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Aluminium as a blasting medium in blasting technology

Aluminium workpieces have been processed using blasting technology for a long time. These are cast and forged aluminium parts. Stainless steel blasting media has always been used to remove burrs and flakes and to visually enhance the surfaces. However, aluminium is also interesting as a blasting medium, says Ulf Kapitza of AGTOS GmbH.

One reason for using aluminium abrasives is the further processing of the workpieces. If hard blasting media grains, such as stainless steel blasting media, remain on the workpiece in places that are difficult to access, this can cause damage to tools during further processing. This is not the case with aluminium abrasive. In addition, surfaces that have been treated with aluminium abrasive often appear more visually appealing. 

Increased demands on the design of wheel blast machines

When designing blast machines for aluminium abrasives, special features have to be taken into account. This starts with the angle of repose, which has an impact on the design of some assemblies of the blast machines, such as hoppers and storage silos. The volume of certain assemblies must also be calculated differently and the design changed.

The most important subassembly of the wheel blast machines are the turbines. They are designed to use steel abrasive, as this is used in over 95 per cent of all applications. Using aluminium instead of steel abrasive changes a lot. The special flow behaviour of aluminium abrasive must be taken into account in the design, which is why AGTOS uses the special aluminium turbines.

Another aspect is that aluminium abrasive must be handled more gently than steel abrasive. Therefore, increased heat generation within the turbines is also avoided.

Contact: Ulf Kapitzahead of business development & marketing, AGTOS GmbH, Gutenbergstr 14, 48282 Emsdetten, Tel 02572 96026-0, email: [email protected] web: