Industrial finishing equipment manufacturer Guyson International has recently installed two Euroblast® 4SF (suction fed) blast cabinets into the Department of Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, for surface finishing Additive Manufactured parts and blast etching build plates.
The initial enquiry came at last year’s TCT + Personalize show, held at the NEC, which Guyson regularly attends as the leading manufacturer of bead blasting equipment for surface finishing 3D Print and Additive Manufactured components. Professor Mark Stanford from the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford Innovation Campus came on the Guyson stand to enquire about replacing an existing wet blaster, with Guyson’s dry bead blasting. In certain applications ‘dry blasting’ allows very expensive build powder to be recovered, unlike ‘wet blasting’.
The Faculty of Science and Engineering’s requirements were for cosmetic surface finishing a range of laser additive manufactured parts, after powder removal, made from a variety of materials. And also the surface etching of build plates, for improved adhesion, from which the parts have previously been cut by EDM machine.
A site visit was undertaken and Guyson recommended the purchase of two Euroblast 4SF AM systems – one for each process, as different blast media’s were required for each process. These particular Guyson ‘AM’ bead blast systems are designed specifically for the Additive Manufacturing market where blasting of Stainless, Aluminium, Titanium and Inconel is often undertaken. All these exotic materials have the potential to create explosive dust when blasted, so special provision is made in the Guyson AM blast systems, with a host of options that can be chosen from, depending on the level of perceived risk involved, to mitigate these risks.
The University of Wolverhampton chose two Euroblast 4SF AM blast cabinets coupled to a single C400 dust collector which was fitted HEPA 14 secondary filtration and a ‘Y’ connection to accept both bead blasters. Because of the explosive potential when blasting some of their materials the dust collector was also fitted with an explosion relief panel and vertical ducting assembly that directs any explosion upwards into a safe zone if the explosion relief panel were ever triggered. Built to high quality standards, the blast cabinets are highly durable, rigid and tightly sealed, being fabricated and welded in 16 gauge sheet steel. The Euroblast 4SF AM is fitted with one side opening door (on either the right or left hand side of the cabinet) and the Department of Engineering chose one of each; so they could be positioned side-by-side whilst sharing the dust collector.
The Euroblast 4 blast chamber is 80 cm wide, 54 cm deep and 71 cm high, large enough to accommodate most AM/3D parts and the cabinet itself stands at 165 cm high. The cabinet is fitted with a large abrasion-protected safety glass viewing window and the interior of the blasting enclosure is brilliantly illuminated ensuring good visibility. The blast cabinet is equipped with the Guyson Model 400 gun, which is recommended for precise and concentrated blasting of components that may have fine details. Full earth braiding is supplied to the cabinet, gun, dust collector and hose to prevent any static spark generation and rubber gauntlet gloves, fixed to the cabinet body, prevent dust escaping that way. The cabinet floor is made of heavy duty perforated steel to capture larger pieces of blast debris and a lower secondary floor with smaller perforations reduces any blockages to the blast media recirculation system. A quick release mixer box changeover facility is also fitted, which proves useful if a variety of different blast media is used.
For further information about the range of Guyson blast cabinets suitable for surface preparation of Additive Manufactured or 3D printed components or to undertake free component trials on your prototypes please contact Guyson’s Customer Service Department on 01756 799911 now.
Photo caption: Guyson Euroblast 4SF ‘AM’ with before and after blasted additive manufactured parts. Photo of parts courtesy of University of Wolverhampton.