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  Paint Stripping

Conventional sand blasting (below) is labor intensive and expensive.
The EnvirobotTM system (above) offers a high-tech solution.
Above image courtesy of Chariot Robotics, LLC.


The Problem
The conventional method of grit blasting creates toxic airborne dust during the blasting as well as 40 lb. of toxic waste per square foot cleaned. This endangers shipyard workers and creates an expensive disposal problem. The grit-based method also drives grit into the hull surface where it decreases the adhesive properties of the paint. While single-stream high-pressure water guns are also used, they remove paint very slowly and do nothing to contain toxic marine paint run-off.

The Solution
The EnvirobotTM robotic system uses ultra-high-pressure water jets (55,000 psi) to strip the hull down to bare metal. Multiple nozzles in a spinning head remove coatings in a wide swath, not inch by inch. It can remove coatings at a rate of 500 to 3000 square feet per hour, depending on how many layers of the coating are being removed.

Magnets hold it securely and enable it to roll almost anywhere. All the water used in the stripping is recovered by a powerful vacuum system and recycled. The only residue of the cleaning is the paint itself, which is automatically dumped into containers for proper disposal.

Moreover, the water-based stripping process produces a much cleaner metal surface, which greatly increases the life of the paint applied to the ship. Compared to any form of sand- or grit-blasting, a hydroblasted surface is easily proven to rust less, and to allow paint to adhere better.

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