Purchasing a micro abrasive blasting unit is an investment that can pay off for years to come. Whether you need your machine for low-tolerance aerospace applications, delicate fossil preparation and art restoration, or high-volume industrial use, you want to switch on your unit knowing that it’s going to perform at its best, year after year.
At Airbrasive, we build our units to “last forever.” Durable, reliable, and made of the highest quality parts, many of our machines are still operating just as well today as they did when they were purchased two decades ago. But to enjoy long-lasting results like these from your unit, it’s important to take good care of it.
Here are a few simple tips you can follow to keep your blasting machine running smoothly and your work as precise as possible.
Twist your nozzle regularly
As your chosen abrasive powder removes unwanted media from your work surface, it will also gradually start to wear down the inside of the blasting nozzle. To ensure that the blast nozzle’s internal lining is worn down uniformly, it’s a good idea to regularly turn the nozzle by about 90 degrees at a time.
If you use your machine almost continuously, turn the nozzle at regular intervals every few hours. But if you only use it occasionally (say, once a week), try twisting the nozzle a little before use every time you take your blasting unit out.
Replace worn or clogged nozzles
Eventually, even with regular turning, your nozzle will wear down enough to need replaced. Too much wear and tear leads to a loss in air pressure, meaning you won’t achieve the same great results you’re used to if you keep using the same nozzle.
If you find that the stream of abrasive media flowing from your nozzle is losing definition, it’s time to replace your nozzle. You might also need to replace a clogged nozzle if cleaning it doesn’t restore optimal function.
Check your pinch valve
The pinch valve is used to stop the flow of powder through the blast hose. If you try to use your unit and find there is no air flow at the nozzle, it could be because your pinch valve is inoperative and may need replaced.
You might also start to notice traces of powder accumulating around the pinch valve. This can happen when the rubber valve is worn down, another sign that it needs replaced. But if replacing the valve on your Airbrasive blasting unit doesn’t stop the buildup of powder around it, contact our support team and we’ll get to the root of the problem.
Choose the right powder
Choosing a powder that’s incompatible with the nozzle you’re using can cause the media flow to become erratic or inconsistent, which will impact your results. View our Powder Selection Guide to find out which powder is right for your project.
An erratic powder flow can also be the result of contaminated powder. If your abrasive media is contaminated, don’t try to use it—discard it and fill your chamber with fresh powder.
With a little care and attention, your blasting unit can continue to produce exceptional results for years to come. The cost of replacing damaged or worn down parts is negligible compared to the boost in productivity and precision brought about by a machine operating at its peak.
Got a question about upkeep? Have a challenge that we can help solve? Get in touch today, and let’s find a solution.