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Improving Air Quality in Your Community

Outside Air - Stationary Sources: Paint and Coating Stripping Operations

You can help paint and coating stripping operations reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), particle pollution, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that may affect employees, their families, customers, and the community by encouraging paint and coating stripping operations to conduct these activities:


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Evaluate Painting and Coating Processes

      How?
  • Assess your painting and coating processes to determine what is causing the need to strip and repaint. Improperly cleaned or dried parts, faulty equipment, or improper handling may damage a product and make it necessary to strip and repaint.
      Benefits
  • One company reviewed its paint and coating operations to determine why extra paint stripping was needed. By improving their painting and coating processes, the stripping of burn off racks and reject parts decreased by 20 percent, and the company saved over $17,000 annually (Minnesota Technical Assistance Program).
  • Reduces costs due to more efficient paint and coating application processes.
      Costs
  • Costs associated with evaluating painting and coating processes.

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Use Chemical Strippers without Methylene Chloride

      How?
  • Use strippers, such as dibastic ether, that do not contain chemicals that produce hazardous air pollutants.
  • Use aqueous "hot" strippers.
  • Use other solvent "cold" strippers.
  • While hot and cold stripping is less toxic than using methylene chloride, use caution when implementing them.
      Benefits
  • An aviation company installed a closed, plastic bead-blast paint stripper system to replace chemical stripping using methylene chloride. Installation costs: $18,000. Payback ( based on reduced waste-disposal costs alone): 3.6 years. Overall, the technology is relatively inexpensive and can easily be transferred to other industries and small companies (Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Research Center).
  • Reduces exposure to methylene chloride emissions.
  • Reduces costs associated with the purchase and disposal of methylene chloride.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for any new equipment.
  • Training employees on new equipment.
      More Information

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Consider Mechanical Methods

      How?
  • Rub small areas of non-detailed surfaces with a brush made of wire, animal hair, plastic, or synthetic materials that have been impregnated with abrasive grit.
  • Protect worker health and safety by using respirators as needed.
      Benefits
  • A facility that repaints 30- and 55-gallon drums for reuse switched from using a hot caustic paint remover to a mechanical paint removal system with metal and nylon brushes. The net savings was $35,000 a year, including $6,000 a year from eliminated the need to purchase sodium hydroxide (Solvent Alternatives Guide).
  • Reduces costs due to not needing to purchase chemical strippers.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for new equipment.
  • Training employees on how to use the new equipment.

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Implement Abrasive Stripping Techniques

      How?
  • Tumbling is a stripping method in which parts are placed in a mixer and tumbled with stones or other abrasive material.
  • Plastic medium blasting is a paint and coating stripping method that uses nontoxic plastic media to remove paint and coatings from parts. Plastic blasting media can also be recycled and reused until the particles are too small to be effective.
  • Wheat starch can be used for blasting. Wheat starch blasting media are made from renewable agricultural products, which reduces nonrenewable resource consumption.
  • Sodium bicarbonate can be used for paint and coating stripping by mixing it with water and shooting the mixture at the part to be stripped. The water controls dust and cools the part being stripped.
  • Investigate other abrasive paint stripping methods, including carbon dioxide pellet, cryogenic blasting, high-pressure water blasting, and medium-pressure water blasting.
  • Protect worker health and safety by using respirators as needed.
      Benefits
  • An agricultural implement manufacturer in Wisconsin switched from stripping rejected parts in a hot sodium hydroxide bath to using plastic media blasting. Comparison: (1) The hot bath method generated 19,000 pounds (lbs.) of hazardous waste. It cost $36,000 in disposal fees. (2) Plastic media blasting method cost $8,000 for the media, $8,000 for the blasting unit, and no costs for waste disposal for an annual net savings of $32,000 (Solvent Alternatives Guide).
  • Reduces costs associated with no hazardous waste disposal.
      Costs
  • Capital costs for new equipment.
  • Costs for purchase of blasting medium.
  • Training employees on how to use new equipment.
      More Information

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Use Heat or Cold to Remove Paint

      How?
  • Burn-off ovens use high temperature to burn paint off a surface. Organic paint volatilizes into carbon dioxide and water. Inorganic pigments may need to be scraped off.
  • Immerse parts in a molten salt bath. This method also volatilizes organics in coatings into carbon dioxide and water. Inorganic pigments remain on the part and need to be scraped off.
  • Use fluidized sand beds. Heated sand or other granulated material vaporizes the organics and gently removes inorganic residue from the part.
  • Flash lamps and lasers are new technologies. Focused light from these two sources are used to heat the coating and decompose it.
  • Cryogenic paint stripping freezes the coating until it cracks and can be mechanically removed from the surface.
      Benefits
  • Reduces exposure to emissions from chemical strippers.
  • Reduces exposure to particle pollution generated by some mechanical stripping methods.
      Costs
  • Capital costs associated with the purchase of new equipment.
  • Costs associated with salts or sands used in molten salt baths or fluidized sand beds.
  • Training workers and the use of new equipment.
      More Information

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Control Dust when Using Abrasive Technologies

      How?
  • Plastic blasting and wheat starch blasting can generate paint chips that may contain metals such as cadmium and lead.
  • Plastic media blasting can create dust that is flammable. Ensure that the dust from plastic media blasting does not reach levels where combustion can occur.
  • Protect your workers by requiring them to use respirators as needed.
      Benefits
  • Reduces exposure to particle pollution generated by stripping using abrasive technologies.
  • Reduces danger of combustion when using plastic blasting media.
      Costs
  • Capital costs associated with purchasing respirators.
  • Initial and periodic refresher training and certification for workers using respirators.

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