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Blast and Spray Booth Maintenance – a Quick Guide

All machinery requires maintenance, but it’s hard to think of anything that takes repetitive stress quite like a blast room.

When blasting with abrasive, large amounts of dust are produced. This dust has the capacity to damage your equipment and halt production. Checks and maintenance are therefore vital to make sure your blast room continues to work at peak efficiency. Whether it’s a blast room or spray booth, we always advocate following your manufacturer’s maintenance programme. Still, it’s worth remembering the key processes and following our expert tips to keep your blast room in top condition.

Daily

Daily, make sure abrasive spills and excess dust are cleared away from inside the blast room. Use a Type H vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter to clear up dust rather than a brush or compressed air. Ensure the blast media and air supply are dry at all times and promptly dispose of any damp media.

Each time the abrasive media is re-used, it becomes finer and dustier and loses its granular appearance. It is consequently far less efficient. You may notice that media begins to look like a smoke cloud rather than steam as it exits the nozzle. When this happens, you should replace the blast room’s entire load. Do not add new material to the existing load as this will reduce the abrasive performance and increase dust.

Blast Rooms by Airblast Eurospray

Weekly

We recommend you look for signs of damage to doors, ducting, fans, and filters weekly. Do the blast room doors seal tightly? If the nozzle is being directed towards the door, inspect for leakage. Check dust is not leaking at the hopper or floor joint and that the elevator housing in the pit and above floor level is dust-tight.

Vibrating or noisy fans can indicate a problem, so stop work immediately until the cause can be identified and rectified. Check that the extraction system and gauges work properly. If you can’t access the manufacturer’s recommended process, hire a qualified ventilation engineer to check the performance. Always remember to log the information in your testing log book.

Monthly / Quarterly

Remember to check hoses and nozzles regularly. Poor abrasive flow can signify a worn nozzle, a hole in the siphon tube pick-up hose or, overly fine abrasive.

Test any RPE every quarter and remember to keep records of all examinations and tests for at least five years. This will help you identify any patterns of failure and prepare for preventative maintenance.

What is shot blasting?
Airblast Spray Painting Booths

Spray Booths

When it comes to spray booths, preparation and operator habits will influence the level of maintenance you undertake. Once again, always refer to your manufacturer’s manual, but the following tips should help make sure your spray booth operates as intended:

Regular Filter Change-Outs

Pay attention to filter changes. Intake filters should be changed every 1,000 – 1,500 hours, prefilters every 250 – 400 hours and exhaust filters every 40 – 120 hours. Filters must be 98% efficient and a magnometer or magnehelic gauge should be used.

Airblast blast room and spray booth at Marshalls Land Systems.
Airblast Spray Booths for Aerospace

Annual

Each year, we recommend you clean and power-wash interior walls and floor, clean the intake plenum, exhaust pit, grating, exhaust ducts, and fan blades. It’s also worth cleaning light fittings, sealing and repairing any air leaks and balancing the airflow. You should also undertake an annual burner service to ensure peak performance.

Helpful Tips

  • Use high-quality filters
  • Keep the area around the spray booth clean
  • Keep spray booth doors closed
  • Keep spray booth interior clean and free of debris and all unnecessary items
  • Seal spray booth floor
  • Replace air hoses regularly
  • Balance airflow – avoid turbulence!
  • Use a compressed air filtration system
  • Go lint-free
  • Assign one person to be responsible for spray booth maintenance
  • Create a maintenance schedule/log
  • Consider hiring a qualified professional
The dust extraction system at the Hitachi Rail manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, used to clear the blast room of particulate.
Airblast filter cartridge dust extraction system

Products

You may find it helpful to keep a stock of filters, booth coating, booth film, floor coverings, door gaskets, intake filters, exhaust filters, prefilters and protective coating products. Pay attention to maintenance, and your blast booth or spray booth will last 10 times longer than a neglected one; that’s better surface preparation and treatment for your customers and better value for your business.

Contact Us

To lean more about our facilities, please see the Blast Solutions page. For enquiries on our products, please contact our sales team on +44 (0) 1778 560 650 or email us at sales@airblast.co.uk.