Development and testing of a tool for the decontamination of corners and inner edges on concrete surfaces

Zhang, Shanyao; Gentes, Sascha; Heppler, Kurt; Heneka, Alexander; Krauß, Carla-Olivia; Greb, Johannes; Hammer, Fabian; Dietrich, Philipp; Stemmle, Stefan

For the decontamination of flat concrete surfaces, a wide variety of tools are available; however, these tools cannot be used for the decontamination of corners, inner edges, gaps and other geometrical discontinuities. Currently, these areas are worked by hand-held tools with a connected vacuum exhaust system to reduce dust emissions. The combination of using heavy hand-operated tools with exhaust systems on difficult to access areas as well as the forces and vibration of the tools, make the task of decontamination a burden and add additional physical stress for the operator.

The goal of the research project called EKont, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research, BMBF), is, to develop an innovative semi-automated demonstrator for dry mechanical decontamination of corners, edges and geometrical discontinuities in nuclear facilities. The tool will have a flexible housing with an integrated exhaust system to reduce the dust load. This specialized tool should make the decontamination of corners and inner edges more effective regarding time and the generation of secondary waste and should further spare the musculoskeletal system of the operator physical stress by lowering the vibrations and weight of the tool.

For this task, a test bench for testing and evaluating different methods of surface decontamination has been set up. The test bench enables the measurement of forces and vibrations of the machine during the decontamination and the dust emissions. Based on the analysis of different decontamination methods and tools, four prototypes are being developed. This project also aims at the scientific investigation of experimentally collected performance parameters, such as feed rate, removal depth per operation, surface roughness and removal rate, in order to determine the relevant parameters of the developed prototypes.

A field test of the prototypes together with decommissioning companies is scheduled. The prototype is not limited to use in nuclear facilities but later can also be used in conventional fields, for example in the decontamination of materials containing PCBs and asbestos.

In this presentation the EKont test bench and prototypes will be explained and the test results will be presented.



Zhang, Shanyao / Gentes, Sascha / Heppler, Kurt / et al: Development and testing of a tool for the decontamination of corners and inner edges on concrete surfaces. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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