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EcoStrippAir: Aircraft Surface Paint Removal System

The ECOSTIPPAIR project is developing an ecological aircraft maintenance system, which will be able to strip various painted/coated surfaces off planes efficiently and gently, without the use of chemicals. The process is up to 85% fully automated. In this way harsh working conditions, which could cause work-related diseases, are avoided over the long term and costly damage to the surface of the aeroplane are avoided.

Paint removal from aeroplanes is usually necessary before a change in ownership, or before a repair to a part of the aircraft section, and before newly painting and finishing to avoid corrosion or to monitor the aerodynamic quality (ca. 25 planes / year / maintenance centre). The core piece of this new process is a blasting procedure, which uses dry wheat starch.

A robot moves a system consisting of a stripping head, which deploys wheat starch using compressed air evenly force controlled along the plane surface. To avoid loss of wheat starch from the system, a closed cycle with a feeding and discharge appliance is planned. The precise feeding speed of the stripping head depends on the cleaning process and is determined using an integrated image processing system in the head and is implemented by the robot in real time.



Project Details

Project Reference: E9633

Funding: Eurostars

Project Start: 2015

Run time: 24 months

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