FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We Get These ALOT

Below are a few of our frequently asked questions we commonly receive. If you have any additional questions, please reach out and we would be happy to have a conversation.

#1: Does UHP water blasting provide an adequate surface for coatings?

The main factors that influence coating performance are: (1) the presence of rust and mill scale, (2) surface contaminants including salts, dust, oil and chlorides, (3) and the substrate surface profile. UHP water blasting removes all rust, mill scale and contaminants to the point that they are nearly impossible to trace. Unlike abrasive blasting which leaves behind lots of dust, residues and chlorides, which must then be removed from the surface before coating. The UHP water blasted surface is left at a WJ-1 standard degree of surface cleanliness, which is clean to the bare substrate. Studies also show that UHP water blasting enhances the original surface profile implemented into the substrate. Rather than push contaminants deeper into the profile and deteriorate the surface profile like abrasive blasting, UHP water blasting removes all containments from deep in the profile leaving a clean surface optimal for coating longevity.

#2 Isn't UHP water blasting dangerous?

No, it is much safer than other forms of blasting. Due to the safety features built into our UHP equipment, such as dual triggers on hand lances, burst shield on hoses, internal pump “kick outs”, as well as lower body metatarsal protection provided on every job, UHP Water blasting is very safe. Proper training is mandatory prior to anyone using this equipment, which is done “in-house” with our certified trainer. We also have the ability to use our HydroCat Robotics system, which provides a remote solution for areas where conventional blasting would require multiple devices for safe operation. OCHA reports state that UHP water blasting incidents are significantly lower than abrasive blasting.

#3: Why water when abrasive blasting has been around forever?

Several reasons, including environmental, health of employees, and an overall better finished product. UHP water blasting surface preparation provides an ultra-clean, chloride-free surface leaving behind an enhanced original profile. It also removes unwanted material in crevices cleaning deep into the substrate leaving behind a better performing coating application. Conventional blasting is known to leave traces of blast media in the surface with high chloride levels, which leads to poor coating performance.

#4: Isn't the thrust from a UHP Hand Lance too much for one person to handle?

Innovative Surface Prep's 40,000 psi hand lance equipment, using 6 gallons per minute, delivers half the back thrust of a traditional 20,000 psi. water blaster. Because ISP hand lancing is only using 6 gallons per minute rather than 9-12 gallons per minute, we are able to provide a more controlled and safe alternative for UHP hand lancing projects.

#5: Doesn't UHP water blasting cost more than using conventional abrasive services?

When total project cost is compared, UHP Water blasting typically will be much more cost effective. Since water blasting does not create a dust cloud, other trades can continue to work on your project simultaneously during surface prep and coatings operations. This creates a much more efficient use of time and money. The customer will also not have the cost of purchasing, transporting, and disposing of the abrasive product, cleanup equipment (vacuums), support equipment (additional/large air compressors), as well as a reduced amount of manpower used during operations. With the price of garnet and disposal costs continuing to rise, contractors have begun to accept UHP blasting as the better choice in surface preparation.

#6: What happens with the used water, or does it need to be disposed of like abrasives?

Most surface prep jobs require the water to go through a simple filtration process, after which time it can be tested and approved for normal discharge. Innovative Surface Prep even has a proprietary process for treating water after lead based paint removal, called our Aqua-Clean system. Once filtered through this system, many of our customers have been able to approve to the release of used water into the normal waste stream with no disposal other than paint chips after testing. In the event a customer decides to dispose of the water as waste, it will still be a considerably smaller amount of water, as compared to disposal if abrasives were used. Waste volume is typically reduced 25:1, and disposal cost is normally reduced by a factor of 10!

#7: Is ultra high-pressure water blasting the same as pressure washing?

No, UHP water blasting uses 20,000 to 55,000 psi water pressure to achieve its work. Normal pressure washing uses 1,000 to 5,000 psi water pressure. There is a massive difference in the power of the water and the final surface profile.

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