Friday, 8 May 2015

Wet Abrasive Blasting or High Pressure Water Cleaning—What’s the Difference?

Both of these processes tend to be known by a variety of names. For instance, the terms sandblasting, slurry blasting, grit blasting or simply abrasive blasting are very often used for the process that is more correctly known as wet abrasive blasting. Likewise, high pressure water cleaning is also referred to as waterblasting, hydrojetting, hydroblasting, high pressure cleaning or UHP hydroblasting (ultra high pressure hydroblasting).

Similarly, some people lump wet abrasive and high pressure water cleaning in together, believing them to be the same process. While there are undoubtedly similarities, there are nevertheless some important differences between these two blasting methods.


Both processes are used to clean and profile a variety of surfaces, very often in preparation for repainting or the application of protective or industrial coatings.

Likewise, both use water propelled at high speed onto a surface in order to blast away rust, corrosion and other contaminants, or in the case of marine vessels and structures, soluble salt build up and other contaminants caused by salt water.

In both processes, although water is used, this is kept to a minimum and little or no dust is produced, and so the environmental impacts are negligible.

There are also some similarities in the types of applications for which both processes can be used. For instance, both wet abrasive blasting and waterblasting can be used to remove paints, films and coatings from a variety of surfaces, including metal, steel, aluminium, brick, concrete and bitumen.


The primary difference between wet abrasive blasting and hydroblasting is that in the former abrasive blast media is also propelled onto the surface, contained within the pressurised water stream. The size and composition of the blast media that is used will vary depending both on the surface to be cleaned and the profiling that is required.

However, the blast media removes contaminants, corrosion, old paint and layers of protective coating without causing any damage to the underlying surface. This is because of how the process is designed to operate.

1. Surface tension coats the blast media in a water jacket. This increases its speed and the force of the impact when it hits the surface. 

Australian Enviroblast | Wet Abrasive Blasting

2. As the blast media hits the surface, the water jacket continues to move while still holding onto the blast media. This prevents grit bounce and is the reason why little or no dust is produced. 

Australian Enviroblast | Wet Abrasive Blasting

3. The surface coating, corrosion or contaminant is blasted away hydrostatically as the water jacket snaps around the blast media into the crack created under the surface. The water prevents the media from becoming embedded in the surface. 

Australian Enviroblast | Wet Abrasive Blasting

4. A profiled surface with feathered edges is the result, with minimal blast media and water being required. Less water is used during wet abrasive blasting than hydroblasting because it is being used to deliver and coat the blast media, rather than acting as a blasting agent itself. 

Australian Enviroblast | Wet Abrasive Blasting

Surfaces cleaned and profiled with wet abrasive blasting are in an ideal state for the immediate application of protective coatings, as there is no contamination resulting from embedded blast media nor static dust remaining on the surface, as there can be with conventional dry blasting methods. Also, flash rusting, which is often present after hydrojetting, does not occur as a result of wet abrasive blasting.

This means that wet abrasive blasting is a more effective method of profiling surfaces and structures for repainting and re-coating than high pressure water cleaning or other dry blasting methods. (To learn more about the application of protective coatings and why preparation is so important, click here.)

Wet abrasive blasting is also more effective and efficient when trying to clean areas of a boat, industrial machinery or structure that are difficult to access, as blast media can be ricocheted into hard-to-reach corners and crevices in a way that water alone can’t reach.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Adelaide Sandblasting in Action

At +Australian Enviroblast we provide a range of abrasive blasting services (also known as sandblasting and dustless blasting) across Adelaide and throughout South Australia.

We specialise in:
  • marine abrasive blasting
  • abrasive blasting in building restoration
  • line marking and graffiti removal
  • industrial and mining machinery cleaning
  • protective coatings
At Australian Enviroblast we use the technologically-advanced Quill Falcon Precision Dustless Kwikblast System and offer an on-site abrasive blasting service, meaning we can tackle both large- and small-scale abrasive blasting work in the commercial, domestic, industrial and marine fields.

Marine Abrasive Blasting in Action

Sandblasting in Action

How is Dustless Blasting Used?

Dustless blasting removes paint, protective coatings, as well as contaminants such as corrosion and rust from all types of structures, locations and equipment. At the same time, abrasive blasting leaves surfaces clean, contaminant free and thoroughly prepared for re-painting or re-coating.

