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Dustless Blasting is a Myth

There is no such thing as “dustless” or “dust-free” blasting in the surface preparation industry. All abrasive blasting equipment operating under normal conditions produces dust. Air quality studies have shown that the most effective vapor abrasive blasting machines suppress no more than 92% of dust produced by dry blasting. Manufacturers claiming that their equipment is “dustless” or “dust-free” may be misleading you.

How Dust Occurs

When a particle of abrasive media shatters, it breaks down into sub-particles. The smallest sub-particles lack the mass to descend to the ground in the presence of air turbulence produced in the blasting process.

With a wet blasting process, the original particle is encapsulated to varying degrees in a water jacket. When the particle shatters upon impact, the ensuing wet sub-particles are weighed down by the water and gravity pulls them to the floor, despite the air turbulence.

However, some sub-particles are so small, that even though encapsulated in water they do not take on sufficient mass to counteract the force of air turbulence, and they linger suspended in the atmosphere. In addition, not all sub-particles are encapsulated in water jackets. Sub-particles emitting from the dry interior of the original particle may not become moistened at all. This is why no wet-based blasting system can completely eliminate dust.

The Economic Risk

When a blaster invests in equipment believing it to eliminate dust, his misconceptions can be costly: one might reasonably assume that in the absence of dust, there would be no need for air quality control measures, thus saving the blaster time and money constructing containment.

The reality is that the SSPC puts all vapor abrasive blasting systems in the same class, and although the requirements are less stringent, they exist nonetheless. So while the “dustless” hobbyist might be able to flout EPA standards and ignore containment requirements – provided he has no neighbors to complain – a contractor working on a project that abides by the laws will be required to contain the site to the same standard as any other vapor abrasive blaster.

The Health Risk

Abrasive blasters use breathing protection to keep dust, heavy metals and                         other harmful particulate matter out their lungs. Of particular concern is silica dust, which causes silicosis, a deadly occupation lung disease that causes over 100 deaths per year in the U.S. According to the CDC, more than 2 million U.S. workers remain exposed to respirable crystalline silica. A blaster operating under the misconception that his process is not producing dust might reasonably assume that breathing protection isn’t necessary.
Worse, if his equipment is “dustless”, then why not blast with silica sand, which is much more abundant and cheaper than the other abrasives? After all, the reason for the stigma against silica sand blasting is because silica dust causes silicosis. How could there be a threat of silicosis in a dust-free environment? If the manufacturer claims the system is “dustless” or “dust-free”, but does not recommend blasting with silica sand, you should be skeptical of their claim. Why else would they recommend using anything other than the most cost-effective abrasive?

In 2016, OSHA implemented a new Silica Rule, which took effect on June 23rd. According to OSHA’s website, the final rule was created to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica.

When a manufacturer claims that their blasting equipment eliminates dust, they are treading a slippery slope: when a blaster believes his blasting system does not produce dust, it could lead to potentially fatal conclusions.

Featured Blasting Equipment


2 – 92% Less Dust Than Dry Blasting

Tongbao changes the game with Vapor Abrasive blast equipment. Third party testing has proven up to 92% dust suppression over dry blasting. In addition, vapor abrasive blasting offers the same power and speed, but without the slurried, wet mess you get from traditional wet abrasive blasters.

Learn more about Tongbao vapor abrasive blasting equipment.


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Dustless Blasting

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4 Item(s)

  1. DB150 Dustless Blasting

    Vapor abrasive blasting (also known as wet abrasive blasting) removes coatings, contaminants, corrosion and residues from hard surfaces. It's similar to dry blasting, except that the blast media is moistened prior to impacting the surface, reducing dust significantly and also reducing the amound of water used when compared to traditional wet blasting.
  2. DB225,DB500,DB800

  3. DB1500,DB1500 Offshore,DB3000

    The DB 1500 Technical Specification includes;

    – 8 Cubic Ft. (227Ltr) – 1.0m wide x 1.57m tall – Weight – 188kg – 360 degrees / blast hose movement – Clog-free – Operating pressure – 30psi up to 150psi – ASME / PED / CE Certified

    – 15.25m blast hose – Quick fill funnel w/screen – Pressure regulator – Deadman activator valve – Tungsten carbide nozzle – Texas editions – All parts manufactured of hardened steel or Tunstan Carbide. – Lifetime Warranty on Vessel

  4. DB500 Mobile,DB800 Mobile,DB1500 Mobile,Dual DB800 Mobile

    This series of product information is still in the process, to bring you inconvenience please excuse me!
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4 Item(s)