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When Size Does Matter: An In-Depth Analysis of Brooklyn Bridge Project Data to Determine the Most Efficient Size of Abrasive Blast Containment Units and the Workforce


By Guerman Vainblat, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. and Timur Kolchinskiy, Hirani Engineering

Presented at SSPC 2014; Session: Coating Failure Investigations; Session chair: Charlie Brown, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc.

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Big containments. Small containments. Wide containments. Narrow containments. What’s the difference, and why should this concern us? Our previous paper, "The Brooklyn Bridge: Repainting the Most Iconic Structure in the World," gave a brief overview of the rehabilitation work being performed on a monumental testament of post-Civil War ingenuity. This paper delved deep into the technical aspects of this project to showcase one of the most important considerations when it comes to recoating any sizeable structure. This consideration is as significant as selecting the right contractor, the right engineer, or the right coating system. It has a great effect on proper cleaning, proper coating application, and proper inspection, and it certainly improves community relations and optimizes project management. In this paper an attempt was made to answer the question: What is the optimal size of an abrasive blast containment?
It is obvious that every structure of significant size, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, is unique and has its own shape, configuration, and even "personality." However, most structures can be contained in somewhat typical containment units. In this paper, the real data collected during the last three years of the Brooklyn Bridge rehabilitation project, which is still ongoing, was compiled and analyzed with one simple goal: to come up with recommendations, and possibly a "magic formula", for managing the size of blast containments and the workforce in order to achieve optimal results, with higher production rates, while delivering a high-quality product to the owner.

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