Sandblasting Before and After

You can see more examples of before and after shots on our gallery page

Domestic Abrasive Blasting Applications

As well as commercial, marine and industrial applications, abrasive blasting can also be used on smaller scale projects. It is ideal for restoring and renovating jobs in a domestic setting, because of the wide variety of surfaces and structures on which it can effectively be used:


  • verandahs and carports
  • gates
  • lattice work
  • trellises
  • fences
  • sheds
  • pipes
  • staircases
  • beams


  • exterior walls
  • fences
  • rendering
  • sandstone
  • bluestone
  • limestone


  • paving stones
  • exterior walls
  • fences
  • garden statues or sculptures

Cement and concrete

  • driveways
  • patios
  • verandahs
  • architectural concrete

Wet Abrasive Blasting v Other Blasting Methods

Wet abrasive blasting is more effective, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly than conventional dry abrasive blasting methods (usually called dry blasting, sandblasting, grit blasting, media blasting or slurry blasting). The key reasons for this include:
  • wet abrasive blasting is fast and versatile
  • less blast material is used
  • less dust is produced
  • surfaces are profiled more effectively
  • a more efficient method of abrasive blasting
  • a safer method of abrasive blasting

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Australian Enviroblast | Adelaide Protective Coatings

Corrosion is harmful in a marine environment

Boats of all kinds are prone to corrosion, especially rust, which can affect the hull, propellor and other surfaces. It’s important to treat corrosion effectively, and abrasive blasting is an important part of the process. This enables affected surfaces to be stripped back to a corrosion free base that can then be primed and protectively coated.

Protective coatings prevent corrosion

Protective coating is a cost-effective and efficient way of combating corrosion on marine vessels and protects against moisture interacting with surfaces, leading to degradation and corrosion. Preparing surfaces with abrasive blasting prior to coating creates an effective anchor for the coating and the right physical environment for the coating material to adhere.

Industrial coatings protect components and machinery

Industrial coatings are crucial to ensuring long life and effectiveness for all types of equipment, machinery and marine vessels. This is especially important in harsh working environments, where protective industrial coatings help to prevent corrosion and the impact of chemicals and weather. Protective coatings can be applied all types of structures, materials, components and machines.

Removing old coatings, paint and contaminants

Abrasive blasting removes coatings, corrosion and residues from surfaces, meaning that blisters can be repaired and surfaces can be primed for new protective coatings to be applied so as to achieve maximum bonding. Abrasive blasting is able to profile surfaces in a variety of ways so that they are ready to receive all types of industrial coatings and protective paints.

Abrasive blasting strips coatings from all surfaces, including steel, concrete and brick

Abrasive blasting ensures that corrosion and other imperfections are blasted away from the surface, profiling it so that new layers of paint and industrial coating can be applied onto a thoroughly clear and even surface, ensuring better adhesion and therefore a longer, more effective lifespan.

Onsite abrasive blasting and industrial coating services

At +Australian Enviroblast we offer onsite abrasive blasting and industrial coating services with full encapsulation and waste disposal, allowing other work onsite to continue, and our EPA accreditation means that we can operate in environmentally-sensitive areas.

Protective and industrial coatings

Corrosion-resistant surface treatments are essential to extending the life of metal machinery and equipment in environments where corrosion is a constant threat, be it from extreme temperatures, moisture, chemicals or salt spray.

At Australian Enviroblast, we specialise in the application of industrial coatings that protect treated surfaces and equipment from the effects of corrosion and other forms of degradation, and we can apply a wide variety of coatings to meet your needs and the demands of the work environment.

Abrasive blasting with the Quill Falcon Kwikblast Dustless Blasting System means that surfaces are prepared and profiled so that newly-applied paint and protective coatings can be at their most effective, adhering better for longer. Any coating will ultimately fail if the surface is not properly treated and prepared, and so wet abrasive blasting makes sure that coatings stay in place and offer protection for valuable plant and machinery.

Spray painting

We are able to offer an onsite spray painting service for mining machinery and equipment to complement our dustless wet blasting surface cleaning and preparation.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Adelaide Wet Abrasive Blasting Services | Australian Enviroblast

Our new brochure includes details of the comprehensive range of wet abrasive blasting services we are proud to offer across metropolitan Adelaide and throughout regional and country South Australia.

Whether you are looking to undertake a large-scale project, such as abrasive blasting a commercial fishing boat or passenger ferry, or a smaller job such as line marking removal or removing graffiti, we have the equipment, expertise and experience to ensure that that the job is performed effectively and efficiently.

Click on the brochure below to read more, visit our website, or email us directly.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Wet Abrasive Blasting Services

At +Australian Enviroblast, we provide a wide variety of wet abrasive blasting services, using the Quill Falcon Kwikblast Precision Dustless Blasting System. We operate throughout metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia, and our highly-skilled, experienced and professional teams have wide-ranging knowledge and expertise, meaning that we are able to tackle any type of wet abrasive blasting job, no mater the size or scale.

Marine Wet Abrasive Blasting

At AEB, we have extensive experience in marine wet abrasive blasting, on all types of vessels, marine-based structures and equipment.

