Advanced robotic technologies for steel bridge maintenance

Corrosion is the primary cause of failure in steel bridges, and is minimized by painting the steel structure. Steel bridge coating maintenance consists of two procedures: the stripping of rust and deteriorated paint and then repainting the steel; and is one of the biggest expenditure items in bridge maintenance activities. An effective and efficient method of paint stripping is grit blasting; however this process is extremely labour intensive and hazardous. Thus supplementing manual labour in grit blasting with robotic aids will have a significant health, safety and economic impact. Research has been conducted on a robotic grit blasting system for stripping paint and rust from steel bridges, with the ultimate objective of preventing human exposure to hazardous and dangerous dust containing rust, paint particles, lead and asbestos, relieving human workers from labor intensive tasks, and reducing costs associated with bridge maintenance. This paper presents the robotic system design and the important issues associated with the deployment of an autonomous grit blasting system in the field. (a) For the covering entry of this conference, please see IRRD abstract no. E218160.

  • Record URL:
  • Authors:
    • BROOKS, P A
    • LIU, D K
  • Publication Date: 2009-5


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01143973
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2009 12:17PM