Top 5 Common Blasting Mistakes

Mistakes are often unavoidable within industries and the surface preparation process known as Blasting, also presents its fair share of potential mistakes. In a means to assist and advise, this article will present the top five most common blasting mistakes that occur within the blasting industry along with a few helpful prevention and minimization tips.

1)    Neglecting Health and Safety 

Neglecting health and safety procedures will indefinitely lead to some serious consequences when blasting. Some of these consequences could include injury to oneself or to others within the vicinity of the area, suffocation, blindness, or even death. These H&S risks are highly likely to occur when neglected due to the nature of blasting. Grit blasting involves the high-speed propulsion of abrasive materials (such as water or sand) which in turn, creates potentially dusty or slippery spaces. Handling blasting equipment requires much care and planning to prevent risks; we recommend considering some of the following steps to help with the prevention of mistakes:

1)   Understand the individual blasting method being used and the risks associated (eg: uhp water blasting creates a slippery work environment and sandblasting presents air contamination dangers).

2)   Create health and safety prevention methods such as accessible first aid stations, evacuation schemes, and isolation zones.

3)   Use the correct PPE (personal protection equipment) for each given situation, and make a habit of using it. Most blasting accidents can be connected to misuse or lack of PPE.

4) Maintain a safe distance from the blasting system. The robotic blasting products that are produced by Vertidrive are ideal for just this as blasting can be completed via remote control. This completely eliminates any chance of inhalation of abrasives or other related injuries.

2)    Using the Incorrect Blasting Method or Abrasive

Despite its seemingly violent nature, blasting requires consideration and care when one is selecting their blasting method and abrasive of choice. Selecting the inappropriate blasting method/abrasive can equal: damaging the subjective workpiece or blasting equipment, the risk to one’s health and safety, and loss of economy and time. Therefore, to prevent using incorrect blasting methods or abrasives for certain tasks, it is recommended to take the time to investigate the following:

1)   The surface material to be worked upon. Water jet blasting could prove to be more effective for your specific surface than abrasive blasting if one investigates well. The Vertidrive blasting specialists can provide valuable insight into this topic as you desire!

2)   Your desired surface preparation finish. Without a clear vision of one’s surface prep desires, the blasting operator indefinitely suffers from a lack of thought surrounding the suitable abrasives to achieve their required finish.

3)   Time expectations and budgets. If a fast, budget orientated and effective blasting service is required, robotic water jet blasting could be a great option. Calculate it here!

To help even further, we have created a detailed article between the differences, and pro’s and cons of waterjetting and abrasive blasting.


3)    Maintaining the Correct Nozzle Distance when Blasting

This mistake is continuously overlooked when blasting. Maintaining the correct distance between the blaster’s abrasive nozzle and the surface material can be especially difficult for beginners using handheld blasting equipment. Much time and experience is required to master the skill and sometimes many people simply do not have the time. Some of the consequences that can result from a badly maintained blasting distance include:

-Uneven surface preparation,

-Excessive use of blasting abrasives,

-Dangerous backfire of blasting materials,

-Over blasting a surface and creating holes in the material.

One way to achieve suitable blasting distances is through the experience and practice of mastering the skill (with each specific blaster likely to be different). However, another excellent method to achieve desirable blasting distances between the blaster and the surface material is through the usage of Vertidrive’s robotic water and grit blasting solutions. By eliminating the possibility of human error caused by handheld equipment 100% of the listed consequences above, can be resolved.

4)    Working within an Unventilated or Confined Workspace

This mistake is particularly important when using the sandblasting method. Sandblasting, for example, uses sand-based abrasives and as a result, they will provoke a sandstorm of abrasive material and dust. Blasting operators are often required to work within a badly ventilated space, such as under a ship or cherry picker, and without the correct ventilation systems, it can be an extremely dangerous work environment. Ventilation systems, such as fan extractors, improve the visibility within the workspace and help to minimize the inhalation of blasting abrasives. It is extremely important to have functioning ventilation equipment when working within a cherry picker while blasting a ship. Also, a sandblaster operator should always wear industry-approved respiratory equipment when sandblasting, such as respirators for sandblasting helmets. As a highly effective alternative, one can utilize magnetic robot crawlers which function as remote-controlled blasting equipment. Vertidrive provides an array of robotic crawlers to serve different needs within the blasting industry.

5)    Disregard for the Environmental effects

Blasting can have a heavy impact on the environment and the importance of taking care of one’s surroundings is more important than ever. In general, disregard for the environment in which one works can not only impact the planet but your business and day-to-day costs too. Blasting methods that use an unrecyclable abrasive are the worst of all the abrasives and should be avoided. Recyclable abrasives, such as water, are a much better option as they prevent excessive wastage and also assist with minimizing the repetitive purchase of new consumables. Solutions such as magnetic robot blasters assist hugely with the prevention of spillages in the atmosphere and waterways as they efficiently contain and utilize the blasting abrasives.

Magnetic robot blasters are also excellent for noise reduction which is an ideal asset for when working within residential areas or sensitive native habitats where wildlife may be located. As a result, one of the most environmentally and economically friendly blasting methods to be selected is the robotic water jet blasting method (or robotic uhp water blasting).






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