Quick notes

Safire Sand Blasting jet air machine Safire vapour blasting wet blasting machine Stainless steel exhaust before blasting close up sand blasted exhaust joint Stainless steel exhaust before blasting

As long as your parts or project can fit comfortably within our cabinet and be manipulated so we can sand blast it, we will look at any work you have on offer. The door opening is: 665mm high x 766mm deep and the cabinet is 1000mm wide

Please contact us with your dry blasting requirements. Info@safire.uk.com

Vapour Blasting, Aqua Blasting, Wet Blasting

Safire’s Vapour blasting machine process can simultaneously degrease, blast and finish components.  Wet blasting is a dust free process and uses a mixture of water and a media which forms a slurry, this is then pumped at pressure through the vapour blasting nozzle whilst at the same time being mixed with a high pressure air supply, the flow of a pressurised slurry then flows over and around the part surface that is being vapour blasted. Resulting in a clean, smooth, satin polished and cosmetic vapour blast finish.

The machines are most commonly used for the following applications:

* Satin finishing of stainless steels & other special materials  * Finishing of aluminium components  *

* Extrusion die cleaning * Mould cleaning * Surface preparation prior to bonding or re-coating *

* Cleaning of aluminium components * Engine and machine part reconditioning *

Alley engine part cleaned and finished Machined part de burred and finished Satin finished aluminium

What is Vapour Blasting?

Vapour blasting is a wet blasting process that uses a pumped slurry carried by water and enhanced with pressurised Air to flow over the parts being processed. Vapour blasting has a lot of advantages over conventional sandblasting or bead blasting as It is a cleaning / polishing process using water and a media to create the slurry, We generally use a fine grade glass bead as our media (but can and do use other forms and mixes of media),  the glass bead media is forced at pressure on to the work by a special water pump and compressed air. All the work is carried out and contained in an enclosed cabinet and the machine has a closed loop water system with a filtered water reservoir.

With the vapour blasting slurry the abrasive / media is "pushed" or “flowed” over the surface of the object or part. The results are a much lower surface roughness than can be achieved with dry blasting using abrasives or glass beads.  The vapour blasting finishing process is ideally suited to industries that produce items in stainless steel and aluminium, although other materials can benefit from the vapour blasting process. Also when using the vapour blasting process it creates no dust or static build-up on the parts being vapour blasted, which makes this an ideal process for use on parts or products used in the petro-chemical, scientific, nuclear or laboratory industries.

The vapour blasting process is very suitable for metals like Stainless steel, Aluminium, Bronze, Magnesium, Titanium, Brass, and Copper amongst other materials. The vapour blasting process will gently clean and polish the surface to a satin polished type finish. Using the vapour blasting process does not damage the surface unlike dry sand blasting.

We can also blast steel and ferrous metals including cast iron, however in general the ferrous parts can rust within minutes after the wet blast process, due to the nature of the work. This can be prevented by using a rust inhibitor in the vapour blasting slurry but this will mean a machine clean out and fresh set up as generally we do not use additives. This is not really necessary in most cases but we are happy to quote your application should this be the case.

In general we will always rinse the parts that have just been vapour blasted in water after the vapour blasting process and will dry either by using an air supply to blow dry, wiping with a cloth or leaving to dry naturally, we will decide the best way for the particular project in hand.

In the case of steel parts we may apply a protection spray after vapour blasting and drying by using a WD40 or similar spray, this will force moisture off the part and reduce the risk of rusting.

Vapour Blasting Examples

stainless steel exhaust before vapour blast finishing
Stainless Exhaust before Blasting
stainless steel exhaust after vapour blast finishing
Stainless Exhaust after Vapour Blasting

Stainless Steel Tube

This stainless steel exhaust manifold had come in for some welding work, but it was also not finished at all from when it was originally fabricated by another company so we offered to finish it for our client as an optional extra.

After re-welding a join on it we sand blasted it first to remove all oxidisation and discolouring then we vapour blasted it in our wet blasting machine to give it a nice shiny satin finish to the stainless steel,making the part look new!

