal choice over open blasting, which we do traditionally.

4 APPLICATIONS WHERE VACUUM BLASTING EXCELS

  1.  SPOT REPAIR  – where you’re blasting between 1-5% of the surface. It’s great because there’s no set up, no mess… And you can blast little spots – get in and paint it, and be done very quickly.
  2. STRIPE COATINGS – where you’re stripping the coatings for an NDT inspection of the welds. NDT stands for nondestructive testing. Which generally refers to critical components such as aircraft landing gear, nuclear reactors, or bridge beams…that might hold up a bridge. Vacuum blasting is perfect for handling these “size restricted” and defined areas for blasting.
  3. CORROSION REMOVAL IN A VERY SENSITIVE AREAS.  For example, might be the floor of an engine room on a boat. There’s a lot of work to blast that effectively without stripping everything out. With a vacuum blast we can do that very efficiently.
  4. TOXIC PAINT REMOVAL IN VERY SENSITIVE AREAS.  For example, let’s say you’re hired to remove the toxic paint from an access panel inside the government building. You can take the panels off-site to clean and blast, but the frames in that building still need to be handled on-site. That’s when vacuum blasting has a huge advantage over open blasting and containment.

2 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR VACUUM BLASTING RESULTS

  1. USE TWO OPERATORS – It’s very ineffective for one operator to try and manage a bundle of hoses while trying to effectively work that vacuum head. We’d recommend two operators… one holding the vacuum head, one holding the hoses and the deadman. If the operator’s on a boom lift or on a floor, it is possible to go it alone, but the prolonged pressure on the wrist and so on, makes it seriously hard to do. It’s just physically very tough to execute with a single operator. They slow down because fatigue lowers their productivity.
  2. USE NON-METALLIC ABRASIVES – When you’re working on flat work, you roughly collect 95-99% of the dust and about 90% of the abrasive. This means you always get a trickle of abrasive dropping down. So non-metallic abrasive is best to use in these situations. Why?  Because metallic dust can adversely affect sensitive nearby electronics, and the metallic abrasive shavings left behind is also bad. So if you’re using metallic to be very conscious that you’re leaving a trail behind, that’s eventually going to rust and possibly compromise that work area.

Why use a vacuum blast system?

Increasingly stricter regulations allow for less and less open-air blasting and it’s not possible to transport every blast job to a blast chamber. There always will be a requirement for onsite blasting. It’s also not possible for every onsite blast job to be enclosed with a containment system. This is where a Vacuum Blast system comes into it’s own.

Common issues with vacuum blasting

The principles that apply to open blasting also apply to closed blasting. Direct pressure blasting will always have higher productivity than suction blasting. Even when using a pressure blast system, the productivity of closed circuit blasting can be as little as 1/10 of open blasting. For optimum dust control, a flat surface is best. Dust control is also relative to the operator’s ability to keep the brush in constant contact with the IS the blasting surface being blasted.

Important considerations when choosing a vacuum blasting system

Does the blasting project involve the removal of lead based coatings? Vacuum Blasting Equipment as supplied as standard does not have HEPA (high efficiency particulate) filtration as standard. It is important, that early in discussions as to purchase or hire, if there is a need to remove lead paint, that this requirement is flagged. Is there sufficient compressed air on site? As vacuum recovery uses a compressed air to create a venturi effect, considerable increase in the amount is required. This may incur additional hire and diesel costs.

Mini BRS Product Overview

Hi, today we’re going to talk about the Mini BRS. What are some features, and what are the key benefits for using this machine in the field?

There are three main components of a Mini BRS.  You have your standard blast pot set up.

Where you can regulate down air pressure and it goes out the bottom, a abrasive dropout and a cyclone reclaiming abrasive unit.

So how the system works, is you take your blast and vac head. You apply your blast and vac head to a surface with brushes, and there’s angled brushes and flat brushes.
You then start blasting and your blast air, comes through the back side of the nozzle.

Your trigger is built into the handle, and your vacuum hose pulls all dust and abrasive out of the bottom side. From there when we get to the blast pot itself, as you have your air inlet over here.

From your air inlet, you supply your vacuum, which is an inductor assembly. It creates a venturi, and pulls vacuum through the cyclone, as well as the top of the blast pot so the whole unit is under vacuum when operating.

Your abrasive is then, pulled into this unit spun around cycloned out.

Heavy abrasive falls and reloads the blastpot, and dust and minute stuff gets pulled through the vacuum hose to the cyclone…

There’s a filtration filter in here, and another assembly where it helps separate the dust.

The dust then collects in the bottom of the cyclone and the filter collects the dust and exhausts everything through the main exhaust.

Some of the other features on this unit are its pulse system, so by using a solenoid in supplied air through the big black line, you are able to reverse pulse the filter, and it’s to put a puff of air backwards to the filter to clean out the dust, and then dust down here that settles down the bottom.

To change the filter you simply loosen the cam locks all the way around the unit. Detach and hinge out of the way, and as you can see in the unit itself. You then can pull this out of the way and get to the filter to change it there.

While operating the unit you’ll find that your suction weakens over time.  So what this does is, tells you how clogged your filters are. And when it’s time to, actually pulse the unit.

min Blast Unit Schmidt BRS mobile

SCHMIDT® MINI BLAST AND VACUUM RECOVERY SYSTEM

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are typical vacuum blasting production rates?

    At best the production rate for blast and vacuum systems will be between 20 – 50sq.ft. / 2- 5m2 per hour. In calculating job costs when considering vacuum blasting you need to ensure that the savings in not needing to set-up containment aren’t negated by the loss of productivity when vacuum blasting.

  • How much compressed air do I need for Vacuum Blasting?

    It depends on the size of the units. The mini blast and vacuum system requires 185 cfm, the 3.5 cu ft system requires 750 cfm. Even the lower figure will probably be greater than your excess compressed air capacity.

  • What type of projects are suitable vacuum blasting?

    Ideally a surface to be vacuum blasted is flat and has minimal angles, bolts, stiffeners, etc. Every time the workhead goes over a “speed-bump” the seal will be broken, allowing some dust and abrasive particles to escape and the benefit of zero containment needs will be lost.
  • Does the vacuum blasting project involve the removal of lead based coatings? And how to handle this...

    Vacuum Blasting Equipment typically does not have HEPA (high efficiency particulate) filtration as standard. It is important, that early in discussions as to purchase or rental, if there is a need to remove lead paint, that this requirement is flagged. Is there sufficient compressed air on site? As vacuum recovery uses a compressed air to create a venturi effect, considerable increase in the amount is required. This may incur additional hire and diesel costs.

  • How many guys are required to operate a Vacuum Blasting System?

    The latest design pistol grip blast and vacuum workhead is a lot easier for the operator to control the workhead and the hoses. On the larger systems you will need an operator on the workhead, one operator to look after the hoses and ideally a third operator to look after the equipment.
  • How do these units generate the vacuum?

    Blast and Vacuum Systems from BlastOne use a specialized venturi manufactured by Schmidt. This is a highly efficient vacuum and it creates 2cfm of vacuum for ever 1 cfm of air that is put into it.

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