BOA: Asbestos Pipe-Insulation Removal Robot System

Hagen Schempf
tech. report CMU-RI-TR-95-15, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 1995

The project described in this report targets the development of a mechanized system for safe, cost-efficient and automated abatement of asbestos containing materials used as pipe insulation. Based on several key design criteria and site visits, a proof-of-concept prototype robot system, dubbed BOA, was designed and built, which automatically strips the lagging and insulation from the pipes, and encapsulates them under complete vacuum operation. The system can operate on straight runs of piping in horizontal or vertical orientations. Currently we are limited to four-inch diameter piping without obstacles as well as a somewhat laborious emplacement and removal procedure - restrictions to be alleviated through continued development. BOA removed asbestos as a rate of 4-5 ft./h compared to 3 ft./h for manual removal of asbestos with a 3-person crew. The containment and vacuum system on BOA was able to achieve the regulatory requirement for airborne fiber emissions of 0.01 fiber/ccm/8-hr. shift. A complete paper has been submitted and accepted for presentation at the next ANS Topical Meeting in Monterey, CA, in February, 1995.

This program consists of two phases. The first phase was completed and a demonstration was given to a review panel, consisting of DoE headquarters and site representatives as well as commercial abatement industry representatives. Based on the technical and programmatic recommendations drafted, presented and discussed during the review meeting, a new plan for the Phase II effort of this project was developed. Phase II will consist of a 26-month effort, with an up-front 4-month site-, market-, cost/benefit and regulatory study before the next BOA robot (14 months) is built, and then deployed and demonstrated (3 months) at a DoE site (such as Fernald or Oak Ridge) by the beginning of FY'97.

Number of pages: 54

Text Reference
Hagen Schempf, "BOA: Asbestos Pipe-Insulation Removal Robot System," tech. report CMU-RI-TR-95-15, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January, 1995

BibTeX Reference
   author = "Hagen Schempf",
   title = "BOA: Asbestos Pipe-Insulation Removal Robot System",
   booktitle = "",
   institution = "Robotics Institute",
   month = "January",
   year = "1995",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-95-15",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",