Reducing the Cost of Re-Finishing Carbon Steel Components Using Aluminum Oxide

This article discusses the application of closely graded aluminum oxide for metal preparation with the purpose of reducing the re-finishing cost of carbon steel turbine components.

The Problem

A turbine manufacturer was seeking cost reduction in its re-finishing operation, which involved blasting of carbon steel turbine components using a blend of garnet and steel grit.

This process resulted in the consumption of a lot of blasting material and delivered poor performance.

Washington Mills’ Innovative Solution

Washington Mills made a visit to the customer’s facility and studied the blasting operation. What Washington Mills concluded was the inability of the combination of garnet and steel grit in producing the desired finish within an appropriate number of passes.

The blast operator was using more than double the amount of blended blast material than was originally expected to obtain the desired finish.

After reviewing the operation and costs, Washington Mills suggested the use of Niagara Blast, a 20 grit brown aluminum oxide blasting media, to optimize the turbine re-finishing operation.

Results

The customer experienced an efficient operation and dramatically improved results using the 20 grit Niagara Blast, which reduced the requirement for the blast media to one single material instead of a mix of garnet and steel grit and shortened the blasting time to half.

The increased longevity of the 20 grit Niagara Blast, a high quality and more consistent and tightly graded aluminum oxide, enabled the the turbine manufacturer to achieve a reduction in blasting material consumption from 25,000 pounds of garnet and steel grit per month to 20,000 pounds of 20 grit Niagara Blast per 7-8 weeks.

The elimination of the use of two blended materials and the shortened blasting time facilitated the customer to fabricate more components at a faster rate and at a lower cost per component.

Switching from grit blasting media to aluminum oxide enabled the customer to achieve tangible cost savings that reduced its cost of production.

Conclusion

As a more productive grit blasting material, Niagara Blast helped the customer to save money by eliminating the requirement for large amounts of blended garnet and steel, and shift the production focus away from trouble shooting issues to fabricating high-quality components in an efficient and timely manner.

About Washington Mills

Washington Mills is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of abrasive materials and fused mineral products. As the largest producer in North America with sales and manufacturing facilities around the world, our capabilities are unrivaled in the industry.

We offer a rich array of abrasive grains and specialty electro-fused minerals. From macro grits to micro grits, to custom specialty fusions, our fused materials are used around the world in hundreds of different industries and applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Washington Mills.

For more information on this source, please visit Washington Mills.

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