Aquablasting – a modern method of gentle surface cleaning

The traditional method of sandblasting industrial surfaces, which is harmful to human health, is being replaced by aqua-blasting – gentle cleaning. It is a modern method of soft cleaning from rust, scale, carbon deposits, paint and other hard-to-clean contaminants from various surfaces: steel, aluminum, glass, plastic. The process consists of applying a pressurized, directional jet of suspension consisting of water and abrasive particles to the surface to be cleaned.

The technology of aquablasting allows fast, soft and ecological cleaning of parts without harming soft materials and harmful emissions into the environment, protects the surface from rusting and oxidation, does not change the geometric dimensions, and reduces roughness. Slurry circulation makes the cleaning process cost-effective and low-cost.

The application of the technology has a number of advantages:

dust-free blasting
high cleaning quality
gentle cleaning so that the surface remains undamaged
harmless for people and the environment
Multiple use of the abrasive, a considerable saving of financial and operating costs and time

The scope of aquablasting is diverse, it is surface cleaning in the automotive industry, repair and maintenance, restoration work, removal of paint, rust, carbon deposits, descaling after hardening for engineering products, removal of small burrs and tool traces after turning and milling, satinization and passivation of stainless steels (including after welding works), treatment of special materials and alloys, as well as surface preparation before gluing, painting, chemical and galvanic coatings.

PARTSWASHERS team developed and tested the aquablast unit. The unit is a chamber with a closed cleaning cycle. Washing components – a fine fraction of glass beads (glass beads) sized 200-300 microns and ordinary tap water.

Machine body is made of stainless steel including a tank for storage and mixing of washing components. The lid with glass and holes for hands with protective gloves, allows you to make the cleaning process as convenient as possible. The machine is equipped with a natural ventilation system and lighting inside the chamber.

The cleaning process is as easy as possible. The parts are placed on the turntable. The operator closes the lid of the machine and starts the mixing process (lifting the settled) on the bottom of the glass beads by turning on the pump. The aqua-blasting gun is equipped with a cleaning solution supply fitting with glass beads and an air supply fitting. The operator presses the foot pedal to deliver the water/glass bead mixture through the gun to the surface of the part to be cleaned. A turntable allows the operator to easily rotate the part to be cleaned. Once the cleaning process is complete, the part is ready for further processing operations.

The main criterion for selecting this equipment is the maximum dimensions and weight of the part to be cleaned.

Why it’s actually extremely dangerous to wash car radiators

We are constantly told that car radiators must be cleaned of dirt, otherwise there will be no problems with the engine or automatic transmission. But not all washes are equally useful. What kind of breakdowns can be caused by such water procedures.

There can be several radiators in a car – automatic transmission, charge air cooler, air conditioner condenser and finally, a radiator of engine cooling, which is installed last. That is it is blown with an oncoming stream worse than all others. Because of this, they arrange “washer-dryer”.

However, it is necessary to clean radiators, otherwise there will be no trouble. The first thing to consider is the water pressure. If the jet is very strong, it will bend the honeycomb of several radiators at once. And it will make their blowing even more difficult. As a result, they will not cool better. On the contrary, the heat exchange will become worse, and you will not be far from overheating.

And in the worst case, say, if the radiator is old, the jet will just blow through it. And then the expensive spare part will have to be replaced or a sealant will have to be filled in a cooling system. By the way, if the leak is big, the sealant will not help.

One more nuance. If the car has no air conditioner, its cooling radiator, as a rule, can be washed without removing it from the car. This is convenient, but you need to consider that the wash will get dirt on engine parts like the drive belt, alternator, high-voltage wires and spark plugs. The electric motor of a cooling fan can be easily flooded with water too. Therefore, do not aim a garden hose directly at it.

And to prevent mud from getting into the engine compartment, it would be nice to put a screen of polyethylene film behind the radiator. It will block the way of water and dirt to the engine.

By the way, the engine radiator gets clogged with dirt not only from outside, but also from inside. It accumulates rust and scale particles, as well as oxidation products of aluminum parts. If you do not watch out for this, overheating of the engine is possible, especially in the summer heat. That is why, keep an eye on the dates of antifreeze and transmission fluid replacement. If the run of the car approaches 60,000 km, it does not hurt to renew them with obligatory flushing of the system.

These works are usually performed simultaneously with external parts cleaning, which includes radiator removal. Note that it is not necessary to use harsh chemicals for removal of caked up dirt, otherwise it will pierce aluminum radiator tubes and thin heat-removing plates. You should not use too stiff brushes, which will bend radiator plates. It is better to use regular car shampoo and a medium-hard brush.

The topic of a separate conversation is the heat exchanger of the engine turbocharger system, or as it is often called, the intercooler. This type of radiator, due to the design features of the system itself, in the engine compartment is often located horizontally. It is clear that in such position its honeycomb clings on itself much more various dirt getting under a hood.