Machined steel part Sand blasted
machined steel part sand blasted machined steel part vapour blasted
Machined alley part  before blasting
Machined alley part before blasting Machined alley part vapour blasted
Vapour blasted stainless steel bracket
Vapour blasted stainless steel lid fitting
Vapour blasted stainless steel bracket Vapour blasted stainless steel lid fitting
Copper part after vapour blasting
Copper part before vapour blasting

Copper Parts

This copper part was waterjet cut from 6mm thick copper plate and was discoloured, dull and showing signs of verdigris where it had not been finished. We vapour blasted the copper part in our aqua blasting machine and as you can see in the picture on the right it has brought the copper to a satin polished finish showing it’s naturally pinky colour.

This vapour blasted satin polished finish is also ideal for electrical connectors and bus bars to improve conductivity in an electric circuit.

Copper part before vapour blasting Copper part after vapour blasting
Brass parts satin vapour blasted finish
Brass machined hinge vapour blasted
Brass machined hinge vapour blasted Brass collar with satin vapour blasted finish Brass pole dancer pendant with satin vapour blasted finish

Vapour Blasting Engine, Machine Parts & Casings

Aluminium features as good as new! Cast aluminium pipe vapour finished Subaru part vapour blasted half way Subaru car water pipe before blasting Subaru car water pipe after blasting

Vapour blasting is an excellent process to clean and finish engine and machine parts. Vapour blasting or other wise known as aqua blasting is the best surface finishing process known to achieve an “as new “ clean factory finish to your aluminium or non ferrous Car, truck, motorcycle, boat or machine parts.

Features of the wet blasting machine process:

- Dust free process
- Cleans by flow not impact as in dry blasting processes
- Simultaneous degreasing and blasting of components
- Avoids media impregnation on soft materials
- Unique soft satin polished finish appearance

The superior finishing results created by vapour blasting are achieved by mixing fine glass bead media with water in a continuous closed loop cycle within the machine. The slurry that is created with the water and glass bead mix is fed to the blasting gun which is then accelerated at the nozzle end by compressed air to perform the cleaning process.

After completing the wet blasting process, the components are cold water rinsed and blown with compressed air and left to air dry.

Although we can and do blast ferrous metals like steel and cast iron the vapour blasting system is not recommended or used as a final finish for steels and ferrous metals as rust will form quickly on the cleaned parts, in most cases parts that are likely to rust will be finished in other ways like painting, powder coating or electro plating. We sometimes spray or dip parts in a penetrating oil like WD40 or similar for moisture protection, please ask about this if it is required on your parts or if it is likely to cause issues please don’t forget to tell us so we don’t then oil your parts.

Vapour Blasted Engine Part Examples

Vapour blasting will gently clean away all the years of grime, dirt and oxidization from the part surface without any damage to the faces of the parts or by eroding any metal away as you get with sand blasting. Additionally the fine glass bead gently peens the surface which in turn seals the surface. The vapour blast process produces a satin polished sheen finish to the component making it easy to clean and handle and unlike dry blasting the surface isn’t prone to picking up finger marks on the finished surface after.

* Heads * Engine Blocks * Water Pumps * Gear Boxes * Cam & Rocker Covers * Carburettors * Manifolds * Pipes * Covers *
Or any engine or machine part you consider to be worthy of a fresh satin polished sheen!

Remember! Our vapour blasting process is conducted in a wet blast cabinet leaving the item close to it's new appearance when the process is complete. Vapour blasting is most suitable for aluminium, Bronze, brass, copper and most non ferrous metals leaving the surface with a clean satin polished finish.

When bringing or sending your work to us to process in our wet aquablast cabinet, please note:
 All components must be free from heavy grease and heavy dirt deposits prior to vapour blasting, in many cases customers have their own facilities to de-grease their own parts saving them selves money, although we can offer to degrease your parts prior to aqua blasting but this will add to costs. Price on application.
Engine cases, engine parts and assemblies have to be stripped of all bearings, gaskets, valves, fittings and parts for best results, we can still clean the parts with these items fitted but it is done at your risk.
We will wash processed parts after vapour blasting and whilst every effort is made to ensure no glass beads remain on and in the item being processed in our wet blast machine,  we do advise when you receive your parts you re-wash and check parts before assembly as any glass beads left could damage your engine or machine.
If you want a quote on your parts, feel free to email us some pictures with some dimensions or even better with a steel rule placed in the photo to give us an idea of size.
As long as your parts can sensibly fit within our cabinet and be comfortably blasted we can undertake your work, the approximate dimensions of our door is 850mm high x 430mm deep and the cabinet is 915mm wide, we need to be able to comfortably move the blasting nozzle around the parts to complete the work.

