Instead of sandblasting the part by pointing a nozzle directly at it and spraying it, the part being treated is placed in the chamber of a cabinet that can be tightly sealed.
Once the cabinet is sealed, it is turned on and the sand, or other abrasive material, is blasted at high pressures into the chamber. The object that is being treated can be moved around by the operator using thick rubber gloves that are attached to the machine. The operator inserts his or her arms into the long gloves and looks through a viewing window to the inside of the cabinet.
They pick up the object to make sure the whole surface is treated. The blast cabinet’s motor can be turned on and off using a foot pedal since the operator’s hands are usually occupied.
There are three different types of blast cabinets that can be used; two of them operate with dry abrasive materials and one of them works with wet materials. A syphon blast system uses compressed air to form a vacuum in the chamber, pulling the abrasive material into the blast gun with the negative pressure.
A pressure blast system holds the abrasive material in a pressurized vessel and shoots it through the blast hose using compressed air. The final type, a wet blast cabinet, injects the liquefied abrasive material into the cabinet. Wet blasting systems are used when the heat produced by the friction in a dry system would destroy the part being treated.
Blast cabinets are used in industries like automotive restoration, equipment repair and more. Unlike a blasting gun, cabinets contain the dust created by the abrasive material and clean a part without making a mess. Many blast cabinets are even equipped with special dust collectors that can be emptied whenever the dust in the cabinet begins to build up.
Blast cabinet styles and sizes vary, but most are built on a steel frame with arm inserts that are roughly at waist level to make operation easier. Some blast cabinets are made to be set on a tabletop for small commercial applications.