FLASHJET® Coating Removal Process
FLASHJET® system is a pulsed optical energy decoating process.
It uses a combination of heat generated by a high-intensity pulsed xenon
light and abrasion from a blast medium of carbon dioxide pellets. The paint
is in effect shattered, and the residual particles are vacuumed and placed
in a storage container.
Traditionally, coating removal activities were performed using chemical or dry abrasive techniques. Due to the use of toxic solvents, the generation of large amounts of solid waste, and the environmental, health, and safety concerns associated with these conventional processes, alternative coating processes are being investigated. One such alternative is the FLASHJET® system.
process is a fully automated process that uses manipulator robotic assembly
to strip the coatings from large and small components. The stripper head
contains a xenon flashlamp that produces pulsed light energy to break
the molecular bonds of the coating. Upon the breaking of the molecular
bonds, the coating is changed into a near gaseous state through a process
known as "ablation." Simultaneously, as the coating is being
broken up and the ablation process is occurring, a dry ice pellet stream
is sweeping away the residue while cooling and cleaning the surface. The
paint that is removed is vacuumed away by an effluent capture system,
which consists of high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and activated
charcoal. The effluent capture system separates the ash from the organic
vapors by processing the ash through HEPA filters and the organic vapor
through the activated charcoal. The only wastes produced by this process
are the spent HEPA filters, which are tested for hazardous waste and disposed
Use of the FLASHJET® can decrease the amount of hazardous waste generated at a facility. The decrease in hazardous waste helps facilities meet the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) waste minimization requirements applicable to generators of hazardous waste, found at 40 CFR 262. Lower levels of hazardous waste generation may also help facilities reduce their generator status and lessen the number of applicable regulatory requirements, such as those covering recordkeeping, reporting, inspections, transportation, accumulation time, emergency prevention and preparedness, and emergency response.
In addition to hazardous waste reduction, the FLASHJET® generates no airborne contaminants. The elimination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that are associated with traditional solvent-based stripping techniques may allow a facility to avoid regulation under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) (40 CFR 63). A facility utilizing FLASHJET® may also be able to avoid related air pollution regulations at the federal, state, and local levels, including requirements under the Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit Program (40 CFR 70 and 71). .
Furthermore, use of the FLASHJET® may reduce a facility's SARA Title III reporting requirements (40 CFR 355, 370, and 372; and EO 13148) and reduce the potential for a release of hazardous substances in reportable quantities (40 CFR 110 and 302).
The Compliance Benefits listed here are only meant to be used as a general guideline and are not meant to be strictly interpreted. Actual Compliance Benefits will vary depending on the factors involved, e.g., the amount of workload involved.
No materials compatibility issues were identified.
|Safety and Health:||
Caution must be exercised with the equipment, as high voltages from the xenon lamp are a potential danger.
Since the process is used to remove potentially hazardous materials, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn and other safety practices must be employed. The required PPE includes an ultraviolet (UV) curtain, UV goggles, and ear protection.
Consult your local industrial health specialist and your local health and safety personnel prior to implementing this technology.
following cost elements compare the use of a FLASHJET® process
to a plastic media blasting (PMB). Process variables were provided by the
manufacturer (The Boeing Company) and Warner-Robins Air Force Air Logistics
Center, or were estimated based on production specifications or published
data, data from similar analyses, and best engineering judgement.
Table 1. Annual Operating Costs for De-Painting Technologies
|Capital Cost:|| The
capital cost to install a FLASHJET® system is $3,271,000. This
cost includes equipment, installation, permit exemption, setup, and training.
|Operational Cost:|| Annual
operating costs for the FLASHJET® system were estimated at $400,734,
compared to $1,242,610 for a PMB system.
|Payback Period:|| The
calculated payback period for replacing a PMB process with a FLASHJET®
system: 5.17 years, using a 15-year analysis and 10% discount rate.
To implement a FLASHJET® system instead of a PMB process at a facility currently without a de-painting process: 0.95 years, using a 15-year analysis and 10% discount rate.
|Annual Savings:|| The
calculated annual savings is $841,876.
A summary of the financial implications for two scenarios is provided in Table 2. The first results column addresses replacing a PMB process with a FLASHJET® system. The next two columns compare the economic impact associated with installing a coating system at a facility that currently does not operate a de-painting process. Based on the findings, the FLASHJET® system is more economical. The 15-year NPV and IRR, as well as the payback period are also listed in Table 1.
Table 2: Financial Implications of Using a FLASHJETâ System Vs. a PMB System
Approval is controlled locally, and the technology should be implemented only after engineering approval has been granted. Major claimant approval is not required.
|Points of Contact:||
Milissa A.B. Pavlik
The Boeing Corporation
Boeing is the manufacturer of the FLASHJET® system.
Concurrent Technologies Corporation. Tri-Service Demonstration and Validation of the FLASHJET® Process for Military Applications. CH-53 Off-Aircraft Component Economic Analysis. September 17, 1999.
|Supplement(s) to the Data Sheet:||
Schematic/photo of the FLASHJET® system.