What is Dustless Blasting?


"Dustless" is not Dust-Free

Marketing departments get paid big money trying to tell us something by saying something else.

  • “95% Fat-free” sounds better than 5% fat
  • “Cholesterol-free” rice when no rice has cholesterol
  • “Contains 60% nuts” can be correct but they won’t say it has 25% added sugar

Telling the truth without giving you all the information is an art form and an industry of its own.

Now back to “Dustless”. Another way to read it is “Less dust”, which makes a lot more sense. “Dustless” is correct but it sounds almost like “Dust-free”, which it is not. Reducing the airborne dust by 95% is certainly better than no reduction. However, in some cases, any dust is bad dust.

Terminology aside, let us understand what “Less-Dust” blasting is all about and why it has many advantages.

Wet Abrasive Blasting, Slurry Blasting, and Dustless Blasting are all terms that refer to the same process, which involves blasting with a mixture of abrasive media, air, and water. It can be thought of as sandblasting with a small amount of water added. The water component is crucial in this process as it allows for the same results as traditional sandblasting while minimising the impact on the surrounding environment.

Reduce heat with dustless blasting

One of the significant benefits of wet abrasive blasting is the reduction in temperatures at the strike zone. The combination of water and air creates an evaporative cooling effect, preventing the generation of heat in the impact zone. This is particularly advantageous when working with thin metal panels, as it minimises the risk of warping. Car restoration and blasting are a big part of what we do at MP BLAST, therefore we invested in wet abrasive blasting.

"Dust-less" Blasting

Dust management is another advantage of wet abrasive blasting compared to dry blasting. By mixing the abrasive media with water in the blasting pot, the used blast media and unwanted materials are encapsulated in water droplets and fall to the ground. This significantly reduces the amount of dust generated during the blasting process. Dustless blasting using garnet as the blast media can eliminate up to 90-95% of dust.

Noise and other factors

Both dry and wet blasting are noisy processes, but there is a notable difference between the two. Dry blasting requires higher pressure and without the presence of water to dampen some of the noise at the nozzle, it tends to produce a high-pitched whistle.

It’s important to note that the use of sand as an abrasive in any blasting process is prohibited by law in Australia due to the associated health risks. The health risks are far too great, so we now use materials like garnet, crushed recycled glass and even steel shot as alternatives. This allows for more versatile applications of the blasting process in various locations.

Dustless blasting, with the addition of water, can be used in sensitive areas with minimal impact. It often does not require the shutdown of an entire site, allowing other trades and co-workers to continue with their tasks.

In summary, wet abrasive blasting, slurry blasting, and dustless blasting are interchangeable terms for a blasting process that incorporates abrasive media, air, and water. The addition of water provides several benefits, including reduced heat generation, improved dust management, and increased safety compared to traditional dry blasting methods.

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