WeTeamUp Terms: “Air Blast”


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What’s “Air Blast”?

An air blast is a device that delivers a stream of high-pressure air to the tip of the milling tool while it is cutting. They are widely employed in both industrial and dental grade CNC machines. The purpose of an air blast is to remove debris from the milling tool while it is cutting. It’s very important to move debris away from the tool because it prevents re-cutting of material. A properly set up air blast is essential for efficient milling all dry dental materials.


Interesting Details about “Air Blast”

  • Why is it important?

Milling inherently creates waste debris and it needs to be removed effectively. As a milling tool cuts and creates this waste, it is possible for the waste to stay in the cutting area. If this happens, the material will be re-cut. Re-cutting material creates extra heat, abrasion, and load on the tool. The use of an air blast assures that this effect is minimized.

  • Improper setup can cause problems:

Issues with air blasts are a leading cause of pre-mature chipping and/or tool failure. If your air is not aimed or pressurized correctly, it won’t work. Your milling machine will still operate, but the extra heat and abrasion is hard on the tool. Without air, the tool is essentially scrubbing its way through the material. This can reduce the life of your tooling and cause non-ideal milling results. If you’re getting margin chipping or your tools aren’t lasting, make sure to check that your air is at the correct pressure and properly aimed.

  • They affect milling temperature.

To a minor degree, air blasts also serve to regulate the temperature of the milling tool as it is working. The cool, dry air removes heat directly from the tool through contact, and indirectly removes heat by evacuating waste material effectively.

  • The source matters:

The compressed air you feed your milling machine needs to be very clean and dry. Untreated compressed air contains moisture, oils, and particulates. These contaminates can cause adverse effects if they contact your restorations and can also contribute to pre-mature spindle wear. If your air is wet, it can cause certain materials to cake on the milling tool – which also reduces tool life. The investment in good air filtration and drying is certainly well worth it.


Thanks for reading! We hope this break down of the term “Air Blast” has been of value. Stay tuned next week for another post like this!


 Check out the growing list of WeTeamUp Terms posts HERE


Published by

Nick Alonge

Over 20 years of dental experience, specializing in digital training, workflows, and consultation. I'm happy to offer knowledge back to the industry.