Deciding which surface preparation equipment makes the most sense for your business can be a difficult decision, especially if your company has a mix of large and small projects. Large blasting equipment can do both types of jobs, but it becomes a hassle if you need something more portable or if only a small crew is available for a project. At the end of the day, it’s about owning the right machine for the job.
Tim Everhardt, owner of Medic Customs, LLC in Atlanta, GA, uses the EcoQuip EQp to remove paint, chrome and 1/4-inch-thick body filler off car parts. Using only 1/2 to 1 quart per minute of water, the EQp pot (which is 2 cubic feet) holds approximately 4 55-pound bags of media and can blast up to 90 minutes.
The Graco EcoQuip 2 EQp Vapor Abrasive Blasting Machine
For smaller surface preparation jobs, the EcoQuip 2 EQp is easy to take from one place to another on a jobsite. Compared to the larger EcoQuip 2 vapor abrasive blasting system that can handle well beyond 375 cfm and up to 175 psi of blast pressure, this machine can blast up to 150 psi and can handle most of what a 375 cfm compressor delivers. It's also optimized to work well with a 185 cfm compressor and blasts for up to 90 minutes between refills. The price starts at an affordable $11,000.
The EQp at Work
Recently, the EQp was brought to an auto body shop to remove paint, rust, body filler and chrome from metal and fiberglass substrates. The machine was hooked up to a garden hose but can also use an auxiliary tank of water with rust inhibitor to prevent flash rust on metal surfaces. Running off the 375 compressor with 1-inch hose and a #6 nozzle, the EQp quickly removed coatings with little water or media and at only 50 psi of blast pressure.
Blasting a 1965 Chevy C10 door with body filler (left). The body filler was 1/4-inch thick (right).
It took 5.5 minutes to remove all of the body filler from the door with the EQp, using 108 cfm, 50 psi, 1-inch hose and a #6 nozzle with 4070 crushed glass.
The team learned that crushed glass and garnet worked well for giving steel and aluminum substrates a textured profile and that glass bead was able to give aluminum substrates more of a polished finish. Graco offers more information and a free demo of the new equipment at graco.com/EQp.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric Rennerfeldt, Graco Inc.
Eric Rennerfeldt has been with Graco for 19 years and has experience with various fluid handling systems, with an emphasis on plural-component spray equipment for protective coatings and vapor abrasive blast equipment for surface preparation. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
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