It is especially noticeable in summer when poplitee fluff gets there, and it provokes malfunction of the intercooler. The down mixed with oily dirt creates its reinforcing mixture. It tightly clogs the outer channels of the radiator cells, due to which the heat dissipation immediately deteriorates. As a result, the engine power drops noticeably. To fix the problem, it is necessary to turn to masters, which costs a pretty penny.

However, there is an alternative, and very inexpensive option of radiators cleaning, offered by the German company Liqui Moly. It has developed the original aerosol composition Kuhler Aussenreiniger. The product has a high penetrating ability, allowing you to effectively act on the oily dirt. After just a few minutes of treatment, it is already peeling from the outer surfaces of the radiator cells and is then easily removed even with a weak water pressure. The product is, by the way, suitable for cleaning both intercoolers and other types of car radiators.

The benefits of a car wheel wash. How a wheel wash works

Before balancing or replacing tyres, the wheels should be thoroughly cleaned and washed. This is a mandatory procedure that affects the quality of service and the “life” of the machines. However, cleaning is time-consuming, especially when there is a greater influx of customers (spring and autumn). A wheel washer can help to automate the process and increase the efficiency of the workshop.

What is a wheel wash?

This is special equipment used to clean dirt and dust from wheels. The enclosed unit is equipped with a heating element and a motor that allows the cleaning process to be automated. The operator only needs to place the wheel on a special platform and start the machine.

The size of the machine determines the size of wheels that can be serviced. For a small tyre fitting shop or a medium-sized garage, a normal tyre cleaner capable of cleaning tyres with a diameter of 560-800mm and a width of 135-305mm will be adequate.

What you need a car wash for?

The income of a tyre workshop or car service depends on the number of services provided. Tyre washing not only makes it easier to prepare the wheels for balancing, but also earns good money. Tyre cleaning is in high demand – especially in the autumn and spring.

The equipment offers an opportunity to:

  • Expand your range of services and increase your income.
  • Reduce wear and tear on balancers and tyre changers. Keeps dirt out of the gears and increases service life.
  • Reduce water consumption. The closed loop system means that the water can be used several times.
  • Increased precision in balancing.
  • The machine will help to relieve the workmen and increase the productivity of the workshop.

How the equipment works?

All car wheel washers operate according to the same principle. Cleaning is carried out in several stages:

  • The wheel is placed in the washing compartment. The installation can be carried out manually or hydraulically. The second option is used in equipment designed for cleaning the wheels of bulky equipment.
  • The tyre is locked in place. Vertical supports are used to hold the wheel.
  • The tyre is cleaned. The machine rotates the wheel and sprays warm water through nozzles.
  • The soft granules and the water jets remove the dust and dirt.
  • The waste solution is collected in a pan.
  • The wheel is dried with air.
  • The granulate is washed and the dirt is removed.

The quality of cleaning depends on the water pressure, quantity of granulate and washing concentrate. Cleaning one tyre takes 20, 40 or 60 seconds, depending on the selected mode. Washing a truck wheel takes 60 to 240 seconds. Drying takes 15-30 seconds, depending on tyre size.

Advantages and installation features?

An automatic wheel washer not only improves the quality of cleaning, it also saves the craftsman time. There are also a number of other benefits to the machine:

  • The soft granules used by the machine do not damage the rim coating or the rubber.
  • The closed circuit reduces fluid consumption. Used water is cleaned and can be reused.
  • Washing is done in seconds. Depending on the selected mode, the cycle takes anywhere from 20 to 60 seconds. This considerably increases the capacity of the workshop, especially in season (autumn and spring).
  • The process is fully automatic and does not require any operator intervention. The operator only has to load the wheel, select the mode and start the machine.
  • Cleaning is carried out without the use of chemicals. The lack of additional agents increases the service life of the rubber and reduces costs at the workshop.
  • Quality cleaning protects the machines from damage. Dirt and dust are prevented from entering the machine.
  • Washing increases balancing accuracy.

The machine boosts your income and extends your repair shop’s range of services.
A wheel washer is an efficient but expensive machine. The cheapest machine costs about $5,000. Considering the cost, it is not profitable to use a wheel washer in a small tire shop.

Where best to install the equipment?

A few recommendations must be followed to ensure the correct and efficient operation of the washer-dryer:

  • Only install the equipment on a level surface. The truck wheel washer should only be placed on a metal trestle.
  • The premises must have a suitable power supply (380 V). The power of the car wash motor is 6 kW and the power of the truck wash motor is 8.5 kW.
  • The unit must be located close to the drainage system.
  • A rubber mat should be placed in front of the sink.
  • The compact equipment can be installed even in a small car workshop, it is only important to follow the recommendations.

Drying of parts


After processing in concentrated acid solutions, the parts are subjected to neutralization, since rinsing in water in this case is not enough. In this regard, steel parts (made of carbon and corrosion-resistant steel) are treated in a 2 … 7% solution of sodium carbonate at a temperature of 15 … 30 ° C in order to neutralize the acid remaining on the surface, in microdepressions and pores. Parts are subjected to such processing after electrochemical polishing, etching, chemical and electrochemical activation, passivation.

