September 20 - September 26, 2010
What is the best way to remove thick film elastomers from floors and ship decks?
Simon Hope of Bilfinger Salamis on
September 24, 2010:
On the whole, UHP, preferably using a deck crawler with a water and debris recovery system, is the best method in these cases, though I suggest that you can also consider the use of the RPR Induction Heating system, as this will disbond the coating at the steel surface without using grit or water, so there is much easier clean- up as well as limited risk to the operator. This has been used very successfully with thick film coatings and is generally less labour-intensive than conventional UHP and dry blast, where you have to attack from the surface and work inwards, which can be inhibited by the nature of an elastomeric coating. Care needs to be taken, however, to ensure excessive heat is not generated and the opposing side of the plate does not become heated.
Obviously, depending on the material being used to replace the existing coating, there may be need for further surface preparation to achieve specified standard.
Surprisingly, the Monti MBX Bristle Blaster works remarkably well for small areas when tested on automotive panel joint sealers and heavy vinyl type underbody stone chip protection
David Grove of Shaw Nuclear Power Services on
September 21, 2010:
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Several methods are available, but each has its own drawback, and since I do not have enough information about the floors, they are not considered in this response.
Since ship decks are exposed to water, I would suggest UHP or ultra high pressure water blasting. This has safety risks to those handling the equipment, but overall, will provide excellent results in removing the coating and other contaminants fairly quickly. I used to have this work done around the clock since weather, generally, had no impact. I have always followed it with dry abrasive blasting to SSPC-SP 10 during the daylight hours; open blasting for tight areas and recycling with steel grit for the open deck. For the recycling equipment, maintaining a level of steel grit is required for producing a surface profile. Just using steel shot will not work for deck coatings. Apply coatings before humidity reduces surface condition.
Also, an induction machine creating heat at the surface of the steel shows promise, but is expensive and production is slow. It will need additional surface preparation for the coatings.
Last, mechanical scarifiers are noisy but have the longest history. Slow production may force additional surface preparation as well.
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