Case Study: Grit Blasting and Painting of a smokestack for AES at Goodyear in Port Elizabeth

Business Challenge

Our Client, AES operates, maintains and manages energy & utility plant on behalf of industrial users across various industries throughout South Africa. AES’s outsourced operations include the takeover of existing energy & utility operations, as well as upgrades to or new-build energy plant operations.

AES approached Hamcock Industrial Access (HIA) seeking a solution to paint two smokestacks on behalf of their client, Goodyear, the Tyre manufacturer in Uitenhage, Port Elizabeth.

The Problem Description

  • The smokestacks were rusted therefore would need the removal of the old paint in order to apply new paint.
  • The two smokestacks stand 15m on the roof of the boiler room. The height of the boiler room and that of the smokestacks introduced an access problem.

Hamcock Industrial Access Approach

  1. Grit Blasting – HIA identified grit blasting as the solution to remove the old paint. Grit blasting is recommended for the stripping off of old paint because it is a fast and effective method
  2. Rope Access – Rope access was identified as an effective method to position the technicians to the work positions. The use of scaffolding was on option but was proved to be undesirable due to its costs, disruptive nature and also time-consuming.
  3. The Height Problem was solved by using longer than usual hoses for both the Grit Blasting and the spray painting.


  1. The Compressor and Blasting Pot were located on the ground whilst the technicians used some long hoses to reach the work positions.
  2. The smokestacks were grit blasted to remove all the old paint.
  3. 2 layers of self-priming heat resistant aluminium coloured paint were applied using spray paint.
  4. The top portions of the smokestacks were applied a black heat resistant paint (2 coats)

Project Outcome

  1. The project (120Sqm) was completed successfully in 3 days.
  2. The grit blasting removed all the old painting resulting in a good quality surface for painting.


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