What is wet blasting?

Wet blasting is the use of an abrasive media and compressed air to achieve a desired finish on a chosen surface.

Unlike dry blasting, wet blasting (or Vapormatting) uses a third element – liquid – to enhance the levels of surface finish that can be achieved. The benefit of including water is a much smoother and more consistent finish.

Wet blasting was developed by Norman Ashworth in the early fifties; the introduction of water was originally as a response to the banning of silica in sand blasting, although the benefits of wet blasting far outweighed that of its predecessor.

By lubricating the abrasive particles in a buffer of water, Norman found that there was more of an even flow across the surface when using wet blasting systems. This is advantageous as it cause less damage to the substrate and any abrasive action is consistent across the whole surface.

In understanding this, companies can have much greater control over their surface finishing and this is something that Vapormatt prides themselves on when it comes to wet blast systems design. We are world leading when it comes to the level of control users can achieve with our machinery.

A range of abrasive media’s can also be used in a Vapormatt wet blasting system and this is determined by the type of effect or finish that is required. Typically users will opt for a silicon glass bead for a “polished” finish or an aluminum oxide to achieve a “cutting” effect that leaves a matt finish. However, various “special” abrasive medias such as ceramic, plastics and stainless steel shot can also be used on particular applications.

Despite a wide range of applications, Vapormatt have chosen to build upon their technological advantage and opt to primarily serve those industries needing a very high quality of wet blasting that gives a very accurate surface finish. This allows us to work closely with high tech industries to constantly improve our processes.

Some of the various parameters that we look to control include:

  • Air pressure
  • Volume of air
  • Slurry pressure
  • Water temperature
  • Water pH
  • Water conductivity
  • Filtration
  • Rinsing
  • Drying
  • Gun angle
  • Gun range
  • Media concentration
  • Process speed


When combined, these parameters make for one of the most controlled wet blasting processes available.

A full list of the Vapormatt wet blasting applications and wet blasting machines can be found on the website. Alternatively, speak to our Business Development Engineers for more information.