Drying of parts after electroplating

S / shka. After applying galvanic coatings and corresponding rinses, ending with rinsing in hot water, the parts are dried to completely remove moisture from the surface and pores in the coating.

For thick-walled massive parts of a simple configuration, drying is carried out in air at a temperature of 15 … 30 ° C. Thick-walled parts of a complex configuration are dried by blowing with compressed air at 15 … 60 ° C.

Parts processed on hangers are dried in a drying cabinet or drying chamber with air circulation heated to 105 … 115 ° C. Drying time is 3 … 10 minutes. Parts of a complex configuration are preliminarily blown with compressed air.

Small parts processed in bulk are dried in a centrifuge at a temperature of about 70 ° C or special moving sieves, screw devices, conveyors with air circulation heated to 105 … 115 ° C. You can dry parts in a rotating drum with continuous circulation of hot air.

When drying chromated zinc or cadmium coatings and oxide-phosphate coatings over aluminum, the air temperature should not exceed 50 ° C.

With special requirements for parts, drying is carried out by sequential immersion in two containers with ethyl alcohol.

Industrial washing machines: purpose and types

The machine industry currently needs to keep parts clean at all stages of production. We are talking about cleaning them from chips and dirt, corrosion and cooling products. Special attention should be paid to products after warehouse storage before assembling precision instruments and mechanisms used in the automotive and aviation industries.

Within the framework of enterprises, an industrial metal wash is used for this operation. With the help of such equipment, labor productivity and business efficiency are significantly increased. The products are offered by the Motor Technologies company.

Industrial type washes differ significantly from their counterparts, which are used in the flow repair of vehicles. The priority is to automate and reduce the human factor during operations. Most of the installations are multi-stage, working in several cycles – degreasing and rinsing, passivation, phosphating and drying.

The most widespread machines are front-loading machines. They are used to clean large and weighty parts. Allows you to cope with the most bulky and heavy machines thanks to the increased volume of the chamber. The operator only needs to load the parts to be cleaned onto the platform, then place them in the washing chamber and decide on the cleaning program.

Types of washing machines

Depending on the specifics of production activities, equipment for washing parts is divided into the following types:

Submersible or universal machines. Such equipment is used for processing small parts. With their help, rather large batches of products are washed out. In addition to immersion in the solution, jet and ultrasonic washing, rinsing and drying are provided. Several models of such installations are produced. They differ in carrying capacity and volume;

Industrial. They are used to carry out interoperational processing of parts, including large units;

Checkpoints. Productive machines used for mass and serial production. Usually built into existing production lines;

Manual. Often used in small car services and technical stations.
These are not all types of washing machines that our company produces.

Features of cleaning nozzles with ultrasound

The reason for clogged injectors is often low-quality fuel. When it burns, carbon deposits are formed in the form of resinous compounds. Externally similar to a varnish crust, it is not scraped off or washed off with solvents.

Engine operation directly depends on the thickness of the carbon layer: the thicker it is, the greater the fuel consumption.

When to ultrasonic clean nozzles

If your car uses more fuel than usual, idles unstable and there is a loss of power, contact a workshop immediately.

Additional evidence of clogging is manifested in the following symptoms:

  • increased CO / CH level;
  • unstable functioning of the car engine;
  • corrosive exhaust gases and detonation;
  • failure of various systems and components.

About two ways of cleaning
The first way is with the help of chemicals. The car owner himself can monitor the degree of contamination of parts by regularly performing preventive maintenance. However, with a thick layer of carbon deposits, chemistry may not completely remove it.

Ultrasonic cleaning of injectors is recognized as more effective and of higher quality. This method removes even complex dirt.

Motorists sometimes complain that after using ultrasound, the injectors stop working. Car service specialists disagree with this, who claim that this method reveals non-working parts of the part. When a thick layer of carbon is formed, the nozzle deforms and breaks. It is because of this that, after cleaning, the engine will not start.

How is ultrasonic cleaning of nozzles carried out?

With this method of cleaning, the part is lowered into a bath filled with a special solution. At the service station, special containers are used for cleaning – ultrasonic baths. The nozzles together with the nozzle are lowered into the bath, then ultrasonic waves are turned on. The oscillation frequency of these waves contributes to the effective cleaning of the internal cavities of the parts.

The main thing is not to completely dip the part into the liquid. Then a short circuit may occur, it will become unusable, and you will be forced to contact the spare parts stores for a new part.

The cleaned parts are tested on the bench, where the degree of wear, tightness, performance is determined.

However, the procedure has a certain disadvantage – only the injectors are cleaned, and other parts of the fuel system remain uncleaned. This effect is called half-hearted.

Clients often ask which cleaning method to choose. With the help of ultrasound, resuscitation actions of the nozzles are carried out – checking for accuracy, restoring performance. Washing engine parts partially removes carbon deposits and is a maintenance not only of the injectors, but also of the cylinder-piston system and the fuel rail.

Therefore, ultrasound is carried out in case of suspicion of a malfunction of the nozzles, or with a mileage of 70 thousand km or more. It is advisable to flush the engine every 20-25 thousand km, combining it with replacing the spark plugs.