August 11, 2009 was a memorable day at Bodine Services of Decatur as word came from Bodine’s patent attorney that the United States Patent Office had issued a patent (Number 7,571,733 B1) on a safety device conceived and developed by the Bodine Team. Commonly referred to around our shop as the “Dunn Guard”, this device came about as a result of Bodine’s ongoing drive to improve safety in the workplace.
The potential hazards associated with high-pressure water blasting are well-known. Even a conventional home pressure washer can inflict serious damage if the blast stream contacts human flesh. These tools are commonly available at places like Lowe’s and Menards and operate around 2,200 psi with a flow rate of about three (3) gallons per minute (gpm). You can imagine the damage that can be done when operating pressures are 10,000 to 40,000 psi and flow rates are 30 to 180 gpm. This is the type of equipment that Bodine technicians use on a daily basis to provide services and solutions for our clients.
Given the potential to cause serious injury, safety and training must be of utmost importance when planning a water blasting job. Bodine recognized the hazards involved in jetting out plugged tubes in vertical tube bundles. When the flexible lance is retracted from the tube, it has the potential to eject uncontrollably while under pressure. The Dunn Guard prevents this from happening by providing a positive stop to keep the lance and tip under control at all times.
Now more recently, Bodine has taken yet another significant step forward in water blasting safety by employing automated tube lancing systems whereby the high pressure lance is taken from the operator’s hands in favor of advancing the lance through a tube bundle using an automated drive system. Taking the operator out of the “line of fire” has always been a high priority and new equipment is allowing this to become a reality on more and more jobs.