Please contact us with your project! Info@safire.uk.com

a part being vapour blasted inside the vapour blast machine

The Vapour Blasting Process

finished wet blasted part in the cabinet
© Copyright 2012 safire associates
Advantages of our
Vapour blasting:

Produces a smooth clean satin polished finish
De-grease and blast
Cleans & finishes by flow not by impact
Dust free process
Avoids media impregnation on soft materials
Can Make old parts look new again, perfect for bike and car restoration!
Vapour Blasting is
an excellent finish for :
Stainless Steel
Copper etc..
You can enhance engine & machine parts for your car, bike, boat or collectors vehicle or machine

Vapour Blasting

Grit Blasting

Advantages of our
Grit blasting:

Produces a dull etched finish
De-burr parts from machining processes
Creates keyed surfaces for glues, paints or other coatings
Good surface preparation for wet blasting resulting in the best vapour blast finishes on metals
Our sand blasting is processed inside a machine with dust extraction giving us greater viability
We can control the flow of media and the pressure of the air for more control and better finishes
We have a pre assure pot for great flow and control.

Safire Water jet additional services:

Vapour Blasting and Grit Blasting.

Safire Water jet is a part of Safire Associates which offer other a wide range of services and abilities and here we are highlighting our Wet and Dry Blasting services as they can compliment our water jet cut parts.

With our Wet and Dry Blasting machines we can offer to de-burr, etch, surface prepare, clean and finish parts and surfaces.

As long at it can sensibly fit in our machines we can blast it,  to find out more in detail please read on:

Our Blasting Machines at Safire

Shown above is two of our blasting machines used at Safire, the machine on the left is a dry blasting machine used for Sand blasting, surface preparation, etching and de-burring and on the right is a wet blast machine or better known as a vapour blasting machine. Both these machines are self contained high quality industrial machines and can perform a quality finish as desired.

With both the dry blasting machine and the vapour blasting machine we can load components and parts in through a side door to then be able to work on the parts inside the enclosure.

What is dry blasting & vapour blasting?

Each blasting process has it’s benefits and areas of ability but basically:

Dry blasting

Dry blasting (which also known as sand blasting, bead blasting, shot blasting and Peening) is generally used for surface preparation, etching and de-burring, it uses a dry media like Aluminium Oxide, Garnet, Shot, Glass beads amongst other media's. We generally use aluminium oxide or garnet but can clean out and set up with other media's depending on the work in hand. The parts are placed in the sand blast cabinet and then are processed with a mixture of air and abrasive media to blast / etch the part. Find out more please see below.

Vapour blasting

Vapour blasting (which also known as wet blasting, aqua blasting, flow blasting and slurry blasting) is generally used for Fine surface preparation, de-burring, polishing and finishing. It uses media's like Glass beads, Aluminium oxide and certain other media's which are used to create a slurry mixed with water that is pumped at pressure through a nozzle which is also combined with compressed air to finish and clean the parts. Find out more please see below.

close up steel machined part de burred after sand blasting waterjet cut and machined part ready to deburr with sand blasting close up of burrs prior to sand blast de burring Sand blasted de burred steel machine part

Sand blasting, Grit Blasting, Dry Blasting

Safire can use its Dry Blasting machines with various blasting media in order to provide a solution to the following applications:

* Blast cleaning * De-burring * De-scaling * Surface Etching * Shot Peening * Glass Etching *

* Abrasive Engraving * Rust Removal * glass bead Polishing * De-flashing * Cosmetic Finishing *

If you've got a specific application requirement please ask & we will look into what we can offer & achieve with our blasting process.

Please look at the following to give you an idea and show some samples:

This part which we had cnc machined needed de-burring after machining as well as having a cosmetic finish. Machined from a ground tool steel plate we waterjet cut the main profile and then machined the features. The machined features had some small burrs left from the machining process. We sand blasted them in our sandblasting cabinet which not only

de-burred the machined edges but it also prepared the surface for Vapour blasting.

The three smaller pictures in the left from top down show the part after waterjet cutting and machining, a close up of the machined feature with burrs on and a close up of the machined feature after blasting now de-burred and surface prepared, the bigger  picture above on the right shows the part after sand blasting with it’s nice even finish and smooth edges, we then vapour blasted the parts for final finishing, you can see this further down the page in the vapour blasting section.

