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Industrial Cleaning

Vapor-Assisted Sandblasting and Painting at a Power Plant in Oklahoma

This article could really be considered Part 1 of a multi-part series.


We were contacted by a massive power plant in Oklahoma and asked not only for help with an initial project, but also to put together a 3-year “phase painting plan.” A facility of this size could not be painted all at once, after all, but rather in stages according to need and priority.

Phase 1: Sandblasting and Painting a Cooling Unit

After we visited them and provided an initial, thorough assessment, we began work on a colossal (not quite the technical term, but it does the trick) cooling unit that holds thousands of gallons of water. The support structures and catwalks above it were also heavily corroded which is why they made our “Phase 1” priority list.

After draining the unit, we had to deal with thick layers of encrusted, destructive rust. This can’t be simply coated and treated, but rather needs to be removed in order to restore a strong, healthy surface.

To make this rust history, we used our vapor-assisted sandblasting equipment. Traditional sandblasters would also have worked, but the distinct benefit of vapor-assisted units is that they use less media (particles) in the blasting process. Actually, they use 90% less particles! The combination of using less media and the resulting quicker cleanup time meant increased savings for our client.

Our goal as we worked was to reach the desired substrate as outlined by the SSPC (Society for Protective Coatings) standard SSPC-10/NACE No. 2 Near White Blast Cleaning. After we did, we were able to move on to the painting process.

Painting a Cooling Unit - Just the Right Product for Top Performance

A specialized project requires specialized paint.

For this cooling unit, we applied a 3-coat Macropoxy and Urethane system. We are completely confident that these coatings will be a long-lasting, hard-working, quality choice for this specific environment.

As we worked, we also routinely checked the coating thickness to be sure that it would offer the very best performance possible.

So, What’s Next On Our “Phase Painting” Plan?

We will be painting several Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) stacks, as well as multiple cooling tower risers. Please stay tuned!

Until then, if you have any questions for us at Painters USA, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are always happy to discuss painting, flooring, and coatings, and would love to help however we can.

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