MECHANICAL CLEANING SYSTEMS are available for most industrial production applications to remove contaminants and prepare the work surface for subsequent finishing or coating operations. Typical uses include:

• Removing rust, scale, dry solids, mold sand, ceramic shell coatings, or dried paint

• Roughening surfaces in preparation for bonding, painting, enameling, or other coating substances

• Removing large burrs or weld spatter

• Developing a uniform surface finish, even when slightly dissimilar surfaces are present

• Removing flash from rubber or plastic molding operations

• Carving or decorative etching of glass, porcelain, wood, or natural stone such as granite or marble

The types of workpieces that can be mechanically cleaned include:

• Ferrous and nonferrous castings

• Forgings or stampings

• Steel plate, strip, or structural shapes

• Weldments and fabrications of ferrous and nonferrous materials

• Aluminum, magnesium, or zinc permanent mold or diecast items

• Thermoplastic or thermoset plastics

• Steel bar stock and wire rod

• Precision molded rubber parts

• High-alloy dies and molds for rubber, plastic, glass, or metal parts

• Miscellaneous exotic parts

Mechanical cleaning systems use various types of abrasive materials that are energized or propelled against the work surface of the part through one of three principal methods: airless centrifugal blast blade- or vane-type wheels; compressed air, direct-pressure dry blast nozzle systems; or compressed-air, indirect-suction (induction) wet or dry blast nozzle systems. Other available methods, not discussed in this article, include aggressive vibratory systems, media tumbling systems, and part-on-part tumbling systems.

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