While a pressure sandblaster tends to experience less clogging than a siphon design, it’s still prone to these kinds of issues when there is excessive moisture in the compressed air. Controlling moisture problems doesn’t have to require expensive upgrades or a whole new system. Try these four tricks for getting drier air, less caking of your blasting medium, and better results.
Automatic Moisture Valve
Tired of trying to remember to empty your drain valve on the compressor after every use? Instead of fighting with a crescent wrench, install an automatic moisture valve that empties itself every time you shut down the pressure sandblaster. Set up a drain pan that you can take away once a month or so and empty and you’ll prevent a lot of rust issues that commonly shorten the lifespan of equipment. You’ll also notice drier medium thanks to reduced reuptake of moisture.
Double Moisture Traps
Most sandblasting systems that come with moisture traps pre-installed mount them on the air compressor. While this is a good place to start, it doesn’t adequately control moisture that gathers in the lines or reaches the canister supplying the blasting medium. Installing a second moisture trap, or a first one if your system doesn’t have one, near the end of the line gives you the best control. Place it before the connection for the media but after every other connection.
Slower Starting Procedure
When there’s no time for adding another part and still get your work in under deadline, sometimes changing your operating procedure is enough to lower moisture build up. Opening your valves as slowly as possible as you start the sandblaster limits how much humid air goes rushing through the lines. Letting the equipment run for a few minutes before using the nozzle also allows dry air to build up as the moisture trap does its job. A warmed up sandblaster does a better job of controlling moisture even without breaks during operation.
Cool the Work Area
Cool air carries less moisture, so sometimes it’s best to target the workshop space to control moisture from the source. Air conditioning units can cool down a space quite efficiently, which also affects paint drying times and other sandblasting related issues. You’ll also enjoy working in a cooler area much more, resulting in more attention paid to your work. Cool air going into the sandblaster’s intake valves carries less moisture in, resulting in drier air exiting the nozzle at the other end. Using a small enclosure around your sandblaster with an appropriate ventilation system limits the space you need to cool for more effective results with a low monthly energy cost.