A test of man, machine and abrasive
In June 2021, Mr Lars Studt, owner of Abrasive Blast Technology Studt, took on a project from the German Waterways and Shipping Authority (WSV) to remove the paintwork off the Molenfire Lighthouse in Warnemunde at the northern coast of Germany.
The project proved to be a test of man, machine and abrasive.
Here is Mr Studt's story:
Upon inspecting the lighthouse, I found that the existing paintwork had long passed its prime. On top of that, some parts of the lighthouse had been coated several times without proper surface preparation.
It was clear to me that this project would be very challenging.
To start with, I had to consider several logistics and environmental factors – the short distance between the lighthouse and the sea, the beach and the environmental impacts, the tourism activities in the surrounding areas and the location on the pier. Understandably, we had to meet the strictest environmental requirements for managing the used abrasive to ensure the site remained safe and clean.
For many years, we have been using highly efficient and cleaner abrasives in our blasting projects. We want to reduce the environmental impacts and to increase our workers’ safety on site. You would agree that no one wants to risk their health by working in areas contaminated with heavy metals.
Therefore, my preference was to use GMA Garnet™ abrasives, and I proceeded to order a few pallets of GMA PremiumBlast™ garnet to be delivered to the job site via the 541-meter long pier.
Right from the beginning, GMA lived up to its name as a reliable and committed partner by providing all the required documentation and organizing the nearly impossible delivery to the job site. The GMA team had even supported us with onsite communication with my customer.
After overcoming the initial challenges, we were ready to remove the layers of paint with an average thickness of 700 µm and up to 1200 µm off this beautiful lighthouse.
From the initial blasting trial, GMA Premium Blast™ turned out to be the absolute winner in blasting efficiency. Incidentally, visibility on site has also improved as the dust levels generated by this natural abrasive are significantly lower compared to alternative abrasive products.
Furthermore, the GMA team supported me on all my technical queries and helped me achieve a very high blasting productivity rate.
From this project, I found that GMA was not only a reliable partner during the tender phase, procurement and logistics, but they were also resourceful in helping with our used garnet disposal – I benefited from GMA’s huge network in Europe.
Certainly, there are cheaper blasting abrasives in the market, but if you factor in everything such as abrasive performance, final on-site cleanup as well as disposal, GMA Garnet™ is your best option.
Many thanks to the GMA team – you are indeed living up to your high customer service standards!
By Lars Studt, Abrasive Blast Technology Studt
By Steffen Glade, GMA Europe