Date of Award

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Stango, Robert J.

Second Advisor

Fournelle, Raymond A.

Third Advisor

Cariapa, Vikram


Bristle blasting is a new and unique corrosion-removal process that is rapidly gaining widespread acceptance among engineers and practitioners in the corrosion/ surface preparation community. Engineers from the ship construction and repair industries face a constant corrosive threat to ships' steel infrastructure and welded joints. To this end, great care is exercised in protecting the vessels' structural integrity and longevity, while maintenance engineers in the ship-building industry seek new methods to improve surface preparation that will not compromise the surface cleanliness and anchor profile required for proper adhesion of paints and coatings.

In this study, the cleanliness and texture of surfaces generated by the bristle blasting process are examined and reported. Specifically, the present work is aimed at evaluating the cleanliness, surface profile, and material removal performance that can be achieved for steels (ABS-A and AH-36) that are commonly used in ship-building Industries. In addition, the bristle-blasting process' ability to clean and prepare welded joints fabricated from both ABS-A and AH-36 steel is evaluated as well. The experiments carried out in this study also assess the relationship between tool longevity and surface texture performance, which can form a basis for estimating the overall life expectancy of the bristle-blasting tool.

The results of the surface generated by the bristle-blasting process is compared to that generated by other conventional surface-finishing tools. A direct comparison with visual standards that are commonly used for training and certification purposes is carried out, hence, ensuring the proper characterization of the bristle blasting process in the ship construction and repair industry.