Wet abrasive blasting is used on commercial fishing boats, passenger ships, ferries, yachts and other types of boats as a means of removing growths, old paint layers and contaminants prior to repainting and re-coating, and is often performed at the time of a ship's two-year survey.

Prior to any re-coating, it is important that existing paint and industrial coatings are thoroughly and effectively removed, as otherwise any new coatings are likely to fail because they are unable to adhere to surface of the hull sufficiently well. Wet abrasive blasting means that surfaces are cleaned and profiled in such a way that industrial coatings and protective paints will last and serve to protect the vessel in the way they were designed to do.

See our wet abrasive blasting in action on the commercial fishing boat Noble Pearl at Port Adelaide:

Line Marking Removal

Wet abrasive blasting is a quick, effective and highly efficient way of removing line markings and other residues from the surfaces of roads, car parks and footpaths.

Markings are successful removed from both the surface as well as cavities and depressions through abrasive material being blasted at high pressure, and this strips away unwanted markings or rubber residue without damaging or impacting on the road surface.

The sorts of contaminants that can be quickly and successful removed from roads, car parks and footpaths using wet abrasive blasting include oil, grease, mould and rubber deposits, while non-slip surfaces can also be created through using this process.

Road markings such as anti-skid surfacing, resin-based paints, permanent and temporary thermoplastic paint, surface dressing emulsion and temporary road marking tape are also effectively removed through wet abrasive blasting.

Mining Industry

Wet abrasive blasting is used extensively in the mining industry as a means of reducing the effects of corrosion and abrasion, and in so doing prolongs the operating life and performance of all types of mining equipment, structures and machinery. This is done through affected surfaces being stripped back to a corrosion-free base which in turn enables effective priming and the application of protective coatings.

Our wet abrasive blasting services are also combined with the application of industrial coatings to mining equipment and machinery. 

We have experience in the wide variety of blasting and coating work that is required on mining sites, including machinery large and small, flare towers, storage tanks, pipelines, process tanks, earthmovers and other vehicles.

Find out More

In order to find out more about these and the other wet abrasive blasting services that Australian Enviroblast is able to offer, please telephone +Mark Chiappin on +61 (0) 458 455 668 or email us

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Wet Abrasive Blasting Used for Line Marking Removal

Wet abrasive blasting using the Quill Falcon Kwikblast® System removes all types of road and pavement markings, both from the surface and from any cavities or depressions.

This is done without producing fumes, smoke or excessive dust, and results in a road surface that is profiled to your specifications but remains unscorched and unscarred. This is because the +Quill Falcon Australia Kwikblast® System is a precision dustless blasting system which combines the simplicity of conventional grit blasting with the effectiveness of ultra high pressure (uhP) jetting but without the associated hazards and complications.

Wet abrasive blasting also cleans mould, grease, oil and other slippery deposits from roads, paths, walkways, car parks and driveways.
Wet abrasive blasting is highly effective at removing line markings

How abrasive blasting works

During the abrasive blasting process, abrasive material is propelled by at high pressure onto the road or footpath surface and this strips away unwanted substances but leaves the original surface clean and contaminant free. The media used during abrasive blasting is reclaimed and there is very little dust produced during the process.

Abrasive blasting also cleans mould, grease, oil and other slippery deposits from roads, paths, walkways, car parks and driveways. Concrete aggregate can be exposed by abrasive blasting to create non-slip surfaces, perfect for use in public spaces such as shopping centres, schools, industrial parks, and commercial premises. Non-slip surfaces can be created by abrasive blasting in a variety of materials and surfaces, including concrete, tiles and pavers.

The Quill Falcon Kwikblast® System quickly and effectively removes all types of markings from road and pavement surfaces, including:

  • permanent and temporary thermoplastic paint
  • temporary road marking tape
  • surface dressing emulsion
  • resin-based paints
  • anti-skid surfacing
Applications for wet abrasive blasting:

  • road markings
  • airport runways
  • car parks
  • pavements and footpaths
  • walkways
Surfaces where wet abrasive blasting can be used:

  • bitumen
  • asphalt
  • concrete
  • brick
  • metal
  • steel
  • timber
  • PVC
Surfaces are not gouged or dished when markings are removed using abrasive blasting, nor is aggregate blasted away, and so this means that surfaces do not need resurfacing or additional maintenance when markings have been removed.

Why Line Marking Removal is Important

Removing road markings effectively is important because confusion and dangerous situations for drivers and pedestrians can be created if old markings still remain visible. This is especially the case in wet weather when road surfaces are wet, or when drivers are travelling in bright conditions facing the sun.

Rubber deposits are also effectively removed from road surfaces, pavements and driveways using abrasive blasting.

This can be extremely important in an airport environment, where a clean and profiled surface allows for maximum braking, as well as enhancing the brightness and appearance of markings. Removing rubber deposits and burn out marks also improves the appearance of roads, curbs and car parks.

