in Vol. 18 - July Issue - Year 2017
Integration-Ready: A New Entry-Level "Continuous Through-Feed" Blast Machine
Brake discs passing through the apron conveyor inside a CT machine
Castings inside a CT blast machine
The CT principle and blast wheel arrangement
Wheelabrator is expanding its popular CT range of continuous through-feed shot blast machines with the introduction of a new, entry-level model.
The new CT-2-45/7-430 has been designed specifically as a flexible and extremely cost-effective model - perfect for forges and foundries that are looking for automation, integration and high Wheelabrator quality.
The entry-level version was developed not by compromising on quality but by simplifying a proven design down to a solid basic version that can be customised with a range of optional features. The drum, with its smaller diameter, is single-walled and the number of blast wheels available is fixed at two. This means the machine is best suited to processing smaller parts or smaller quantities of larger parts (up to 700mm diameter).
The new model is the first new machine to feature Wheelabrator’s COMET HD blast wheel as standard (with other wheel options available).
Viktor Lussi, from the Wheelabrator Technology Centre in Zurich, Switzerland, where the machine was developed, explains: "We have been evolving our CT range over the past 40 years and it continues to be a highly popular machine type for high-tech, high-volume production in foundries and forges around the world.
"It’s a hugely versatile range and our machines in the field include very powerful specimens at one end, to this new entry-level model, offering sophisticated levels of automation, integration and process reliability.
"With the CT-2-45/7-430, we’re responding to demand for integration-ready machines from customers who are new to the CT range. As for all our heavy-duty machines and for our new COMET HD wheel, reliability, durability and ease of maintenance were key considerations when designing our new addition to the CT family."
The CT range offers continuous, automated and flexible blast-cleaning of tumble-proof parts, such as castings and forgings, and is ideally suited to integrated high-volume production and mixed product runs. For forges and foundries, this means efficient cleaning operations with minimal space and storage requirements, short transport distances, and little or no need for manual handling of parts.
The CT principle
The centerpiece of all CT machines is a continuous apron conveyor that reliably tumbles parts for all-round blast coverage.
The blast wheels are arranged to cover the width of the apron conveyor, pointing directly into the 'apron', where the parts are being tumbled along. Blast intensity is controlled by varying the part throughput rate.
Exposure of the workpiece to the abrasive stream is controlled by the volume of castings. This results in the best possible cleaning effect and minimal wear on machine components and abrasive. Barrel rotation speed and abrasive throughput are electronically controlled, based on preprogrammed parameters.
In conjunction with sister company DISA, Wheelabrator offers CT machines as part of a complete, integrated foundry production line – with continuous workpiece flow from liquid metal to cleaned part.