Oliver Hunt, Sales & Operations Manager for Corroless Eastern explains how the company got involved with ultra-high pressure water jetting

We had previously used hired in ultra-high pressure water jetting equipment for surface preparation to remove heavy laminate corrosion and thick film coatings. We were pricing two large contracts using ultra high pressure water jetting equipment, and the cost of the hire meant that the purchase of our own equipment was viable.

After researching the cost of new equipment, we searched online for a second hand unit, and were fortunate to find a used Hughes Ultrabar 24 unit for sale with only 100 hours running time.

This was less than 50% of the cost of a new unit, so proved a good find. The unit was also already lorry mounted, which was an added bonus.

The first two projects that had allowed us to purchase the jetting unit were ideal for surface preparation by ultra-high pressure water jetting.

One project involved the removal of thick laminate corrosion inside a food factory, where dust produced from other forms of surface preparation, such as abrasive blasting, would not have been acceptable.
The second project involved the removal of lead containing paints from the externals of an aircraft hangar. The use of ultra-high pressure water jetting reduced the contaminated waste streams generated from site, as the lead
containing paint flakes were contained in a filtration system and disposed of as hazardous waste. By contrast, preparation by abrasive blasting would have created hazardous dust, requiring significant encapsulation and created several tons of hazardous waste.

Since these two projects, we have continue  to use the equipment to remove thick film coatings and heavy corrosion. It is not suitable for all projects due to the water flows and length of jetting lance, which can be awkward in tight working spaces. However, when there is heavy laminate corrosion to remove nothing else comes close.

Despite manufacturer training on running the equipment, it took us some time to fully understand and troubleshoot our jetting unit. They are precision machines running at extreme pressures, and as such require regular maintenance. Being based in East Anglia, the hardness of the water significantly increases wear
and tear on the finely machined components.

One of the best investments we made was the purchase of a Hammelmann jetting gun. The trigger mechanism operates on a pivot that significantly reduces the fatigue on the operator’s hand, improving efficiency and safety.

The Moerdijk Bridge which crosses over the Hollands Diep (an estuary of the Rhine and Meuse rivers) is one of the most important rail connections between the harbours of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The elastic material
in which the track bed is embedded was continually breaking up, which was causing fractures in the track connections, reducing the speeds trains were able to cross. It was for this reason that the company managing the bridge, Strukton Rail, decided to renovate the track system at short notice in the summer of 2017, and awarded the contract to track construction specialists edilon)(sedra contracting. One of the major challenges facing the
company during the project was the removal of excess materials comprised of Corkelast, epoxy and adhesive from the track grooves once the tracks themselves had been removed. Since edilon)(sedra contracting had already worked with falch and had been pleased with the results, the work was assigned to the Service Groep.

Among the major challenges was that none of the cleaning water could be allowed to enter the waterways, the angular shape of the track grooves, and the short time frame consisting of two 48-hour periods. The work was carried out using four 2500 bar systems that were each connected to hydraulically operated nozzle
cross joints. Service Groep incorporated these power drive systems into a specially designed track trolley that simultaneously sucked up cleaning water, allowing both track grooves to be sprayed at the same time.

Hydroblast is always looking for new and improved ways to improve the service to its clients. This involves investing in the latest water jetting technology, including innovative new equipment, such as the Aqua Spine and
the Rotolance.

Recently, it made the decision to purchase a reliable new machine that could help the company to reduce our impact on the environment, meet its ISO 14001 goal and improve its operations. However, when it considered what machine to buy, the company found that many were excessively heavy to tow or they were too low to the ground. They also didn’t include AdBlue or internal bunding systems, and also consumed enormous amounts of fuel.

The all new Ultra High Pressure Water Jetting Trailer provided the solution, and Hydroblast claims it is the first of its kind in the UK. It is very powerful, and it can achieve up to 3000 bar pressure and 30 litres per minute.

The machine is light and easy to transport, featuring a four-wheeled, road-going trailer. It is incredibly quiet due to its sound-damping bodywork and fully-enclosed design. The trailer features a bunded bottom tray, meaning that no drip mats are necessary. It is also equipped with an onboard computer, which can monitor and record activity and offer remote telemetry from the office to the machine. This means the company can be more aware of its engine and pump, as well as the operatives’ activity during projects.