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Corpus Christi Army Depot

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Painting/Coating

Industry: Military

Wastes Reduced: Coating Waste

Substance: Paint

Equipment: CO2 Laser

Location: Corpus Christi TX

No. of employees: 3500

Contact: Chuck Gawanes

Phone: (512) 939-4170


In December of 1995, CCAD replaced a manual method of stripping paint of helicopter blades with a laser paint stripping method. The laser removes some or all of the coatings down to substrate material without damage to the blade. The process replaces a minimum labor cost of two man days per blade and lowers operating costs.

P2 Application:

This is the first such unit in the world. A pulsed carbon dioxide laser removes paint, primer, adhesive, and an abradable coating. This system is equipped with a spectral camera which provides real-time monitoring of the laser and the progress of paint removal. The laser has the capability to remove any coating on a helicopter blade on a depth selective basis (layer by layer possibility).

Environmental Benefits:

Hazardous waste generation and recyclable residues are reduced by 90%. Since it removes only the paint necessary, hazardous wastes and air emissions are reduced.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

Initial capital costs were $1.8 million with an annual savings of $390,000 per year. These savings were due to reductions in hazardous wastes, residue, and air emissions. The payback period is approximately 4 ½ years.

Source: TCEQ

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