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removing green coating

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  • removing green coating

    I'm repurposing some pipe. It will not function as pipe anymore. I need to remove the green coating efficiently. Rapid strip wheels on the grinder are going to take forever.

    Is the coating made from epoxy?

  • #2
    It's a sprayed on epoxy coating, meant to last a long time underground. There isn't a fast/easy/cheap way to remove it. Wear a mask if you have a lot of it to do.
    Bare pipe would in the end be cheaper most times. Free, coated pipe involves a ton of labor and consumables to make it clean & bare.
    You can burn it first, but it's still a lot of work/expense.



    • #3
      Hey neighbor!

      That is what I was afraid of. I don't have too much, but a couple hours worth of grinding. The funky wire wheel I was using was effective, but it was easily used up.


      • #4
        just a thought

        do you need the whole pipe cleaned off? if not, just clean where your going to weld.


        • #5
          That would work, but then the finished product will not look perfect! Just a looks thing.


          • #6
            you can chip it off a lot easier than burning or grinding.


            • #7
              Originally posted by fabricator View Post
              you can chip it off a lot easier than burning or grinding.

              I'd like to know what tool will chip off FBE??



              • #8
                Haha me too! I made quick work of it with a 40-grit flap wheel to take most of it off and then clean it up with a quick strip disc. I was hoping for a chemical that would do all the work for me,sort of like removing hot roll mill scale...


                • #9
                  removing green coating

                  Did you try a needle scaler?


                  • #10
                    That green or red epoxy is a mother to get off. Here's what I know works best.

                    If you can, heat the inside of the pipe to 300F - 350F. The epoxy on the outside will soften and peel off with a putty knife. You can clean up the exposed surface with a stripper wheel or flap disc.

                    If you can't heat the inside of the pipe then you can apply heat to the outside with a weedburner or rosebud. BUT, you need to be very controlled with the torch. The coating will scorch and the smoke smells terrible; it's probably not safe to breath either.

                    Heating the inside is best. If you don't want to use a putty knife you can use a wire cup or brush. BUT, you don't want to make a bunch of airborne dust out of the epoxy either. I have been told by a reputable source that breathing the dust is also very bad for you.

                    If you must grind, you and a friend should where particulate filters and use a shop vac with a good filter to collect as much of the dust as possible. Again, I don't recommend this at all. Much better to soften the coating with indirect heat and peel it off in large pieces.


                    • #11
                      Won't work. Neither will sand or media blasting. Not cost effectively, anyway.
                      Originally posted by go2building View Post
                      Did you try a needle scaler?


                      • #12
                        Several people have commented here that obviously have no experience removing FBE coating from line pipe, be it green, yellow, brown, red or any other color.

                        I should add that if your "old pipe" has a coating that can be "chipped off" then the likelyhood is about 99.9% that it contains asbestos and should be handled with care if'n you want live to be an old gezzer who's not struggling to suck in the next breath. On a commercial job the law specifies the handling/disposal : 0 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ of asbestos laden materials and you better be prepared to read volumns, shell out tens of thousands daily, and comply with 127,438 federal/state/local regs.

                        If you're trying to remove regular old FBE (used for a long, long time now), THE fastest/cheapest way is with a 9" grinder and a large stringer bead brush, a tiger (flap/sanding) disc comes a close second. Add a rock shield and fire becomes your friend but if you're dealing with that you are already aware.
                        Either way don't breath the dust please.

                        If you're "chipping" it off then you are dealing with material that will likely put your wife and children into the huge asbestos/mesothelioma class action lawsuit where the (small amount of) money can be slightly helpfull to the survivors but don't do your dead a$$ no good.



                        • #13
                          Sounds like you have been pipelining for a while JT...

                          I only had a little bit of pipe to deal with so it wasn't too bad. Given that it is supposed to be buried it doesn't surprise me how hard it is to remove!

                          This was a good lesson and next time I will look harder or pay extra for bare pipe!


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