New Blast Booth Expands Upon Tobyhanna’s Diverse Capabilities

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As a part of Tobyhanna Army Depot’s (TYAD) continuous mission of providing top-of-the-line support and being the best value for the warfighter, a new blast booth was recently installed in the C4ISR Finishing Center to improve processes in the shop.

Artisans in the Systems Integration and Support Directorate previously used blasters that shot aluminum zirconium at the asset being worked on, however those that work in the new booth will use blasters that fire small pieces of plastic at the asset.

The use of this plastic media is an alternative to hand sanding sensitive assets, which is a very time intensive process. It also allows for more versatile capabilities when it comes to the removal of certain layers of an asset. Aluminum zirconium is an abrasive form of media, so much so that it goes as far as removing the plating off an asset when working with it. Conversely, the plastic media is much less abrasive and allows depot employees to just remove the coating, for example. Although the plastic media is very diverse in its capabilities, it doesn’t totally eliminate the need for aluminum zirconium as the latter substance is more effective when working with corroded assets and will still be heavily relied upon at the depot.

Supervisory Production Management Specialist Thomas Petroski said that this new capability is great not only for depot employees, but also for our customers and the warfighter.

“The use of plastic blasting media grants us with many advantages that were previously unavailable to us,” said Petroski. “It replaces a lot of sanding that is done by hand, it reduces the repair cycle time which saves our customers time and money and it also allows us to process some work faster than before so we can get these assets out on the battlefield quicker.”

Like the C4ISR Refinishing Center itself, the new blast booth is also Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified, which allows TYAD to play a significant part in being good stewards of the environment. The 25 by 40 foot blast bay has a reclamation system all across its floor. As the plastic media falls through the grates on the floor, the reclamation system separates it from the other coating residue that comes off an asset and cycles it back through to be blasted once again. The plastic media can be cycled about 10 times before it becomes so fine that is no longer useable.

This new blast booth provides Tobyhanna with expanded capabilities and is directly aligned with Tobyhanna’s long-range strategic plan, TOBY2028-2035, which has four focus areas: Investing in Our People, C5ISR Readiness, Shape the Future and Strategic Communications. TOBY2028 aims to posture the depot for success in the coming years as the Department of Defense’s premier worldwide C5ISR readiness provider.