Garnet Hills Pty Ltd is currently establishing a marketing team in Tucson, Arizona. Tucson offers advantages in having an USAF base as well as an aircraft industry that consistently use garnet for jet-cutting and abrasive blasting. The city also offers a first class rail freight rail distribution facility and has a virtual port to the US Pacific west coast. There appears to be an opportunity for competition in the industrial garnet market in the western USA and in particular with the jet-cutting style fine angular garnet offered by Garnet Hills.
Garnet Hills 80 mesh (~180 µm) crushed hard rock garnet provides an ideal medium for jet-cutting. Comparison of jet-cutting garnet from Garnet Millers Australia (GMA) and Garnet Hills (GH) has shown that the 80 mesh garnet from Garnet Hills represents a consistent and dependable product based on the inherent angular grains making it an ideal medium for jet-cutting (comparative studies by Aqua Jet Pty Ltd – industrial jet-cutting - see photos below).
Jet-cutting of 150 mm - thick aluminium using Garnet Hills’ garnet and GMA (Australia) garnet conducted by Aquajet Pty Ltd in Perth, Western Australia.
Garnet Hills can also provide coarse grade 600 to 800 µm and medium grade 180 to 600 µm abrasive blasting garnet - TEMCO DISTRIBUTORS in Perth, Western Australia confirmed that the Garnet Hills garnet product was suitable for abrasive blasting (15th January 2011), as follows:
Good afternoon Craig I am happy to let you know we carried out some test blasting with the supplied product. The results were favourable but require some further trials. The blasting was carried out on Thursday the 13th of January 2011 at a 95 psi nozzle pressure. The results were as follows:
The 600-180 garnet achieved a 75 micron (µm) profile and cleaned the steel easily to a class 2.5 cleanliness. The overall appearance of the cleaned steel was a matt grey finish rather than the usual whiter appearance from local garnet. We also encountered some impregnation of the garnet into the cleaned surface. We are intending to obtain an independent opinion of the results from a local inspector when we carry out further trials.
The 600 plus Garnet achieved 105 micron profile and cleaned the steel to a class 2 cleanliness using the same amount of blasting as the previous sample. This is due to the coarser grain size not cleaning the smaller pits in the steel. This is common for coarser garnet. The cleaned steel appearance was similar to the first sample with a mat grey finish with slight shadowing.
The dust levels from both blasting samples was acceptable but may be improved with refining of the product process.
In conclusion, further trials will need to be carried out at multiply locations to obtain broader findings. The impregnation may be an issue but if the garnet grain could be less sharp this problem would be remedied. For further tests we will require some size changes to meet different applications. If possible the following sizes would be desired: 700 to 300, 600 to 250, 400 to 200 and 350 to 150.
Paul Fenwick (Manager)
3 Forge Street
Welshpool, WA 6106
Ph: 08 9350 5940
Fax: 08 9350 5941