The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 038 [Completed (IDEA)]

Paint Removal from Steel Structures
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This follow-on IDEA project demonstrated the field application of an electrochemical paint removal process, developed in an earlier IDEA project (NCHRP-IDEA 23). Equipment components to treat up to 50 ft2 in one application were acquired and preliminary field tests were performed in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Based on test results, supplies and equipment were selected for a full-scale field demonstration to remove paint from an area of 800 ft2 at the I-66 Westmoreland Street overpass in Arlington, Virginia. The field demonstration was successfully carried out in May 1998, in collaboration with Virginia DOT (Figure 1). A showcase event, highlighting the IDEA technology and organized by the Virginia DOT, preceded the field demonstration. The test was completed ahead of schedule, and results were consistent with the targeted removal rate of 40 ft2 per hour. Prior to the field demonstration, tests were performed to monitor environmental and occupational exposure. The exposure of personnel was well below the specified OSHA level for particulates and no changes were detected in soil samples. 

Cost projections indicate a competitive price of $7 to $10 per ft2 for full paint removal and repainting and are comparable to quoted average costs for traditional abrasive blasting. However, full commercial implementation will require scale-up equipment and additional process optimization. Additional process demonstrations will also be needed on a non- or nearcompetitive basis. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB99-117087).




The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

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