- November 19, 2018
Across the Indian engineering and foundry landscape there is a lot of scope for efficiency gains and cost cutting. One of these is in the area of shot blasting. Most Indian engineering outfits are used to treating blasting media such as steel shot and steel grit as a commodity product.
This situation is also largely due to the poor marketing skills of today’s domestic abrasive manufacturers and shot blasting machine manufacturers who are perhaps not putting enough emphasis on customer communication on this vital subject.
The fact is that it is well proven that abrasive or steel shot / steel grit quality plays a very big role in the effeciency and the costing of blasting operations which form the very basis of the subsequent operations of surface finishing like painting etc. Also steel shot and steel grit can vary in their inherent quality by as much as 40% to 50% in terms of their useful life in real life working conditions.
It is time that engineering and foundry outfits start measuring accurately the abrasive quality by total life time cycles before they reduce to dust than the indirect means of testing currently in vogue of surface hardness and size.
This is because inherent metallurgical defects and poor structure can make these abrasives vary totally in their performance and output per ton.A small blind test done by a leading foundry in South India found that shots and abrasives can vary quite a bit in terms of their useful output as defined by the lifecycles achieved in a Ervin Life Cycle tester. Incidentally the fact that hardly few customers have bothered to invest in a life cycle tester for steel shot and steel grit shows that a lot needs to be done on this front in our country.
It is time abrasives be sold on the basis of price per life-cycle of useful life achieved on these testing machines rather than on price per ton. The results would be an eye opener for quite a few in the foundry industry.