Contact us 02380812921 01614571215 02031026840

Steel Surface Preparation & Coatings Removal

The Limpet is typically used on steel structures such as bulk storage tanks, bridges and large marine structures that require ongoing surface maintenance. It can also be selectively used to clean welded seams prior to inspection of steel tanks prior to hydro test.


The Limpet Crawler clings to steel structures by a powerful vacuum. It can be controlled remotely to cover the whole surface more quickly and efficiently than operatives with handheld lances, and without the need for scaffolding.


The vacuum used to secure the Limpet also removes all the water, dust and debris via a filtration system. This leaves the tank, vessel or surface clean and ready to be re-coated.


This system is most suitable for large surface areas and has a climbing capability up to 30 metres. It is perfectly suited for treating domed or floating tank roofs.


Technical advantages

  • UHP water blasting provides a surface free from non-visible contamination (chlorides, salts of ferrous oxide and ferrous chloride).
  • Produces a perfect surface on which to apply protective coating.
  • An ultra high pressure water jet also creates microscopic pockets on the steel surface to which protective coatings more readily adhere. A chemically clean surface with the correct profile means that any coating or lining material will bond more effectively and failure frequency is dramatically reduced.
  • It can prepare steel surfaces to ISO 8501-4 standards and Wa2½ surface finish is easily achieved.
  • RGL’s Limpet crawler system requires no scaffolding or sheeting.


Typical applications

  • Storage tanks and vessels.
  • Road and rail bridges.
  • Ships, submarines, aircraft carriers and other marine vessels.
  • Tidal defences and other marine structures.
  • Towers.
  • Pipe lines.


Compared to abrasive blast cleaning

  • Typically 25% cheaper – no need for erection/dismantling of scaffolding, sheeting or labour-intensive abrasive blasting processes.
  • Abrasive blast cleaning produces a spark – some tanks containing vapours or flammable liquids need to be shut down/emptied while surface preparation is being undertaken, hydroblasting does not produce any sparks.
  • The abrasives and contaminants from blast cleaning fall to the ground (or are wind dispersed) and have to be recovered and waste managed.
  • For every one ton of waste produced by hydroblasting, up to 200 tons of waste is produced by abrasive blast cleaning.

For more information please see our ebrochure: Preparation & Protection for Steel Structures Brochure