Accession Number:



The National Shipbuilding Research Program. Reduced Volume of Spent Abrasive in Open Air Blasting

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Shipyards have been blast cleaning ships for more than 50 years. The methodology is still basically the same but numerous improvements have taken place over the years. The purpose of this project is to look at current blast cleaning technology, review what is being done by U. S. shipyards and define a strategy that will not only reduce the amount of abrasive being used for blasting operations but also increase shipyard blast cleaning productivity. At the outset, four shipyards were visited and the blast cleaning operations at each yard reviewed. It became readily apparent at the conclusion of these shipyard visits that all four yards face similar problems in the area of blast cleaning be it new construction or ship repair. The findings from these visits were as follows The major source of over consumption of abrasives is improper adjustment of the valves metering abrasive to the blast nozzle. The use of metering valves on all blast pots and the proper adjustment of these metering valves can reduce abrasive consumption by up to 30 percent. Proper use and matching of air pressure, type of abrasive, hoses, nozzles can increase productivity and therefore reduce abrasive consumption. Vacuum-blasting andor power tool cleaning may offer an abrasive saving alternative in new construction during final erection and cleaning of master butt welds and abrasions. Effective blaster training programs are lacking at most yards. There is a need for an effective blaster training program to instruct blast cleaning personnel on how to be more productive through proper use of equipment, air pressure and abrasive. The major findings noted above formed the basis for the projects initial research program. This program was augmented with the study of abrasive recycling and the study of equipment improvements that would further contribute to reducing abrasive consumption.

Subject Categories:

  • Solvents, Cleaners and Abrasives

Distribution Statement: