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Water Jet

Surface preparation by ultra-high waterjets uses pure water at 40,000psi. No inhibitors or abrasives are added to remove previously applied coatings. The pump creates the pressure and the water passes through hoses and out a handheld jetlance. This jetlance is available with multiple nozzles and barrel lengths. Various types of coatings require different flow rates and pressures for removal. The pressure is regulated by the pump and the flow rate is determined by the size of the tips in the nozzles.

Waterblasting, as the process is sometimes called in the field, provides distinct advantages over other methods of surface preparations. Environmental pressures are reduced because no dust is created by the waterjetting process and is therefore easier to contain. There is less residual risk to the owner operators because the contaminants do not become airborne and the blasters are not subjected to lung injuries such as silicosis. Water really excels around sensitive equipment and large intakes where grit could get into moving parts, shut in a compressor or turbine, and projects where large amounts of abrasives must be collected and disposed of on a project. Waterblasted surfaces also are cleaner and the residual chlorides are removed which results in higher adhesion of the coating and longer coating life.

Lead based paint projects are great waterjet applications because of the elimination of airborne dust and ease of containment. The volume of waste if reduced since the lead will not mix with the water allowing the operators the option of filtering the lead paint chips and other contaminants. The residual water can then be treated in most sewer treatment facilities after this filtration.

Utilities Required on Jobsite:
  • The pump requires potable water. The cleaner the water the better. Inlet pressure needs to be at least 60psi @10gpm.
  • Compressed air is required for the operation of the jetlances. The jetlance requires 90psi @ 32cfm.
  • The pump will consume about 10gph operating at 2100rpm.

Personnel Requirements:

A typical waterjet project requires three to five workers per pump. One worker should be familiar with how the system works, how to perform routine maintenance, and be proficient in troubleshooting. Each jetlance requires one operator. It is generally preferred to rotate the blasters at least hourly. Some contractors rotate as often as each half hour. The jetlance operators need to be aware of the safety features of the system, safe practices, personal protective equipment, and jetlance maintenance. The pump operator, which is generally the foreman or team leader, must be aware of all safe operating procedures and practices.


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