En-Vac Robotic Wall Scabbler Demonstration at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Site Name:

Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory


Idaho Falls, ID

Period of

March 2000


Field demonstration


Tom Maples
Phone: (503) 285-5871

Surface Treatment - En-Vac Robotic Wall Scabbler
- The system consisted of a robot, a shot recycling unit, a filter, and a vacuum unit; capable of cleaning both horizontal and vertical surfaces
- Blast media (abrasive steel grit or steel shot) were provided to the robot through the blast hose. The vacuum unit collected fugitive dust and emissions. Spent blast media and blast residue were returned from the robot to the recycling unit through a vacuum hose and the recycling unit separated the residue from the blast media.
- Demonstration test area was 60 feet square

Cleanup Authority:
Not identified

Technology Demonstration
Bradley Freeze
D&D Program Manager
Idaho National Engineering
and Environmental Laboratory
Phone: (208) 526-3775
E-mail: bjf@inel.gov


Waste Source:
Concrete and steel surfaces coated with lead-based paint

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
- 60 square feet

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Field demonstration of a robotic abrasive blasting to remove lead-based paint from concrete and steel walls and floors

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
- Objectives of the demonstration included evaluating the En-Vac Robotic Wall Scabbler versus the baseline technology of Pentek VAC-PAC
- No cleanup levels were identified for the demonstration

- The robotic wall scabbler treated 60 square feet in 36 minutes. The baseline technology treated 45 square feet in 3 hours and 15 minutes
- Compared to the baseline technology, the robotic wall scabbler is heavier and cannot scabble close to obstructions, but has a higher treatment rate, and can scabble deeper on concrete.

Cost Factors:
The capital cost of the system was approximately $390,000. Costs for mobilization/demobilization were $2,455, operation, $37.41 per square foot treated, and waste disposal, $150 per square foot treated.

The robotic wall scabbler was estimated to be less expensive than the baseline technology for projects larger than 1,500 square feet total with average wall sizes greater than 60 square feet.

Test Area North (TAN) if INEEL supported research into nuclear powered aircraft in the 1950s. Upon termination of this research, the areas' facilities were converted to support a variety of DOE research projects. The Decon Shop provided radiological decontamination of tools and small equipment from 1957 through 1987.

The En-Vac robotic wall scabbler was used to remove lead-based paint from 60 square feet of a concrete surface. The performance achieved was compared to that of a hand-held scabbling unit using a grinding technology. The robotic wall scabbler achieved lead-based paint removal in 36 minutes, at an estimated cost of $37.41 per square foot treated, plus $2,455 for mobilization/demobilization and $150 per square foot treated for disposal of treatment residuals.