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Bombardier Shows Confidence in Airblast’s Sweep Recovery System


Bombardier Transportation


Derby, UK


Installation of a comprehensive blast room for rolling stock


In 2004 leading train manufacturer Bombardier transportation (acquired by Alstom in 2021) contacted Airblast in search of a surface preparation facility for its rolling stock. Since that time, both companies have maintained a strong working relationship – helping Bombardier to maintain leading-edge facilities.

The Solutions

In 2004, Airblast supplied Bombardier with a custom blasting facility equipped with an Airflex Sweep Recovery Floor. Airblast’s tried and tested abrasive recovery system features a series of modular corridors that collect abrasive media from the entire floor area. Each corridor features flexible scraper blades at intervals that transfer the abrasive to an elevator and grit wash. This allows manufacturers to recover and reuse abrasive media with optimal efficiency.

The blast room was installed for the refurbishment of 1960s and 1970s rolling stock. Operating three shifts per day for several years, Airblast’s facility has performed without fault, enabling Bombardier to maintain excellent productivity. By 2009, Bombardier’s requirements had moved on to addressing an issue with aluminium railway vehicles. As a result, Bombardier again reached out to Airblast for help in repurposing their existing facility to become ATEX compliant.

At the same time, the transport manufacturer was planning to phase out hand abrading in favour of shot blasting, a faster and more productive method of surface preparation that doesn’t require operators to take regular breaks in order to prevent hand-arm vibration syndrome. Again, Airblast helped Bombardier to make this transition, further increasing their capacity.

In 2018, Bombardier turned to Airblast once again to construct an all-new facility, again with an Airflex Sweep Recovery Floor system, but this time the blast booth was designed for the inclusion of a robotic abrasive cleaning system as well as human operators. Such was Bombardier’s confidence in Airblast’s capabilities that the project was sole sourced.

The Result

Like many of our customers, Bombardier values the continued reliability and quality of Airblast products, as well as the peace of mind they provide. The Airblast Airflex Sweep Recovery Floor system continues to ensure that abrasive is recovered and recycled efficiently to keep productivity high. This ongoing story is a reminder that through innovative designs and exacting standards, Airblast builds both facilities and relationships that endure.

Airblast and Bombardier are two companies whose continued growth and success have led to a fruitful and mutually beneficial long-term relationship. Airblast director Jon Cook had the following to say:

“Almost sixteen years since our first meeting, it is gratifying to look back and appreciate the confidence that Bombardier has shown in Airblast since their original purchase.”

Jon Cook

Managing Director, Airblast Eurospray

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For more information on our technically excellent blasting and spray facilities, please get in touch with us on our contact page. Alternatively, call our sales team on +44 (0)1778560650 and they will be happy to advise you.