The Airbrasive Model HME gives high volume producers the ability to micro-blast parts on production lines or in labs. This machine has been designed to accommodate both intermittent (foot switch activated) or continuous operations.
Powder flow lines are reinforced with tungsten carbide fittings for the utmost reliability in a continuous operation. It utilizes our patented vibratory feed for uniform powder flow. Powder flow is adjusted via our powder flow and pressure controls on the front panel.
Added to this machine is an auxiliary powder chamber monitored for powder level. Once it falls below a certain level, an indicator light tells the operator to fill the auxiliary chamber with powder. This guarantees consistent powder flow for continuous operation.
The basic operating principle of Airbrasive’s Micro-Abrasive Blasting System is quite simple – a gas-propelled stream of uniformly graded abrasive particles, finely controlled by a vibrator, are blasted against a work piece and material is removed. The low inertia of the particles greatly reduces shock, and any amount of heat generated is instantly dissipated in the cooling stream of the gas propellant, which is usually pressurized air.
What makes the Airbrasive system so versatile and so exact, however, is the precision controls which we have incorporated. For example, if pinpoint accuracy is not required, the Airbrasive handpiece can be used free hand for cleaning. Where repetitive operations requiring extreme precision are needed, the Airbrasive handpiece can be fastened in a number of ways.
There are six key factors involved in the machining process, each a variable that can be altered by the user to produce the desired effect:
Air pressure will directly affect the strength of the abrasive mixture and the machine’s ability to cut into various materials. The higher the air pressure, the stronger the stream, and therefore the more agitated the powder mixture will become. Likewise, lower air pressure can allow for gentler, more controlled abrasion. The amount of air pressure needed will depend on the type of project, material of the work piece, and the desired effect.
* Please note that for safety reasons the Airbrasive Micro-Abrasive Blasting Unit should never be pressurized beyond 120psi.
The powder flow rate, which is the amount of powder that leaves the nozzle in one minute, will be directly impacted by the chosen air pressure. A higher powder flow rate will result in more precise cuts to your work surface.
Nozzle orifices are usually e either round or rectangular. The nozzle widths, ranging from .005” up to .032”, determine the surface area impacted by the powder – the larger the nozzle, the greater the surface area impacted.
The shape of the nozzle is important for getting into unusually shaped spaces. A rectangular nozzle can lightly cover a large width or, when turned, heavily impact a narrow space.
Perhaps the most important variable in the machining process is the type of powder you choose. Airbrasive Powders are blended from a variety of materials including aluminum oxide, glass beads, crushed glass, sodium bicarbonate, and silicon carbide. Our team will help determine the best powder to suit your needs based on your specific project.
The angle at which you blast the material surface determines the speed and efficiency of your work. There are two options to choose from: (1) approach your material directly (90° angle), or (2) approach your material at an acute angle (< 90°).
By holding your nozzle at a 90° angle, abrasive stream and powder will literally blast material out of way. At an angle less than 90°, abrasive stream and powder steadily chip away at the material.
Tests have shown that maximum material removal for ductile materials occurs between a 15° and 45° angle of incidence. For a brittle material, maximum removal occurs at an angle of 90°.
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