Sponge Media™ abrasives are currently being used to help the U.S. Military keep their amphibious hovercraft in fighting shape. These vehicles are known for their versatility, facing deployment in different climates all over the world. Naval hovercraft vessels have coatings that must hold up in environments ranging from the arid desert to the freezing arctic. To prevent corrosion from damaging these costly vehicles, surface preparation must be perfect.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, one contractor is making Sponge-Jet a key part of their repair service platform. As part of the U.S. Navy’s service life extension program, this facility repairs 20 meter (67ft) aluminum amphibious vehicles. In addition to mechanical and operational maintenance, amphibious vehicles are abrasive blasted with Sponge Media before they are recoated. The specialized coating system requires a 50micron (2mill) profile, making Sponge-Jet Silver 80 Sponge Media ideal for use. Sponge-Jet Gulf Coast distributor, Cleancut LLC supplied equipment and abrasive media, provided training to the repair team, and assisted with quality control.
Abrasive Blasting is conducted in a large workshop where dust generation is of great concern. With sensitive equipment nearby, dust suppression during the abrasive blasting process is essential.
Dust suppression is especially beneficial in confined spaces, like the cabins, under the hull, and around sensitive equipment throughout the vessel. The enhanced visibility of low dust blasting is critical to achieving consistent, high-quality surface preparation.
Sponge-Jet helped save this contractor time and money versus alternative sandblasting methods. If the contractor had used ordinary abrasives, they would have had to disassemble and move the cabins outside their regular work area to be blasted. Previously, the cabins had to be deconstructed and laid flat to be blasted because the visibility was so poor within the confined cabin space.
The Contractor’s disposal cost for Sponge Media is less expensive than what it would be for ordinary abrasives. Due to Sponge Media’s recyclability, the weight and volume of abrasives being disposed is substantially less. No special disposal methods are needed for this application, as spent abrasives are added to the contractor’s normal waste stream.