Implementation of Coating Removal Technique for Steel Components on VDOT Bridges

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spends millions of dollars annually on bridge maintenance statewide, with bridge coating maintenance accounting for a relatively large percentage of this cost. This project will evaluate the use of a laser ablation coating removal (LACR) system on VDOT bridge components in a real world environment. The evaluation will determine if the LACR method: (1) permits VDOT to eliminate the need for certain current practices which impede efficiency and increase cost; and (2) provides any additional improvements when used on steel bridge elements. This project will include on-site and off-site components, both conducted in a field environment. The off-site testing will include employing the LACR system on bridge structure sections, environmental health-safety monitoring, and technical analysis. The on-site testing will be conducted on a VDOT bridge for the effectiveness of LACR, environmental-health safety concerns, and effectiveness (adhesion) of re-painted coatings.