Wire and Cable Wet Blasting

We’re leading the way in wire and cable finishing with our unique in-line Profelis wet blasting machine

The Vapormatt Profelis automatic wet blasting machine

Designed for wire and cable

Our Profelis wet blasting machine (or vapor blasting machine) is specifically designed for surface finishing wires, cables, round bars and other types of continuous products like bandsaw blades.

At the heart of the Profelis is a specially designed blast gun manifold. Four powerful blast guns are located at 90 degree angles to give complete 360 degree finishing.

This highly effective configuration of blast guns in the manifold can be boosted further by specifying eight blast guns located at 45 degree angles for maximum productivity.

In-line production

The Profelis is designed to work in-line with existing manufacturing lines, which further improves productivity – especially compared with pickling and dry blast finishing operations that are usually off-line from the main production line.

Rinsing and drying is included within the Profelis to ensure all blast media is removed from the wire or cable and then rapidly dried to help prevent oxidation and prepare the wire or cable for the next production process. If needed, inhibitors can be added to the blast slurry as an additional step to prevent oxidation.

Blast manifold of the Profelis automatic wet blasting machine

The benefits of wet or vapor blasting different types of wire and cable products

All sorts of wire and cable products benefit from having a wet blasted (or vapor blasted) finish including:

Overhead power cable – Essential for transmitting power over vast distances, overhead power cable needs to transmit electricity as efficiently as possible to help reduce running costs.

As well as thoroughly cleaning the cable, removing all contaminants, wet blasting (or vapor blasting to give it its other name) overhead cable creates a non-specular finish.

A non-specular finish gives the cable higher emissivity (approx. 0.8) compared to the specular finish of an untreated cable (approx. 0.5)

Higher emissivity leads to more heat being emitted at the same air temperature. So, a cable with higher emissivity, in the same environmental conditions, with the same structure and current range, operates at lower temperatures as it can more easily emit excess heat.

And a power cable operating at a lower temperature typically has a greater ampacity compared to a cable operating at a higher temperature. Hence power cables with a non-specular finish are more efficient at carrying electricity compared with unfinished cables with a specular finish.

An increase in current carrying capacity of around 5% can be achieved due to the increase in surface emissivity.

Overhead power cables with a non-specular finish have the additional advantage of reduced visual impact, thanks to their matt appearance compared to shiny unfinished cable, in fact, a non-specular finish is a pre-requisite for overhead power cable on US Federal land.

Aluminium feeder wire – Aluminium wire is highly versatile thanks to its light weight, relatively low cost, durability, conductivity, and recyclability. No matter what the application, high quality aluminium wire needs to be clean and free from imperfections.

Wet blasting cleans the surface removing all imperfections and oxides, leaving the feeder wire perfectly clean for extrusion.

Copper feeder wire - Typically used for electrical or telecommunications applications, copper wire needs to be highly clean for maximum conductivity, corrosion resistance and strength.

Wet blasting leaves copper wire very clean, again preventing imperfections and oxidisation being drawn into the extrusion process.

Steel wire – With a wide range of applications in the construction, manufacturing, packaging, agriculture and many other industries, clean steel wire is a better conductor, more resistant to corrosion, stronger and safer.

Wet blasting entirely removes graphite from steel wire leaving it clean for forming, machining and heat treatment. Heat scale is also removed.

Carding wire – Used in carding machines, carding wire is used to clean, align and mix textile fibres. It can also be used in other industries for example, during the production of filters, gaskets, and other components. Clean carding wire can help improve the quality of yarns, prevent the spread of contamination and extend the life of carding machines.

Wet or vapor blasting removes all heat treatment discolouration and burrs from carding wire whilst carding teeth are precisely honed for additional durability. Heat scale and grease is also removed.

bandsaw blades

Submarine communication cable - Used to transmit vast amounts of information for thousands of miles, submarine communication cable features layers of tough outer protection to ensure continued uninterrupted transmission.

Wet blasting produces a highly clean, reactive surface on the cable’s surface that is essential for reliable bonding with outer sheath layers. Wet blasting is also free from any blast media embedment issues that might otherwise affect the cable’s performance.

The right finish every time

Wet or vapor blasting has more controllable variables than any other type of surface finishing. For a full list of all the variables visit our control and automation page. Such a comprehensive range of controllable variables allows users to achieve exactly the right finish for their wire or cable product.

Automation then delivers that desired finish every time via the touch of a button on the Profelis’ simple to use colour HMI.

Wire and cable finishing perfected with our unique in-line automatic system

Environmentally friendly

Wet blasting is significantly more environmentally friendly than other finishing processes commonly used for finishing wire and cable products.

Pickling operations typically use strong acids or alkalines to clean wire. In addition to the environmental impact of using chemicals like these, they can be difficult and expensive to dispose of. It's also a finishing process that typically uses more water than wet blasting too, despite water being a key constituent of the wet blasting process.

Dry blasting results in airborne particles that can be a health hazard to operators and an explosion risk. Wet blasting traps dust and debris, eliminating hazards whilst keeping the finishing process in-line with existing production.

Introducing our new patented micro-gun technology

Our new micro gun technology is especially efficient when it comes to the use of compressed air, frequently the costliest component of the wet blasting process. So efficient in fact, that we’ve patented the technology.

Another benefit is that micro guns can run together with a common slurry feed, so multiple lines of wire can be processed at the same time for maximum efficiency and productivity.

Find out more about this new technology in our white paper below or by contacting us.

In conclusion...

Highly controllable and automated to provide precisely the finish required every time and with complete in-line 360 degree environmentally friendly finishing, the Profelis wet blasting machine represents a major step forward in the finishing of wire and cable products.

Contact us to find out how we can help clean you finish your wire and cable products to your exact requirements.

Wire and cable brochure, white paper and case study

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