Hobby Machine Cleaning Car Parts

A private client of AKO UK is using a VMP Pinch Valve to control the overflow of an Aqua blast machine which is used to clean engine parts before/after machining and rebuilding. The machine is for hobby use only.

The media passing through the pinch valve on the machine is a mixture of water, glass beads/aluminium oxide blast media, oil, grease, carbon deposits, and general grime from engine parts.

Without the pinch valve control, when the machine is running the media/debris/water comes out the machines overflow without control wasting expensive media. The pinch valve for aqua blast closes the overflow whilst the machine is in operation and has a built in delay function so that once the blasting has completed the blasting media it has time to settle to the bottom of the mixture tank while the oil rises to the surface.

As the valve opens after the delay, the oil exits via the overflow along with any excess water, to a tank that separates the oil/water, then to another tank where the water can be re-used. 

valve for aqua blast
Pinch Valve used within this application: VMP020.03XK.72

VMP model, air operated, black POM plastic body & BSP threaded ends, natural rubber sleeve.

Application Details

The temperature of the media passing through the valve for aqua blast is 0-60°C, depending on if the user is hot/cold washing the parts. The valve is normally open, and performs approx 4 cycles per day for this low level hobby use. The valve uses very minimal air requirements. It requires a 1/4 regulator set to 30 psi on a small 1/4 plastic line.

The Pinch valve for aqua blast is controlled by a 3-2 Normally Closed air solenoid valve. This is switched by the machines main motor and has a delay timer also wired into the circuit to delay the pinch valves re-opening after operation. The user uses a ¼ pressure regulator to regulate the input pressure of the solenoid/valve to 30PSI which works perfectly. 

valve for aqua blast machine
valve for aqua blast machine

User Experience & Satisfaction

The pinch valve prevents media/water/oil exiting the machine during it’s cycle. This particular user has one machine and the valve has been in operation for a few months.

“We originally intended to use a solenoid valve however due to the dirty nature of the water we are passing through it this would destroy the seals in the solenoid valve and would be useless after a couple of uses. A pinch valve is really the only option for our case.

We are very satisfied, it works exactly as we would expect. We initially had problems with the delay function that we needed to implement in our situation, which is operated via a delay timer, however this was nothing to do with the AKO pinch valve.”

AKO Pinch Valves are frequently supplied into this kind of blast cleaning application. See a similar sand blasting application with aluminium oxide grit, operating the valve via a foot pedal.

Experts in Valves for aqua blast machines

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