WHY SANDBLAST HOSE MATTERS
It might seem odd that something as basic as hose could be important, but in sandblasting it is a critical component of your blast system. The blast hose you use is vital as it allows blast media to be delivered to your blast nozzle and if any issues arise can create significant safety as well as performance issues. In this guide we will cover all the factors to consider when choosing blast hose which will allow you to know which type of blast hose may be right for your application.
FACTOR 1 – BLAST HOSE SIZE
Having proper blast hose size is critical as it will be one of the factors that contribute to the speed at which you blast, you can learn about other factors that are important to increasing blast speed here. In particular, the hose that you supply your sandblast pot with is critical to be able to blast well. If you use a hose that is to small for your blast nozzle your hose will not be able to provide an adequate volume of media and air to the blast nozzle. This will result in a blast pattern that does not stay consistent. Additionally, if you feed your blast nozzle with too small of a blast hose you could have a smaller blast pattern and it can result in quicker wear of your blast hose as the smaller blast hose is the faster media moves through it which can accelerate wear.
FACTOR 2 – YOUR BLAST ENVIRONMENT
Blast hose comes in a variety of thicknesses from 2 Ply, 4 ply, or Clemco Supra Blast hose. The ply of the hose refers to the layers that the hose is composed of. In general, the more layers that a hose is constructed of the stronger the hose will be. Higher ply hoses will be a higher initial cost but they will not wear as fast. The key thing to consider about your sandblast hose ply is the environment which your blasting in. The greater chance your blast hose will be scuffed, run over by a truck, or exposed to rough treatment the higher the ply hose you will want to consider. Additionally, the longer the blast hose length you are using, the more you may want to consider a larger ply blast hose as the hose will potentially be drug across a job site and as a result more likely to come in contact with a variety of job site materials that may wear the hose. As a general recommendation 4 ply blast hose is a popular choice for shipyards and industrial settings where light vehicles and scuffing are expected. 2 Ply is a common choice for industrial environments where general scuffing is expected.
FACTOR 3- OPERATOR COMFORT
A happy blaster is a productive blaster and as you may have experienced a thick blast hose can be difficult to work with. To maximize operator comfort you can start with a heavier ply blast hose like a 2 or 4 ply blast hose(depending on the degree of scuffing expected to occur in the blast environment) and at the end of the blast hose consider using a lighter ply hose for the last 10 – 15 feet (known as a whip hose). You can also use a smaller diameter blast hose if you are using a smaller blast nozzle. In general smaller blast nozzles will not provide as much production, but if they are sufficient for your blast process then it is a good idea to use the smallest blast nozzle that will allow you to meet your blasting goals which you can learn more about nozzle size and production rates here.
FACTOR 4 – OPERATOR SAFETY
A significant risk with blast hose is that it can eventually wear and fail. It is critical to inspect your blast hose before each time you blast to ensure there are no obvious changes in the hose. If the hose has any bulges or other signs of problems, you should consider replacing that portion of sandblast hose. Additionally if your blast hose as multiple sections and you have couplings that are attaching the different hose lengths together you will want to consider a blast hose safety cable which will secure the two hose lengths and prevent the blast hose from whipping around causing potential injury to the blast operator or others in the area.
Ultimately your blast hose is a critical part of your blast system. Proper hose selection can help you improve production, reduce frequency of blast hose replacement, ensure your operator is safe, and allow for better control during sandblasting. By considering the factors above you should be better able to select a blast hose that will meet your needs well. If you are in need of blast hose we stock sandblast hose and can help you determine which hose type may be right for your application.