Latex Tank Cleaning

If you manufacture products that contain latex, you probably have latex mixing tanks that need to be cleaned.  Overtime, the latex builds up on the sides of the tank walls and makes it difficult to get the correct mixture in the tank.

"This job is impossible without the right equipment.  You need a high powered water blaster, at least 15K, to cut the big sections of latex out of the tank," shares Rodrigo Castillo, Advanced Waste Services Industrial Services member.

“This job is impossible without a high powered water blaster, at least 15K, to cut the big sections of latex out of the tank,” shares Rodrigo Castillo, AWS Industrial Services member. Above, Rodrigo showcases a large section of latex cut from the walls of the stainless steel tank.

When you decide to clean the tank, you’ll probably have 3 challenges with choosing an industrial services company to help you.

You’ll need a company that:

  • (1) can accurately erect scaffolding inside a conical bottom tank,
  • (2) has expertise with using a high-powered water blaster, 15,000 psi minimum, and
  • (3) has a 3 man crew, experienced in Confined Space Entry, that have the mental toughness of 2 back to back days using a water-blaster, in a hot, wet and physical exhausting environment.

Erecting Scaffolding Inside a Conical Bottom Tank

The scaffolding needs to be aligned perfect inside a conical bottom tank. If it’s not dead center, the scaffolding will lean inside the tank.  “This could be dangerous and cause you to slip,” says Tony Pankow, AWS Project Manager. “The water blaster is so powerful, it could push you off the scaffolding, so it’s really important  you have a flat surface for secure footing.”

Rodrigo Castillo makes his way into the stainless steel latex mixing tank.  Horizontal bars just inside the tank are part of the scaffolding foundation. Rodrigo will climb over 25 feet of scaffolding to access the top walls of the tank.

Above, Rodrigo takes his turn inside the tank, where he’ll climb over 25 feet of scaffolding to access the top walls.  He’ll spend the next 3 grueling hours with a high powered water blaster that wants to push him off the scaffolding, while he cuts 6-8 foot sections of latex off the wall.

The scaffolding is brought to the project site in pieces. Tony and his team assemble it inside the tank.  “We prefer to build the scaffolding ourselves.  This way we know it was put together right and we don’t have to worry about it collapsing,” shares Tony.

Expertise with a High-Powered Water Blaster (15,000 PSI Minimum)

Before I share why expertise with a 15,000 PSI water blaster is so important, I want to first mention why a 15,000 PSI minimum is required for removing latex from the inside tank walls.

In some areas the latex might be more than an inch thick.  A lower PSI water blaster just doesn’t have enough power to cut through the latex. And if it does, it might take three times as long, and you won’t finish before your deadline.

While it might go without saying that operating a water blaster is very dangerous, the risks of injury go up significantly when the conditions are dark, wet, and hot you are standing on metal scaffolding 25 feet high.

Part of your interview with the company you hire should include an interview with the people who will be onsite performing the services. You should know how many CSE projects each has done, how many times each has operated a water blaster for over 2 hours straight and if anyone has ever been injured operating the water blaster (and for what reason).

Confined Space Entry and Mental Toughness

If you partner with our AWS Industrial Services team you’ll notice the professional equipment we use for confined space entry (CSE) and emergency rescue. [This equipment is life-saving and OSHA required.  If the team you hire does not own or use a Davit Arm, that’s a red flag.]  If you are CSE trained, you’ll likely notice our state-of-the-art air monitoring equipment.

After 2.5 hours of water blasting inside the latex, Rodrigo helps an exhausted John climb out.

After 2.5 hours of water blasting inside the latex mixing tank, Rodrigo helps an exhausted John climb out.

But what will be most impressive, that we hope you notice, is the mental toughness required to operate a high powered water blaster for 2-3 hours straight.  “After a few hours with a 15,000 PSI water blaster, you are physically exhausted,” shares John Mierow.  “But if you don’t have mental toughness you won’t last very long at all.”

To learn more about Advanced Waste Services onsite tank cleaning services visit our website or call us at 800-842-9792.

Advanced Waste Services | 800-842-9792

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One thought on “Latex Tank Cleaning

  1. Pingback: Tank Sludge Removal | Advanced Waste Blog

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