An oil platform off the north west shelf is among structures on which a 10 inch captive shotblaster from Kennards Concrete Care in Perth has proved its use.

While often used to remove old coatings and overlays from concrete in factories and warehouses, the 415v shotblaster is equally as effective on steel.

The blastwheel propels shot at high velocity on to a surface. The shot rebounds into the machine and, mid cycle, the dust and debris is removed via a large dust collector vacuum system.

Temco Distributors, a West Australian firm which supplies equipment and abrasives to the abrasive blast cleaning industry, has hired the machine several times for use on oil and gas platforms.

“We used to sell and hire this machine ourselves, but our core business is open sand blasting, so out of convenience we started using Kennards Concrete Care when we needed this unit,” Paul Fenwick, Manager of Temco, said.

“In certain situations, it is more economical than both abrasive blasting and grinding.”

Paul said Temco organised the shotblaster for a company which was preparing an oil platform for repainting. “The substrate consisted of both badly deteriorated epoxy coating and sound coatings due for renewal,” he said.

“A steel shot and grit mixture (approximately 85% shot and 15% grit) was used to assist with the removal of the coating and to leave a profile suitable for application of the new coating.

“The nature of open abrasive blasting proved to be very disruptive to day to day operations of the rig. The noise, dust and abrasive meant areas of the platform would need to be isolated to all but the blaster/coater(s). Use of the Blastrac 1-10D shotblaster minimised disruption, increased productivity and allowed for most day to day operations to continue.

“Similar equipment has also been used to remove an existing coating and prepare the flight decks of visiting U.S. aircraft carriers and support vessels for a new coating.”