On September 3, 2020, Brock Services hosted a demonstration of an AmphiBlast Dual Hose Wet/Dry blasting system for one of their customers. The AmphiBlast is a versatile abrasive blasting machine that can be used for dry blasting, wet blasting, blow down and wash down with a single piece of equipment. Particular interest during this demo was toward the wet blasting function which adds water to the air stream and results in dustless blasting.
The purpose of the demo was not only to see the equipment in action, but to demonstrate to ExxonMobil the multitude of benefits the AmphiBlast could provide if blasting was needed within operating units during turnarounds. The benefits include less interference with operations or other crafts working in proximity of the blasters (due to the dustless blasting), less abrasive required, less cleanup and a reduction in waste disposal.
As opposed to historical wet blasting, which used a water ring attached to the end of the blast nozzle, AmphiBlast uses only 10-20% of the water and abrasive to achieve the specified surface cleanliness and eliminates an area drenched with slurry to clean up. Other dustless blasters on the market do not have the option to dry blast if circumstances allow, nor variable pressure controls or water injection controls.
The AmphiBlast is manufactured by Axxiom Manufacturing’s Schmidt Abrasive Blasting business unit and is distributed in Houston by the Marco/A.P.E. distributorship, who supplied the equipment for the demo. A 375 CFM air compressor and an air dryer were required to operate the AmphiBlast during the demo.
The exercise was able to demonstrate that by using this blasting system, a reduction in work hours to blast and cleanup and a reduction in abrasive consumption and associate waste could provide a savings of up to 35%.
The feedback from the customer’s group was extremely positive, resulting in their planning to utilize this system for an upcoming 2021 event. Combined with the use of a blasting additive that holds a wet blast longer before the surface begins to rust, the customer’s inspection group will be able to perform their inspections, then release the surfaces for painting without our having to re-blast the area, a savings in hours (to blast and clean up), materials and waste disposal. It is also anticipated that the number of shifts to complete the turnaround could be reduced due to these combined benefits – other crafts being able to work concurrent with wet blasting due to the reduced dusting, reduction in the need to re-blast after inspections, and reduced clean up time.
This demonstration was a reflection of Brock’s Bbest culture of continuously seeking better methods or equipment to lower cost and provide a safer work environment. Daniel Alvarez, Paint Superintendent, Sergio Alvarez, Paint GF, and Wilfredo Gloria, Paint QA/QC, all contributed to this successful demo.