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The process of wet blasting and dry blasting involves propelling small particles at high velocity at a surface in order to remove contaminants, rust, mill scale, and old coatings from the substrate. Surface preparation and cleaning are both key components of non-destructive testing and non-destructive examination (NDT and NDE), coatings, refurbishments, and more. For more information, visit

We examine their similarities and differences here.

Dry Blasting

The Dry Blasting process is similar to Wet Blasting, except it does not use water or liquid, only air that passes through a Venturi Nozzle.

Dry Blasting’s Main Advantages

1) Efficiency. A dry blasting process is extremely effective at removing old coatings, mill scale, corrosion, and other contaminants from metal surfaces. It is much easier to remove waste from the resultant debris.

2) Cost-effective. Dry blasting is less expensive than wet blasting because it doesn’t require additional equipment or water containment and disposal.

3) Versatility. It requires less preparation and equipment, and can be performed in a variety of locations. It may be necessary to consider temporary blast buildings or other suitable encapsulations if dust containment is an issue.

Dry Blasting Disadvantages

1) Health Hazard. It is possible for fine, abrasive dust released by dry abrasive blasting to harm an operative or nearby workers if they inhale it, or to cause harm to dust-sensitive plants if it gets into the air. Respiratory Protective Equipment, exclusion zones, and encapsulation / containment can, however, effectively remove this threat.

2) Static Explosion Risk. A dry abrasive blasting process can create ‘hot sparks’ that can cause an explosion or fire in flammable environments due to static build-up. Utilizing equipment shutdowns, gas detectors, and permits can manage this.

Wet Blasting

Blasting with wet abrasives involves mixing dry abrasives with water, either by:

Nozzles for injecting water – The blast nozzle dampens the abrasive before it leaves.

Halo Nozzles – Upon leaving the blast nozzle, the blast nozzle disperses a mist of water onto the abrasive.

Wet Blast Rooms – Water and abrasives used in the process of abrasion are reclaimed, pumped, and recycled.

Modified Blast Pots – It is either under water pressure or under air pressure that the water and abrasive are stored.

Wet Blasting’s Main Advantages

1) Dust Reduction. When wet blasting is applied, abrasive blasting produces less dust because water is used. This is one of the key advantages of wet blasting. Specifically designed for open environments, it protects the operative, adjacent workers, and any dust-sensitive plants from fine, abrasive particles.

2) Hydrostatic Forces. A point of impact with more mass is created by the presence of water. Thus, you may not need as much abrasiveness. When the new coating is to interface with an existing, sound coating, these forces also provide a suitable, feathered edge.

3) Cleaning. The surface can be stripped and cleaned simultaneously with some types of wet blasting. Media fragments and soluble salts are removed without the need for a separate rinsing process.

Find Out More

You may want to consider wet blasting if you need to significantly protect an open environment or nearby dust-sensitive plants. Other applications, however, where environmental controls, containment, and equipment are sufficient, are more than suitable for dry abrasive blasting.

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