Abrasive Blasting: A Technique used by Airline Industry to Reimburse Jet Engine Parts

Abrasive Blasting - Making your used jet engine parts look newer

What is Abrasive Blasting?

Abrasive Blasting is a technique/method or a process of reimbursement of industrial application parts and components by cleaning the metal items such as steel structures and adding texture to poured concrete. It is also called sandblasting as it involves the acceleration of sand-sized particles with pressurized air to create a stream of high-velocity particles. Its mostly used in power system engineering systems.

A fall danger exists while cleaning steel when working from scaffolding, and a confined space risk exists when cleaning steel inside industrial tanks. The operator or anybody around could get hurt by the abrasive stream itself. Numerous components of abrasive blasting are covered by NIOSH guidelines and OSHA standards, including things like the right airline length and the caliber of air supplied to the abrasive blasting respirator. Therefore one must be performing this with utmost safety.

The rising oil prices have paved the way for renewable energy like water, wind and solar energy. Most of these forms of energy production involve the use of heavy metal parts, which are treated with abrasive blasting later. UAE, being one of the largest oil producing countries has done many global energy industry investments so that it can switch to a sustainable future. This approach has given one of its emirates a title also – “Dubai: A Sustainable and Smart City to live in“. Smart buildings in UAE and energy efficiency in UAE have also been a step toward this process. Many countries are using several environmental management solutions like EV, low carbon emission energies, gravity batteries, etc. to solve environmental issues.  

How is Abrasive Blasting used in the Airline Industry?

Abrasive blasting is one of many approaches used in the restoration or reimbursement of an airplane, and it’s maybe the most important. An exceptionally broad spectrum of jet engine parts are fundamentally remade by abrasive blasting. Based on the kind of material and the blast circumstances, abrasive blasting can change the surfaces of components or structures in a number of different ways.

The abrasive blasts technique is typically used for 2 uses when refurbishing aircraft:

  1. Cleansing and corroding a surface improves adhesion for a new surface finish, such as paint, powder coating, or polyurethane. This not only pulls out any dirt, filth, oils, and so on from surface however also “roughs up” the surface. The best example of this kind of application is the fuselage.
  2. Without creating any sort of “profile” or eliminating certain components from its surface, cleaning and deburring a surface is performed. This method would be applied, for instance, to jet turbine parts where even the tiniest quantity of metal loss could have a negative impact on jet engine safety and performance.

In simple terms, the soft abrasives at low pressures can easily detach the coatings from the jet engine parts, whereas hard aggressive blasts at huge pressures will give a good finish to a surface by adding a texture to it.

Nearly every component or system on a corporate airplane may be repaired. The most important parts, though, are those that make up the engine. These priceless artifacts may undergo a comprehensive overhaul or just a simple cleaning with abrasive blasting.

Why is Abrasive Blasting Growing its Popularity in the Airline Industry?

The airline industry had net losses in the year 2020 and 2021, however, 2022 is a recovery year as there has been a boon in domestic travel, and the majority of the countries reducing the number of travel restrictions imposed during the global pandemic. The data makes it clear how Covid-19 has affected the airline industry’s financial situation. The major airlines’ decision to rehabilitate their present fleet rather than buy new aircraft is mostly motivated by the massive losses experienced.

Refurbishing older airplanes is a long-standing practice that falls under the broader umbrella of MRO. As a result of Covid-19’s significant impact on revenue sources and profit margins, more airlines started to rely on MRO to maintain fleet effectiveness.

Abrasive Blasting – Handled with Care

Blades of turbines, control systems of engines, and bearings are the components of the engines that cost the most money. Different types of forging methods like closed die forgings, open die forgings, etc. are used for the production of these parts. The forging industry is highly related to this technique of reimbursement. It should be handled carefully throughout renovations so that we can prevent significant financial losses and also protect the general safety of the jet engines. These parts are frequently restored using a method known as micro-abrasive blasting. It can be done with hand or machine and is utilized for jobs that are very localized. Wind turbine (floating wind turbine)and hydraulic turbine, used in the power and energy industry often get treated with this technique. 

Air and an abrasive are combined to create a stream that is extremely focused during micro-blasting. The micro-“laser” blasting’s focus is best suited for eradicating the coating from the engine blades’ recessed and shielded sections and from inside tiny air passageways. Small nozzles and precise, sharp abrasives, like aluminium oxide, are what give micro-blasting its reputation for precision. Silicon carbide can also be employed as an alternative medium if more challenging coatings are needed.

Other abrasive blasting techniques include vacuum, centrifugal, soda, steel grit, bristle, dry ice, shot peening, and bead blasting. Organic, metal, silicate, plastic, and stone are all examples of abrasive particles. The most often utilized materials include plastic, steel shot, silicon carbide, glass beads, aluminium oxide, coal slag, and even maize cobs. What are the best media kinds to use while restoring aircraft, you ask? How does one decide the medium to utilize for each portion, furthermore?

First off, the existence of so many media is due to the fact that they are all excellent at fulfilling various functions. Shape, size, hardness, and density are among the medium’s primary abrasive qualities that affect each material’s performance. Typically, a substance would be used to form a profile such that anything made of steel can hold the coating.

Engine parts, on the other hand, don’t require a rough finish; as was previously noted, the ideal outcome is the perfect finishing out of which no material is actually taken from item. Since most airplanes are made of aluminum, they are typically blasted with some sort of plastic. Aluminum will be cleaned without becoming rough or losing substance.

Instead of the airlines themselves, businesses that specialize in this process carry out abrasive blasting (although few of the airline companies have their own subsidiaries or separate departments to do this job). Based on the part’s size, the technique is carried out in either a blasting cabinet or a blasting chamber, regardless of the method or media employed. The two’s names as well as their differences.

Why should you purchase a new jet engine part rather than refurbish it?

Though abrasive blasting may refurbish or give a new life to your used jet engine parts, the nozzle life becomes low and it won’t last for a longer period of time. It is also dangerous and puts your life at risk, if not performed correctly. Small particles can go into a worker’s airways and cause lung conditions like silicosis. Some organic blast media, including corncobs or walnut shells, can give people severe reactions that could result in anaphylactic shock. Care must be taken to avoid exposing your skin to the blasting process because the blast media can be hazardous to exposed skin when accelerated at high rates.

RSE FZE believes that new jet engine parts are the most viable solution for your aircraft as they have been updated with the latest functionalities. We supply the best components of jet engine such as turbine blades and bearings in Dubai and UAE market at the best prices in comparison to our competitors.



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