(BELLE CHASSE, La.) — Just nine months after opening its new robotic paint and blasting facility, C&C Marine and Repair has announced the blasting of its 100th barge.
“We knew we had the capability to blast and paint barges quickly and efficiently, but what we’ve been able to accomplish in these first nine months has exceeded our expectations in both speed and quality of blast,” said C&C Marine and Repair’s owner, Tony Cibilich. The 83,350-square-foot facility can accommodate barges up to 320 by 75 feet and has the capability to blast and paint a standard 30,000-barrel tank barge or two 10,000-barrel tank barges in seven to 10 days.
The fully enclosed, climate-controlled facility is unaffected by inclement weather and allows for uninterrupted operation 24 hours a day, year round. “We understand that taking barges out of operation to get blasted and painted costs our customer’s revenue, so painting these barges quickly is very important,” said Mike Wade, manager of blasting operations.
As a result of the speed and efficiency of the fully-automated robotic blasting system, the time to blast two standard inland hopper barges takes 36 hours. “The benefit of blasting and painting in an enclosed, environmentally-controlled facility is tremendous, because you are insulated from weather delays and humidity,” said Wade. The re-usable steel grit blast medium, used in lieu of disposable single-use medium like “black beauty” (coal slag), provides a much cleaner blast finish. This results in an exceptional surface profile for paint adhesion and bonding. The superior profile finish and improved paint adhesion to steel ultimately results in fewer required paint jobs during the life of the barge.
The indoor facility prevents overspray, contamination and run-ff of paint and blast media into adjacent waterways. The facility’s air filtration system collects and encapsulates over 99 percent of all airborne particulates associated with the blast and paint process. The non-toxic steel grit blast media can be filtered, separated and re-used approximately 150 times over in subsequent blasting operations. The result is the most efficient and environmentally safe blasting and paint facilities in the barge industry.
With the first 100 barges completed, C&C Marine and Repair is continuing to expand its Belle Chasse facilities to meet the needs of their new and existing customers.