We’ve Been Around for Years, and So Has Abrasive Blast Cleaning
Here at Kramer Industries, we’ve been immersed in the world of finishing and abrasive cleaning for more than a century! Founded in the home of Harry Kramer in 1911, our business specializes in helping small and large companies alike find custom solutions to their projects’ cleaning and finishing needs. Through our efforts to provide customers with the best final products possible, we’ve always kept up with the latest innovations in abrasive blast cleaning, as experts in our field.
Abrasive blast cleaning is used by a range of industries, including ship building, construction, the auto industry, and others. There are three main ways to accomplish abrasive blast cleaning today: through air pressure, water pressure, and centrifugal wheels.
But how long has abrasive blast cleaning been around? And how has it evolved over the years?
The original form of abrasive blast cleaning can be traced back to Mother Nature herself. Our ancestors observed how the constant contact of naturally flowing water and sand wears against surfaces over time, smoothing down and ridding them of surface imperfections over time.
The natural effects of sand and water became the inspiration for the first man-made blasting tool. The creation of blasting equipment was ushered in as the need for faster, more impactful cleaning grew with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and rise of metal products.
The first patent for an abrasive blasting piece was filed by Benjamin Tilghman of Pennsylvania, in 1870. Tilghman’s sandblasting cabinet, which used high pressure combined with sand and water, was a revolutionary invention that made surface finishing much more expedient and a true solution for industrial manufacturing. However, this initial type of blasting lacked the frictional heat needed to accelerate the blasting effect, which is why faster alternatives were soon explored. And, because this method required the use of water, it couldn’t accommodate a variety of different abrasive medias.
For these reasons, dry sandblasting, which used high-pressure air streams, came before the invention of wet sandblasting. This made using different types of abrasive medias much easier, and provided operators with an easier cleanup process. These dry sandblasting machines were also six times faster than their wet sandblasting counterparts. They did, however, result in much more dust than wet sandblasting, which posed more risk for complication when left uncontained. Fortunately, the industrial dust collector was invented shortly after. This attachable piece of equipment connects to both siphon and direct pressure cabinets (the two main types of sandblasting cabinets) and helps preserve visibility and mitigate dust accumulation.
In addition to the siphon and direct pressure cabinets, in 1932, the first blast wheel was patented by the company Wheelabrator. This piece of equipment set out to accomplish the same effects as traditional sandblasting cabinets, but with a slightly different technique. With wheel blasting, an object is subjected to an abrasive media propelled by a spinning wheel, rather than pressurized air or water.
Today, industries can choose from among a wide range of top-tier abrasive blast cleaning equipment, from portable siphon cabinets to large direct pressure systems. No matter what your project cleaning needs, there’s an abrasive blast cleaning solution to get you started. To explore leading abrasive blast cleaning options, reach out to Kramer Industries at 1-888-515-9443 or visit us online!