Maintaining equipment and repainting protective coatings is getting greener.
Traditionally operators had to resort to using blast media to remove paint and anti-corrosion products during equipment cleaning.
During these maintenance activities not only were workers potentially put at risk of injury during blasting, there was also an increased environmental impact as blast media often ended up in waterways and the surround environment due to traditional blasting creating a large number of small hazardous particles.
Not to mention the damage that improper abrasive blasting may cause to machinery or equipment.
Now increasing pressure on the industry to minimise its environmental impacts caused by maintenance activities has seen the development of new paint and coatings removal technology.
Led by the Queensland Government organisation Roadtec, the new RPR machinery removes paint and coatings without using blast media.
First used by Roadtec to remove lead paint from the Burdekin Bridge, the technology works through a process of magnetic induction.
This induction heats the steel beneath the coating to the point where paint and coatings begin blister, after which they can easily be scrapped off into a suitable container for safe disposal, reducing the environmental impact and creating a cleaner, safer worksite.
The advantage RPR has over traditional sand and media blasting is that there is no potentially hazardous airborne or water waste, is safer for operators as it is silent and only minimal safety equipment is required, and is faster, particularly when removing thick difficult coatings and has been measured as being between five to 20 times faster.
It is distributed in Australia through Australian Coating Removal.