Abrasive blasting is safe, environmentally-friendly and cost effective, and Australian Enviroblast is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency. We adhere to its high standards of environmental safety with regards to air quality, noise, water quality and waste management. Using the Quill Falcon Precision Dustless Kwikblast® System does not cause environmental damage nor consume excessive natural resources, as little water is used and  there is little dust and waste produced.

Copywriting by +MarkAngus

Friday, 28 November 2014

How Wet Abrasive Blasting Works

Wet Abrasive Blasting v Conventional Blasting Methods

Wet abrasive blasting is the method whereby abrasive blasting material is propelled onto a surface by water at high pressure. It’s used in many different applications to blast away unwanted coatings, corrosion and residue from a wide variety of surfaces, structures and materials in preparation for repainting and re-coating.

Wet abrasive blasting has been shown to be more effective and efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly than conventional dry abrasive blasting methods (usually called dry blasting, sandblasting, grit blasting, media blasting or slurry blasting).

Wet abrasive blasting is fast and versatile

Wet abrasive blasting is a highly versatile process that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including removing rust and corrosion, stripping away old coatings and paint layers, and profiling surfaces in preparation for re-coating.

A wide variety of surfaces can be effectively profiled using wet abrasive blasting, including steel, aluminium, brass, bronze, copper, brick. stone, cement and concrete, wood, fibreglass and bitumen.

The process can be used on large-scale industrial sites, mining equipment and facilities, agricultural and industrial machinery, boats and ships of all sizes, and for line marking and graffiti removal. Wet abrasive blasting can also be used on small-scale and domestic projects as well.

Wet abrasive blasting is a very fast process, producing contaminant free profiled surfaces quickly and efficiently. Blasting speeds of up to 18m2 per hour can be achieved and so vital machinery or equipment is not out of action, nor boats held up in dry dock, any longer than they need to be.

Its portability and ability to be used on any type of site in almost any sort of location (including onboard ships) makes wet abrasive blasting the most versatile blasting method available.

Soda blasting for fishing boats and ships
Wet abrasive blasting means fishing boats are in dry dock for less time

Less blast material is used

Wet abrasive blasting uses only around half the media of conventional dry sandblasting or grit blasting (most often garnet or staurolite). As well as being more economical, this also means that disposal costs are significantly reduced.

The amount of water that is used in wet abrasive blasting is approximately 0.5 litres per minute, and therefore over the course of a day’s blasting, only between 200-250 litres of water would be expected to be used.

Less dust is produced

A significant advantage of wet abrasive blasting over more conventional methods of dry media blasting or slurry blasting is that very little dust is produced. This means that other work can continue around the abrasive blasting process, and other trades in the immediate vicinity are not prevented from working.

The media used in wet abrasive blasting is also confined, usually falling within only a 3-5 metre radius. This is in contrast to conventional dry slurry blasting or sandblasting, where the media can sometimes fall as far as 20 metres away.

Wet abrasive blasting produces less shit than sandblasting
Wet abrasive blasting produces little dust and so other trades can continue

Surfaces are profiled more effectively

Wet abrasive blasting is highly effective in the removal of coatings, corrosion, rust and other residues from all types of surfaces, and in so doing creates a superior surface profile that enables newly applied coatings and paint to adhere better and for longer.

When used in the shipping industry, for example, wet abrasive blasting removes salts and chlorides from a boat’s surfaces and hull in such a way that anti-fouling paints and marine industrial coatings adhere more effectively to the surface and remain in place much longer.

A more efficient method of abrasive blasting

Wet abrasive blasting combines the simplicity of conventional grit blasting or sandblasting with the effectiveness of of ultra high pressure (uhP) jetting without the associated hazards and complications.

Surface tension coats the blast media that is used in the process in a water jacket. This increases the speed and the mass of the media, which in turn increases its impact on the surface being blasted. The water also serves to lubricate the hose and nozzle, thus reducing wear and tear.

When the blast media hits the surface, the water jacket continues to move while retaining the media within it, preventing the grit from bouncing. The water jacket snaps round the blast media into the crack under the blast surface and hydrostatically blasts a larger amount of surface coating away than is the case when conventional dry abrasive blasting is used.

This produces a profiled surface and feathered edges, with less gingering than is the case with dry blasting, while consuming a minimal amount of blast media and water.

A safer method of abrasive blasting

Wet abrasive blasting can be used safely to remove bad coatings, coal tar epoxy paint and lead-based paints, as it does not set off airborne particles in the way that dry blasting or sandblasting would. Also, used media falls within a 3-5 metre radius of the blasting site and so can be easily encapsulated.

In addition, wet abrasive blasting produces up to 21 decibels less noise than conventional blasting methods, making for a more pleasant working environment on site and in surrounding areas.