How Vapour blasting works
Vapour blasting works by using a combination of waterblasting and shot peening at the same time. Compressed air, water and cleaning media ( usually glass beads ) are fired at the surface cleaning and gently shot peening at the same time. The water removes dirt and carries it away immediately so the clean surface has no contaminants to be pushed back in to the material. The glass beads are supported in the water finish and seal the surface.
The results speak for themselves.
The vapour blasting process cleans by flow of water and abrasive running across the part surface not by sheer force and impact like in conventional dry blasting operations.
- Water acts as a lubricant between the abrasive media and the surface
- Vapour blasting can provide a gentle surface peening depending on the material being treated and the abrasive media. This can give a key for painting or bonding with composites
- No abrasive media gets inpregnated in to the surface of softer materials like aluminium, brass, bronze, carbon fibre.
- No heat warping on thin materials
How Vapour blasting was invented
After some research, the most likely story so far is that vapour blasting was developed during WWII. It was initially used in the aircraft and machine industry to create surface tension in parts in order to strengthen them. Rolls Royce used it to strengthen turbine blades before assembly into their jet engines.