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Problem Solving Forum

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March 31 - April 4, 2014

What is the best way to remove thick-film elastomers from floors and ship decks?

More items for Surface Preparation


Selected Answers

From Lydia Frenzel of Advisory Council on April 3, 2014:
The best way to remove thick elastomeric coatings is to use ultra-high pressure waterjetting methods, UHP WJ. I sent this answer via email on 2-26/2014, so this must be the second time it was asked. I observed back in 1985 that waterjet cleaning at 20,000 psi could remove thick elastomeric coatings at a production rate up to 6 times faster than traditional abrasive blasting. The advent of UHP WJ methods make what used to be a time-consuming process to remove thick, elastomeric, or abrasive-resistant coatings into an economical solution. Thick elastomeric coatings might serve as abrasive-resistant coatings. After removal of abrasive resistant coatings which have been degraded, for example ice breaker coatings, the substrate should be inspected for profile. Generally, if the coating has failed down to the substrate in spots, then the profile of those exposed areas have been mechanically compromised by further abrasion. If that is the case, then the profile in those areas should be renewed with abrasive blast methods back to the original manufacturer's requirements. Depending upon the coating, waterjet methods can be used to cut through the lining and then lift the coating in sheets or chunks. The operator has to optimize flow – for the hydraulic lifting- and pressure- for the cutting. I have photos/slides of a very thick flue gas scrubber coating that has been degraded, along with the observed removal rates where HP Wj is 6 x faster than conventional dry abrasive. This goes back to 1983, so 20,000 psi was the top limit and this was a slotted slot (fan) compared to conventional dry abrasive blast.

From Warren Brand of Chicago Coatings Group on April 2, 2014:
Yup. UHPWJ.

From jesse chasteen of schriener construction on April 2, 2014:
It would depend on size of area to be cleaned. Needle guns, deck crawlers, grinders, portable centrifugal blast, or uhp waterjetting are all ways to remove thick-film elastomers. Accessibility would be the determining factor.

From David Zuskin of EXCET/US NAVAL RESERACH LAB on April 2, 2014:
The best way is to use ultra high pressure water jetting at 40,000 psi and above using a hand lance. The UHP water slices through the thick film elastomer and can be used to get under the coating and lift it from the substrate.

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Tagged categories: Coating / Film thickness; Elastomeric coatings; Floors; Marine Coatings; Paint and coatings removal


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