Report of a feasibility study of automated abrasive blasting equipment for use on steel structures.
Echt-AS; Dunn-KH; Mickelsen-RL
NIOSH 2000 Feb; :1-9
This is the report of a project to determine the feasibility of using automated paint-removal technology on steel structures (ships, bridges, storage tanks, etc.). The major goal of the project was to determine the current status of the technology. This involved determining the number of prototypes currently available, the development stage of each prototype, and determining on which steel structures each prototype can be used. Observation of prototype systems in operation was a critical component of this project. Nine prototype automated abrasive blasting devices were identified. Five site visits were conducted where observational data were collected. Devices were boom-mounted, suspended by cables, or self-propelled while held against the surface with a vacuum. Abrasive media varied from high-pressure water to silica sand. Availability ranged from developmental designs in university laboratories to marketed systems. Many of these prototypes will reduce employee exposures to lead (and silica), although determining the extent of the exposure reduction awaits more in-depth study. More capital investment must be made into these emerging technologies to bring them into full scale production and use, so that their potential for reducing employee exposures can be realized. Since the end of the data collection phase of this study in September 1997, several new automated abrasive blasting systems have entered the market. These are not included in this report.
Region-10; Region-9; Region-3; Region-4; Region-5; Region-6; Abrasive-blasting; Abrasives; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Automation; Robotics; Painting
Field Studies; Control Technology
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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