What is Micro Abrasive Blasting?

Micro Abrasive Blasting is a precision machining technology developed to deburr, clean, texture and surface treat a variety of different materials. It is particularly useful to remove material on difficult-to-reach surfaces. It utilizes a compressed air mixed with an abrasive media which is composed of micron-sized particles designed with sharp edges for cutting or impinging on the work surface. The mixture is propelled through a tiny nozzle (typically with an orifice of between 5 and 30 thousandths) resulting in a high velocity stream. The nozzle can be held by hand using a handpiece or fixtured for an automatic process. The operation is typically start-stop controlled by a footswitch but for larger capacity machines can be set for continuous operation.

What is the narrowest cut that can be made?

Using a rectangular nozzle having orifice dimensions of .003″ x .060″ at a nozzle tip distance of approximately 1/32″, cuts can be made approximately .005″ wide.

What is required for the system?

In general, a compressed air supply or dry shop air which can be filtered for moisture and oil using Norgren filters supplied by Airbrasive. The compressed air must be 50 to 110 psig. Also necessary for the system depending on the process being performed would be a work chamber to contain the spent abrasive particles and a dust collector. With the exception of the model 6500 Micro-Blasting Unit which is an all-pneumatic device, you will also require a power supply.

Can other abrasives be used?

In general, no. Standard commercial grades of abrasive powders are not suitable for use with these machines since they are not classified close enough to have proper flow or cutting characteristics. Use of commercial grades can cause frequent clogging of the equipment. Furthermore, they may contain free silica or other ingredients that may be harmful to health.

Can the Airbrasive Powder be re-used?

No. The spent Airbrasive Powder loses its cutting points and edges and would be very inefficient if re-used. More important, the recovered Airbrasive? Powder may be contaminated which would clog the small orifices within the unit and nozzles. The Airbrasive? Powder should never be re-used.

What is the capacity of the powder holding chamber?

In the Model K Micro-Blasting unit, the powder chamber can hold about 1.5 lbs of powder. By comparison, the Model HME unit can hold up to 20 lbs of powder. Refer to the Machine Selection Chart for other models.

How long will a single powder charge last?

This depends on the richness of the Airbrasive mixture which is adjustable through the powder flow controls. For example, at an average flow rate of 5 grams per minute, powder in the Model K units chamber would last approximately 1 hour in continuous operation. In the Model H unit, powder would last approximately 4 hours.

What parts in the system are most subject to wear?

The nozzle tip and pinch tube used in the pinch valve for start-stop operation. Replacement of either of these parts is a simple and quick operation.

What is Airbrasive® Jet Machining?

Airbrasive® Jet Machining is an effective way to cut, abrade, deburr, deflash, etch, drill, and restore a variety of materials. The Airbrasive® Jet Machine is a pneumatic device powdered by forced air. Applications are made possible as the forced air joins with a very fine powder in the attached pressure chamber and a powerful abrasive mixture is produced. The abrasive mixture is then sent through the hand piece and nozzle creating a precise abrasive stream.

Is the Airbrasive® Jet Machine easy to use?

The Airbrasive® Jet Machine is very easy to use. The hand piece and nozzle have been designed to give the user flexibility and control. As a result, the Airbrasive® Jet Machine can be used to create precise cuts or intricate patterns on various metals, glass or plastic, whether on the surface of the object or in the hard to reach places that other tools are not flexible enough to reach.

Is the Airbrasive® Jet Machine versatile?

The Airbrasive® Jet Machine is a versatile tool useful for any creative or automated work environment. Metalworkers, sculptors, etchers, engravers, and dental lab technicians alike enjoy this machine’s boundless potential; a potential only limited by imagination.

How does Airbrasive® Jet Machining work?

There are six key factors involved in the machining process. Each factor is a variable that can be altered by the user in order to produce the desired effect:

  • Air pressure
  • Powder flow rate
  • Nozzle size
  • Nozzle distance to surface
  • Type of powder
  • Angle of contact

What is Powder Flow Rate?

Powder flow rate is the amount of powder that leaves the nozzle in one minute equals the powder flow rate. The powder flow rate will be directly related to your chosen air pressure. A higher powder flow rate will result in more precise cuts to your work surface.

Are there different nozzle sizes?

The opening at the tip of the nozzle can be varied depending on the type of work you wish to do. The opening can either be round or rectangular, large or small. A rounded tip will provide the user with the greatest control when doing detailed work. A rectangular shaped tip will allow the user to cover a greater surface area in a shorter period of time.

Does air pressure affect the strength of the abrasive mixture?

Air pressure will directly affect the strength of the abrasive mixture and ultimately, the machine’s ability to cut into various materials. The higher the air pressure, the more agitated the powder mixture will become, producting a stronger stream. Likewise, the lower the air pressure, the gentler the final abrasive mixture. Essentially, how you want to use your Airbrasive® Jet Machine will determine the amount of air pressure you will need to use. Please note that for safety reasons, the Airbrasive® Jet Machine should never be pressurized beyond 120psi.