Bridges & Steel Construction

Until the 1980s paints used in most steel infrastructures contained red lead, and in some occasions asbestos. Periodical inspection and maintenance of these public infrastructures is an expensive undertaking due to the associated environmental and employee health and safety issues.

Steel Public Infra maintenance consists of rust/paint stripping and re-coating. An effective and efficient method of large scale paint stripping is grit-blasting, and herein lies the critical problem. Grit-blasting is extremely labour intensive and hazardous and it is the most expensive operation needed during steel bridge maintenance. Workers spend not only long periods of time handling forces of 100N and above, but also take precautions to avoid exposure to the dust containing hazardous chemicals.

Furthermore, grit-blasting methods also create environment problems. For example, the blasting turns the toxic coating into a fine, airborne dust which workers may inhale and which pollute the surrounding environment. With the full extent of the toxicity and long-term health damage caused by lead/asbestos, or chromate 6 containing coating, the public maintenance operations must be completely enclosed in order to avoid contaminating the environment and to avoid potential risks to the general public’s health. Thus, the choice for MontiPower®’s solutions including battery-driven dust-control will aid with a significant health, safety and economic impact.

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