Blast Room and Paint Booth for Rail Group

Airblast AFC has just completed work on a $1.4 million project for a large rail group which repairs, sells, manages, and leases a fleet of almost 23,000 various types of railcars and locomotives.


Airblast AFC is a joint venture between Airblast Ltd and AFC Finishing Systems (AFC) who has been manufacturing paint spray booths, air make-up units, powder coating equipment and related equipment throughout North America since 1967.

The new facility includes a blast room, paint booth and drying booth for the maintenance of the railcars. The three booths are all approximately the same size at 25ft wide by 90ft long allowing plenty of space for the larger railcars. The new facility features four blast machines which allow up to four operators to work on a job and personnel lifts to ensure the safety and comfort of the workers.

But without a doubt the most exciting feature of this installation is its innovative Airflex Recovery Floor for the automatic recovery of abrasive materials throughout blast rooms. The Airflex Floor is made of modular “flexible” scraper corridors of six standard widths that can be produced to practically any length, giving enormous flexibility to recover from virtually any floor area. Unlike many other abrasive recovery systems where civil engineering costs and/or power consumption often dictate only partial floor coverage, the Airflex Recovery Floor utilizes 100 per cent of the floor space meaning that operators do not have to waste any time manually recovering abrasive.

The system, regularly deployed at existing factory floor level when a short step into the booth is acceptable, requires less than 6” deep ground works to achieve a full recovery floor flush to the existing factory floor. Its other great advantage is minimal power consumption; in this case the entire floor measuring 25ft wide x 90ft long with four blasters working at up to 150psi ran on only 12hp.

The project began in February 2013 amid freezing temperatures and heavy snow fall. The Airblast AFC team began work on the booths, even though it meant working outside in sub-zero temperatures, and the project was completed within 11 weeks. With the success of this project, Airblast AFC has high hopes that they will be able to provide more services for the rail industry in the future.

To find out how Airblast AFC could fulfil all your blasting and painting needs, give us a call at (800) 331-7744.