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ultra high pressure water blasting

Making water work for you.

For some of the toughest industrial and commercial cleaning/stripping projects, a ultra-high pressure (UHP) water jetting system can be used. These units harness the power of water to provide efficient, cost effective surface preparation, without damage to the surface, and with minimal impact on the environment.

Water jetting is best used for the removal of heavy rust, scale, resins, chemical residues, and thick or abrasion resistant coatings – such as chlorinated rubber, coal-tar epoxies, polyurethanes, and glass-flake coatings. A UHP water jet system cuts right through the rust or coating, rapidly dis-bonding it from the surface, and then rinses it away – leaving a totally clean surface.


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What makes up a Ultra High Pressure (UHP) System

The key component in any water jetting system is the high pressure pump. With pumps being used to deliver pressures from 6,000 psi (415 Bar) to 40,000 psi (2800 Bar), and with power ratings up to 1,000 horsepower (735 kW), construction needs to be robust. Models can be electric or diesel powered, and trailer, skid, or container mounted, according to site requirements. Special models are also available for use in hazardous environments.

The UHP pump is connected via special hosing to the tools being used to clean the surface. There are a huge range of tools available to suit a wide variety of applications – including internal pipe & tube cleaning tools, vacuum-attached crawlers, abrasive cutting systems, internal tank cleaning heads, floor & grate cleaners, and remote-controlled robotic cleaning systems.

Another significant component of a UHP Water Jetting System is the Protective Apparel for the equipment operators. This is designed and rated to provide protection for Water Jet operators against a high pressure water stream.

Why use Ultra High Pressure (UHP) for Surface Preparation?

Ultra-High Pressure (UHP) water is now being used for surface preparation in many different applications. UHP water jetting is dustless, minimizes waste by not using any abrasive media, and allows for other operations to continue around the blasting site while blasting is in progress.

Another benefit is that no contaminants are added to the clean surface being produced during blasting. UHP water jetting actually removes soluble salts and other contaminants from the surface during the blast. The UHP stripping process does not create a new surface profile, however it will clean the surface back to the original profile.

With the right configuration of equipment and accessories water jetting systems can be used to remove paints and coatings, wet abrasive blast, strip coatings from floors and grates, cut slag out of drain lines, remove deposits from pipes, clean interiors of tanks, cut steel plates, and scarify or demolish concrete.

Standards for blasting with HP & UHP

A set of four surface preparation standards for water jetting have been jointly produced by The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and NACE International. The highest level standard is SSPC-SP WJ-1/NACE WJ-1, Waterjet Cleaning of Metals – Clean to Bare Substrate.SP WJ-1 contains requirements for cleaning metals to bare substrate using waterjet cleaning, including the required end condition of the surface and procedures and materials necessary to achieve the end condition.

The other three standards in this set are:

  • SSPC-SP WJ-2/NACE WJ-2,
  • SSPC-SP WJ-3/NACE WJ-3,
  • and SSPC-SP WJ-4/NACE WJ-4.
SSPC/NACE also produce a visual guide with reference photographs for steel surfaces prepared by waterjetting – SSPC-VIS 4/NACE VIS 7. This Shows previously coated and uncoated, rusted steel surfaces cleaned to WJ-1, WJ-2, WJ-3, and WJ-4 finishes as defined by the SSPC/NACE standards for waterjetting. Additional photos illustrate degrees of light, moderate, and heavy flash rusting after waterjetting.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT APPROPRIATE TO WATER JETTING

Prior to beginning Water Jet work a hazard identification and risk assessment must be conducted to determine PPE selection. Appropriate PPE must be worn where identified hazards cannot be otherwise pr

Head Protection
Where required, suitable head protection complying with the relevant local standard shall be worn.
Eye and Face Protection

Face and Eye protection complying with the relevant local standards must be worn at all times when in the vicinity of and when conducting water jetting operations. Consideration will need to be given to the additional potential risk from chemicals that may be present as a result of the cleaning operation.

Hearing Protection

Suitable hearing protection complying with the relevant local authority must be worn whenever the noise levels exceed regulatory levels.

Respiratory Protection

Suitable and adequate respiratory protection complying with the relevant local standard shall be worn where there is an assessed risk of injury that can be prevented by the wearing of such equipment.

Body Protection

All workers must wear suitable industrial clothing. Additionally, the water jet operator should wear suitable water proof clothing complying with the relevant local standard. Where the hazard identification and risk assessment determines, suitable body armor manufactured from materials capable of withstanding the direct force of the water jet must be worn. Where a chemical hazard exists, appropriate protective suits, complying with the relevant local standard, should be worn.

Hand Protection

Suitable and adequate hand protection complying with the relevant local standard shall be worn where there is an assessed risk of injury that can be prevented by the wearing of such equipment.

Foot and Lower Leg Protection

All workers must wear appropriate footwear complying with the relevant local standard. Where there is a risk of foot or leg injury from the water jet, foot and lower leg protection manufactured from materials capable of withstanding the direct force of the water jet must be worn.