VERSATILE BLAST MACHINES CUT COSTS AND TIME ON SHIP REPAIRS
Two Aquagrit WDOS wet-or-dry abrasive blast machines from Hodge Clemco have dramatically reduced costs and increased the speed of surface preparation work at one of the UK’s leading historic ship restorers.
Founded in 1710, Turks is one of the best known boat businesses on the Thames, operating a spectacular fleet of passenger vessels. In 2010 the company launched Turks Shipyard Ltd in the historic Chatham dockyard, where it renovates a wide variety of craft including barges, house-boats, tugs and work-boats in an under-cover dry dock.
Virtually every contract requires some surface preparation and finishing work, which was previously sub-contracted. As well as being expensive, this often caused delays, according to managing director Richard Turk. ‘Our business at Chatham is growing, and we are doing more and more surface preparation work. With the Aquagrit machines, we are not dependant on subcontractors, they are very reliable and easy to use, and they paid for themselves in just a few months’.
The Aquagrit WDOS machines can be used dry or wet without adaptation, depending on the work situation. Used wet allows blasting to take place safely within the covered boat-yard without enclosing the area. The equipment at Turks has 73 litre hoppers with steep cones to optimise abrasive flow. The hoppers are coated internally to prevent corrosion, and a 9.5mm tungsten-carbide nozzle provides positive control of abrasive. Twin dead-man lines with automatic Thomson valve operation are fitted, along with a quick-release coupling for fast media drainage.
When in use for wet blasting, the machines can be filled with a hose or pump, and a water separator and water level valve are included as standard equipment. Heavy-duty wheels and contractor-style handles allow the machines to be moved on site, with the handles giving protection for valves and other important components.