in Vol. 20 - September Issue - Year 2019
VibroBLAST The New Hybrid Technology
Rollwasch® introduces a new surface finishing technology: the "VibroBLAST" technology, the result of three patent applications, of about eight years of research activity, in addition to the close collaboration with sandblasting, suction and air filtration specialists. Everything, strictly "made in Italy". A patent on the "VibroBLAST" process, a patent on the specific use for the Additive Manufacturing sector and a patent dedicated to the special "QuattroFinish" (or QF) media.
A line of solutions is dedicated to the POST PROCESSES of Additive Manufacturing, developed with careful experimentation and specific tests for 3D printing applications.
What distinguishes the "VibroBLAST" process technology compared to a normal sandblasting or vibratory finishing process? And why choose this «hybrid» process, or this technology resulting from the synergy of two well-known techniques?
There are at least 8 of the most important reasons for choosing this type of technology instead of those notes. In any case it is very important to point out that, although this technology contains ALSO solutions dedicated to the POST PROCESSES of Additive Manufacturing, it offers advantages to the most varied sectors of use, both for metal components and in polymers and also in other materials, not necessarily manufactured in Additive, but die-cast, injection-moulded, milled, laser-cut, water-cut, oxy-cut, hot stamping, forging, etc.
1. The first element of choice is to use VibroBLAST technology for mass finishing processes of surfaces, whether metallic, plastic or of any other nature, also delicate parts!
Some components that, indeed, must not receive blows or dents, are made by hand one-by-one with the classic blasting booths with gloves, pistol etc., because of their delicate nature, for example.
Other components, sandblasted with rotating or barrel-driven machines, are limited to those components that are not altered or damaged by the movement of the parts against one another.
The components treated with VibroBLAST processes, thanks to the presence of special resilient vibratory finishing media "QF", offer excellent results.
2. In a VibroBLAST process, with vibro-sandblasting items, sandblasting media type «white corundum 60" and vibrofinishing media type QF70EN5 (plastic ellipsoid formulation N5, slightly elastic) at each complete turn of the pieces in the circular tank, corresponding to 360°, they are hit by the blasting jet for about 30°, while for the remaining 330° the pieces are finished by the same corundum conveyed by the QF70EN5 vibratory finishing media which, in turn, become impregnated with abrasive and continue to transport it onto the surfaces of the workpieces. The same thing, where possible, can occur in the case of treatment of a volume of pieces in «piece by piece» mode and without vibratory finishing media, provided that this process does not involve alterations or scratches and dents. The drag and rubbing function of the abrasive on the surfaces of the pieces makes the difference with a normal sandblasting or vibratory finishing processes.
3. A further reason for choosing a VibroBLAST process is determined by the availability of a complete range of unprecedented solutions. The machines can have the sandblasting nozzles either on the upper side of the machine or on the lid, as well as in a special circular ring called CNR, or both at the same time. A further choice is possible between a range of machines such as VibroBLAST AIR DP (vacuum), VibroBLAST AIR PR (pressure), VibroBLAST WET (wet), and VibroBLAST WHEEL (turbine, shot blasting);
Some special versions also include VibroBLAST ICE (dry ice) machines, and other versions still complete a range without equivalent worldwide. VibroBLAST AIR DP has been presented at the 3Dprint show in Lyon, in June 2019, as a world premiere.
4. At Rollwasch® we produce machines with a level of automation suitable for all needs, including Industry 4.0.
All VibroBLAST series machines are equipped with a microprocessor with colour Touch Screen panel and, if required, it is possible to request the optional WiFinishing version, which can be connected remotely and wirelessly with a Windows 10 or Android tablet.
All the software loaded on our machines are made internally, and where necessary, can benefit from tailor-made solutions.
5. At Rollwasch® we develop even complex engineering solutions, to manage part / media selection operations, including media automatic reloading (with pneumatic transport devices, for example), media classification, weight refilling, and many other functions with absolute respect for the most elementary safety rules and ergonomics.
Our vibrofinishing media recovery and storage tanks (for example QF), complete with highly reliable pneumatic valves, can recharge a VibroBLAST machine in a matter of seconds before loading the pieces to be machined, so as to supply a sort of «air bag» that expands during the loading phase.
6. Another reason to choose the VibroBLAST machine series is the version that integrates the SMART RECOVERY function.
This function is specifically designed for the Additive Manufacturing sector and for the so-called POST PROCESSES, during which one of the main targets consists in the recovery of the additive powders nested between the loops and undercut and hidden areas of the components.
The SMART RECOVERY operation is generally the very first phase of each process and through vibration, and where necessary, the use of appropriate media (having gentle and little micro-hammering effect), allows the removal of most additive powders from the machined components. All by means of specially designed suction and recovery devices with Atex certification for area 20 internal and external 21 or 22.
7. A further feature of the patents that allowed the creation of the VibroBLAST series of solutions consists of the PCCP - PREVENTIVE CONTAMINATION CLINIC PROCESS. This version of machines allows sandblasting for example, of PEEK components with PEEK powders and with PEEK vibrofinishing media made by the same user, thanks to a library of 3D drawings of various shapes and vibrofinishing media measurements.
This type of process makes it possible to avoid any material of a different nature from that one of the same polymer that makes up the workpieces that can pollute or be included in the surfaces of the same.
8. QF MEDIA
The QF media range is manufactured by Rollwasch in Italy with injection presses that allow obtaining extremely long-lasting media, up to 10-20 times higher than the classic vibratory finishing media such as abrasive plastics and ceramics.
The QF media range represents the future of vibro-blasting processes and the program is constantly evolving.
The range of QF media (QuattroFinish - Patent pending - I) includes special compounds based on INERTISING substances to help reduce the risk of explosion in the presence of metals or explosive substances.
The range of QF media (QuattroFinish - Patent pending - I) includes a growing variety of formulations that allow incomparable performances in the field of vibro-sandblasting processes.
At Rollwasch® we produce QuattroFinish abrasive and vector preforms, more commonly known as Media QF. These media are available in multiple formulations and compositions and allow the achievement of qualitative goals never known before the birth of VibroBLAST systems.
Careful studies and research have led Rollwasch® technicians to develop unprecedented solutions for both safety and the environment, significantly reducing the production of waste, thanks to the exceptional durability of the Media QF, equal to 10-20 times more compared to traditional plastic or ceramic abrasive media.
To summarize the above, VibroBLAST technology is opening new horizons and a completely new perspective of mass metal finishing, offering an interesting challenge to the team of Rollwasch to support new projects and open a brand-new historical roadmap.
by Paolo Redaelli
Contributing Editor MFN and
Rollwasch® Italiana S.p.a.
Tel. +39.0362.930 334
Fax +39.0362.931 440