The application of wet blasting in aerospace can range from: surface preparation during manufacture for crack detection (for example, removing heat scale from jet engine turbine blades) to deep cleaning and removal of contaminants when servicing jet engines.
Wet blasting within the aerospace industry can significantly increase production rates as it is much quicker than chemical processes or manual finishing process such as hand stripping.
An advantage of wet blasting is that the operator can adjust the parameters to produce a flow of slurry and blasting pressure that can vary from highly delicate to aggressive. This is beneficial as the user can easily control the blasting process, which is important in such high-precision manufacturing applications that are constant within the aerospace industry. Another advantage of the wet blasting process is that it is more easily repeatable.
Historically, the strict performance and quality standards often refer to a wet blasting or Vapor blasting process. The reason Wet Blasting is prominent in the aerospace industry is due to the controllability over dry blasting, its ability to produce uniform results that meet the most stringent specifications.
The design team at Vixen have previously designed bespoke Aquablast machines which can produce a cosmetic finish, peen the part, descale the part, produce a suitable finish for crack detection, clean to a high standard and also remove stress raisers. A very important component of wet blasting is the lack of surface damage and the minimal impregnation of media as with wet blasting the media always has a cushion of water when it is hitting the part. This is important for the aerospace industry as there are very strict policies when testing the quality of the part.
Vixen also have a large range of standard and bespoke dry blast cabinets that are suitable for the blasting of aerospace parts. These include both suction and pressure feed cabinets. The Jetair range features 3 standard machines, the pressure blast, suction blast and the tumbler. Each of these machines could be used in the aerospace industry and all have various optional extras which can be tailored to specific applications, such as maintaining, repairing and overhaul of equipment. Vixen also offer automatic and custom-built machines to adhere to any specific provisions required by the customer.
Some of our aerospace customers are:
- BAE Systems
- British Aerospace
- Pluna Airlines (Uruguay, Export)
- Utair Engineering (Russia, Export)
- Singapore Airlines (Export)
- GE Aerospace / Avio Aerospace
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Senior Aerospace
- Rolls Royce