The project’s scope of work was to abate lead paint and asbestos containing material (ACM) on the shell of a 150’ diameter x 48’ tall storage tank for a major oil refiner in the Midwest.
The tank had been insulated with spray on foam that had already been removed by the coatings contractor, leaving an asbestos filled mastic and lead based paint on the surface. Initial efforts by the coatings contractor to abate the tank included hand scraping the heavier mastic off the surface, then removing the remaining mastic with a chemical remover. After the asbestos was abated, the surface was wet blasted with abrasive to remove the lead paint. This process was followed on the bottom ring of the tank and took several days, plus the days to protect the ground beforehand and clean up after. In addition, the hazardous abrasive waste added to the list of items for disposal.
After consulting with refinery management, the coatings contractor decided to employ Innovative Surface Prep (ISP) to deploy their SMARTBOT Robotic System, which includes a remote-operated robotic waterjetting crawler, to complete the project. The SMARTBOT attaches to the tank surface utilizing our vacuum system and then a UHP pump delivers ultra-high-pressure water to clean the surface, known as UHP waterjetting. Utilizing ISP’s patent pending process, this project included equipment such as a UHP pump, water maker, SMARTBOT robotic crawler, vacuum system, de-watering bin and various filter systems to clean the surface. The SMARTBOT Robotic System abated both the lead and ACM simultaneously.