Basic Guide To Blast Cleaning

A blast cleaning set-up with companies like consists of just 6 main pieces of equipment, with associated accessories, and abrasives.

You will require a diesel engined mobile compressor. They are rated on their air output cfm ( cubic feet per minute)……… usually 140, 180, 260 & 350 cfm, and manufactured by the likes of Atlas Copco, Ingersoll Rand, Compair , Sullair, & Kaeser…….

90 to 140 cfm : The lower end of the scale. These are small, lightweight, easy to tow with a small van, easy to source and miserly on fuel. But you are limited to cleaning just lightly soiled stone, brick, steel and wood, and the cleaning rate will be generally slow.

180 cfm : Firm favourite with one-man band businesses, my favourite size compressor, as again they are light, easy to tow, fuel efficient, and not too tiring to use all day. Formidable when used with a C50L blast pot; I always owned this combination and was able to clean virtually every job I encountered. Biggest problem is that they are quite rare and difficult to find, as they are too big for road gangs and too small for other industries.

260 cfm (as in photo above) : Very popular with small/medium size businesses and hire companies. Weighing in at around 1400kg , you need a decent size van to tow. Can be used with any size blast pot and is fairly common. Makes rapid work of large areas of stone, brick and rusty or painted steelwork……. Ideal for large buildings, allows use of long lengths of compressor and blast hose without losing too much power.

350 cfm : The biggest of the mainstream mobile compressors. For use where a seriously fast cleaning rate is required on heavily corroded steelwork…. ships, bridges, structures,heavy machinery, etc. Heavy on fuel and cumbersome to tow. A few days use can be very tiring …… just about every muscle in your body will know about it !


Four sizes available : the ½ bag C20L, 3 bag C50L , 8 bag C140L and the 12 bag C200L.
Each suitable for a variety of applications. Pots are supplied with manual controls ( two on off ball valves), or with a remote valve, controlled by the operator using a dead man handle at the end of the blast hose……

The C20L holds just 25kg of expendable abrasives, enough for 10 minutes of continuous blasting. Useful for small or limited access jobs, for snagging & touching up, fine detail restoration work, or in workshops for occasional blasting with

The C50L  holds approx. 75kg of abrasives, enough for 30 minutes of blasting. Easily the most popular size pot with jobbing one man businesses. Very manouverable on building sites and easy to load in and out of van.

The C140L holds 150 kg of abrasives, enough for a full hour of continuous blasting. Popular with firms involved with medium / large cleaning projects.

The C200L holds 300kg of abrasives, sufficient for 2 hours blasting. Monster size pot for for big projects where as little down time as possible and a rapid cleaning rate is required. In reality a full pot (allowing for inevitable stopping and starting) will last half a shift.