Sand blasting

We did some work on this stainless steel  exhaust from a boat, as you can see in the picture on the top right it was very discoloured. After the welding work we performed on the stainless steel exhaust we sand blasted it all over to completely clean it up and create a constant finish prior to vapour blasting.

On the right you can see the before and after results from the sandblasting process.

On the left is a close up of the sandblasted surface showing the constant finish achieved with our abrasive sand blasting machine.

This is the perfect way to clean up the stainless steel exhaust prior to vapour blasting, you can see the vapour blasted part further down on the page.

Alley engine part cleaned & finished
Machined part de-burred & finished
Satin finished aluminium
The part entered into the machine ready
Vapour blasting in the wet blaster
The finished part after wet blasting still in the wt blast cabinet

The Vapour Blasting / Wet Blasting Process

In these pictures you can see the vapour blasting process.

Vapour blasting which is also known as “Aqua blasting” or “Wet blasting” is done in an enclosed cabinet, the picture on the top left shows a part on the inside of the cabinet ready to be vapour blasted. The next picture on the bottom left is the part being vapour blasted inside the cabinet, you can see the high pressure water and air mixed slurry flowing over the part, in this case the part is being held and moved by hand, our hands are protected with Rubber gloves fitted into the front of the machine. The picture on the top right shows the finished part inside the wet blast cabinet, you can see the stainless steel filter grating that supports heavier parts during the wet blast process.

After blasting we give the parts a quick rinse inside the machine to make sure we don’t waste any media and another rinse out side of the machine to clean the parts off and then the parts are left to dry.

Machined steel part Vapour Blasted

Ground Tool Steel

Waterjet cut and machined parts de-burred and vapour blast finished.

On the left is the machined steel part just after sand blasting and on the right is the same part just after vapour blasting. By using this process we were able to de-burr the edges which had burrs from cnc milling of the features. As this part was machined from a high grade ground tool steel, after vapour blasting it was dried and then sprayed with a penetrating Oil to protect the finished part.

Machined Alley part Vapour Blasted

Machined Aluminium

A 3D part that we had machined from a solid aluminium billet. This was machined a few years previous and as pictured on the left was unfinished and very dirty and dusty but after vapour blasting it in our aqua blasting machine it has got a nice clean, new and satin finish to it.

This demonstrates how parts can be brought back to life with an “as new” appearance after vapour blasting. If your parts are starting to look a bit old and tired then why not have them vapour blasted!

Stainless Steel Parts

Both the parts you see here are designed and manufactured by us at Safire at our workshops in Southampton. The bracket on the left which is fabricated from 4mm thick 316 stainless steel plate and the part on the right which is a special lid for a laboratory bottle is machined from stainless steel with braised tubes fitted. Both of these parts are finished with a soft satin finish from our aqua vapour blasting machine. The finish lends itself to the final use of these parts.

Brass Parts

On the left is one half of a machined brass hinge and on the right is a brass pole dancer pendant waterjet cut from 1.5mm thick brass sheet and a machined brass collar.

Vapour blasting is an excellent finish on brass parts, the vapour blasting process creates a really nice soft satin sheen to the parts.

Being a soft finishing process if doesn’t damage the surface, the glass beads flow across the brass leaving the satin sheen created by the aqua blasting process.

Subaru part vapour blasted half way
Subaru car water pipe before & after

Engine, machine parts and casings.

On the left is the before and after vapour blasting in our wet blasting machine of a hard water transfer pipe of a Subaru car. We stopped this half way through the wet blasting process so we could show you the picture on the right that shows the part half way through the process, you can see the definite change in appearance and colour of the aluminium making it look “factory “ fresh  just as it did the day it was cast!

Aluminium features as good as new!
Cast aluminium pipe vapour finished

Satin finish up close

The Subaru car transfer pipe up close, you can see how the aluminium looks clean & has a nice satin sheen to it, just like on the day it was originally cast at the foundry.

If you have a special engine or machine on show like a car, motor cycle, boat, a lawnmower or other collectable machine and you want to show it in all it’s pride then you can have your parts vapour blasted in our wet aqua blasting machine.

© Copyright 2012 safire associates
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