In December 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Emission Standards Division and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) signed an Interagency Agreement (IA) initiating a task force for the technical assessment of alternative technologies for aerospace depainting operations. The United States Air Force (USAF) joined the task force in 1994. The mandates of the task force were: (1) To identify available alternative depainting systems that do not rely on methylene chloride or other ozone-depleting, chlorinated, and volatile organic carbon solvents. (2) To determine the viability, applicability, and pollution prevention potential of each identified alternative. (3) To address issues of safety, environmental impact, reliability, and maintainability. Through a Technical Implementation Committee (TIC), the task force selected and evaluated eight alternative paint stripping technologies: chemical stripping, carbon dioxide (CO2) blasting, xenon flashlamp and CO2 coatings removal (FLASHJET(R)), CO2 laser stripping, plastic media blasting (PMB), sodium bicarbonate wet stripping, high-pressure water blasting (WaterJet), and wheat starch abrasive blasting (Enviro-Strip(R)). (The CO2 blasting study was discontinued after the first depainting sequence.) This final report presents the results of the Joint EPA/NASA/USAF Interagency Depainting Study. Significant topics include: (1) Final depainting sequence data for the chemical stripping, PMB, sodium bicarbonate wet stripping, and WaterJet processes. (2) Strip rates for all eight technologies. (3) Sequential comparisons of surface roughness measurements for the seven viable depainting technologies. (4) Chronological reviews of and lessons learned in the conduct of all eight technologies. (5) An analysis of the surface roughness trends for each of the seven technologies. (6) Metallurgic evaluations of panels Summaries of corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement
evaluations of chemical stripping panels, detailed descriptions of which appear in previous reports. Because the requirements for alternative systems are diverse, as are initial setup, training, and on-going operational considerations, this study does not recommend a particular product or process. Users of this study will draw their own conclusions from the data presented herein.