Tumble blasting is a process that allows for a batch or load of parts to be abrasive blasted automatically. Tumble blasting is beneficial when a large quantity of ‘smaller’ parts make it difficult or labor intensive to blast one at a time. This process also removes the inconsistency of manual blasting as each part in every batch will result with the same finish on the entire surface area of the part.
The most successful part sizes are generally less than 4 inches and batch weights are generally less than 150 pounds. The tumble blaster specifications and basket size will determine what combination works optimally.
The stainless steel parts pictured above (before on left) are about 3″ in size and weigh less than 2 pounds each. The parts were tumble blasted for less than 10 minutes with Coarse (#6) Glass Bead to remove the heat treat discoloration and achieve the finished surface on the right. The geometry of these parts are ideally suited for this process since they will tumble over each in 3 dimensions allowing all areas of the part to be exposed to the blast stream.