Foot Operated Blast Valve
Foot operated blast valves control the machines ON-OFF blast cycle and allow the operator maximum gun mobility inside the blast cabinet. Because the ON-OFF control valve is located outside the cabinet it can be operated with the operator’s foot and the control valve is not exposed to the abrasive media. This is important when operating smaller cabinets. Foot controlled blast also creates a smaller more compact blast gun size that makes directional movement of the gun inside the cabinet easier.
Trigger controlled guns are larger and harder to use because of the entry angle of the hoses. Just when you need the smallest gun size possible the larger trigger gun model is installed for reduced cost.
Why do other companies use the Trigger Gun for blast control?
Trigger Guns are less expensive to purchase and require no installation of additional hoses, fittings, pedals and on-off valves used to control the cycle. Often Trigger Guns have a handle that requires more space to operate. Siphon machines require an air hose and an abrasive hose for gun operation. Because the hoses have a minimum hose arc, the Trigger Gun Assembly requires more room to operate than smaller gun bodies using external foot operated control valves.
Trigger guns are cheaper to purchase, take less time to install and require no additional parts for machine blast control. They are harder to use, include internal control valves that are subject to the abrasive and abrasive jamming and they are less maneuverable inside any cabinet size. Most do not include replaceable parts or upgraded nozzles making total gun replacement necessary when parts are required.
Nozzle materials are critical to the elimination and reduction of nozzle wear created by most abrasives.
The following list shows the different nozzle materials used with any blasting gun assembly.
The poorest quality nozzle material is listed number one.
- Hardened Steel
- Tungsten Carbide
- Boron Carbide
Steel, ceramic and tungsten carbide nozzles should only be used with non-cutting abrasives such as walnut shells ... plastic ... and glass beads. Cutting abrasives require the toughest nozzle construction or Boron Carbide material. Other quality materials can be used in place of Boron Carbide for cutting abrasives such as Rocktek or Cerbide produced as Trade names.
In summary, if you ask the question “Why Foot Operated Blast Valve” you might want to really ask “Why Trigger Gun” and see what you get for an answer.
Machines with Foot Operated Blast Valve controls are easier to use, have better replacement parts supplies, use no internal valves that jam with abrasive and are smaller in size creating a better smaller gun size package. They do cost more and require increased assembly time but they are worth the extra cost and if you need parts you can purchase with total gun replacement.
Most trigger guns are not manufactured in the USA by the machine manufacturer.