“What is a Bead Blaster?” “Do I need a Bead Blaster?” We often hear these two questions – or variations on the theme – when working with customers purchasing our Atlas Tire Changers.
A tire changer’s bead blaster system delivers a large volume of high pressure air into the interior cavity of a tubeless tire in order to help seat the “beads” of the tire to the wheel assembly. Many such tires have exceptionally stiff sidewalls and the beads of these tires will not properly seat simply by inflating via the valve stem.
All tire changer bead blaster systems operate in the same basic way, but the Atlas tire changers utilize a special internal hose and oversized tank system that delivers up to 50% more volume and pressure than most other bead blaster systems.
Compressed air is stored in the external tank until that air is needed for the bead blaster. The delivery of the air is controlled by a foot pedal on the machine. When the pedal is partially depressed, the air flows into the tire through the hose attached to the valve stem. When the pedal is fully depressed, a large volume of air is forced into the interior cavity of the tire through holes located on the turntable’s slide mechanism. This blast of air occurs while additional air is being introduced through the valve stem inflation hose. The combination of the valve stem air supply and the compressed air from the bead blaster is usually enough to seat the beads of even the most stubborn tires.
The “blast” of compressed air applies pressure to the top sidewall, temporarily seating the top bead of the tire to the rim. The large volume of compressed air is then directed toward the bottom sidewall and the lower bead of the rim. This process takes less than one second in most car and light truck cars. The continual flow of the air through the valve stem maintains the pressure against both beads; forcing them to seat permanently and allowing the tire to be inflated to the correct pressure.