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Archive for October, 2015

Prep-Before-Stripe Workshop

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

ATSSA 46th Annual Convention2016 Banner
You are invited to attend the ATSSA “Prep-Before-Stripe” Workshop.

This flyer, introduces the workshop and includes a short survey.  We encourage you to complete the survey and  return by email to

Whether you can attend or not, please forward the flyer to everyone interested in getting “prep-before-stripe” specs better defined on striping contracts.

I look forward to your feedback.

Best Removal,

Steven Smith

Workshop Moderator

Erasing Airfield Markings

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Airfield Markings Are No Match For The SMITH X3 Dry Rotary Eraser

airfield markings

The SMITH X3 Dry Rotary Eraser Removes Airfield Markings Without Water or Grooves

We just completed a demonstration of the SMITH X3 Dry Rotary Eraser at Raleigh-Durham International Airport for the Sightline Airport Symposium.

airfield markings

The SMITH X3 Rotary Eraser equipment outperformed water blasting when removing airfield markings on concrete surfaces.


The surface profile after removing the painted markings with the SMITH X3 Dry Rotary Eraser was a desired CSP 4-5.

The water-blasting method, however, left the surface in a rougher CSP 7-8 condition, as well as caused cracks in the concrete.


The reason the X3 performed so well was due to to improvements in technologies and cutter selections during the removal process.

It was common knowledge that the X Series leaves a more consistent surface finish removing striping on asphalt than high-pressure water-blast processes. Now we see the X Series leaves a more consistent, no-groove surface profile on both concrete and asphalt surfaces.

Review this article on the benefits of the rotary vs. drum and water-style systems.

As a result of this and many other demonstrations, the X Series Rotary Erasing-style of equipment should be specified as the only mechanical eradication equipment allowed on airfield and roadway surfaces.

If you are looking for the same result using a contractor, please use these specifications. If you would like to purchase a SMITH X Series to compliment your stripe-removal program, please speak to your SMITH Representative for details.

And make sure to get your copy of the SMITH catalog!

Learn More

Here are the tools, guides, and specifications you need to help make removal and surface preparation faster, easier, safer, and more cost-effective:

We know removal is hard work. SMITH makes it easier.

Waterblasting vs Erasing Airfield Markings

Thursday, October 15th, 2015


Waterblasting vs. Rotary Erasing

waterblasting vs erasing

Welcome to the Stripe Removal Championship… Let’s Get Ready to Remove!

The SMITH X-Series Dry Rotary Eraser was a knockout at the Salt Lake City and Raleigh-Durham Airfield Symposiums.

After besting waterblasting for removing stripes on asphalt in SLC, the SMITH X3 Eraser was challenged to remove stripes where water performs best – on hard concrete.

The event was held October 14, 2015 at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The X3 Dry Rotary Eraser arrived the day prior by common LTL carrier. A locally rented high-flow skid steer was used to power the X3, and quickly coupled to the bobtach plate. To the many onlookers sitting on the airfield ringside, they observed the operator making a few depth and pitch adjustments prior to the X3 being lowered to the concrete pad.

At the opening bell, the X Series hit the surface punching. With each stroke, the painted markings were knocked out of the concrete surface. Each passing sweep made by the operator and the chanting of the crowd saw more of the paint being peeled from the surface. Minutes later, 90% of the markings were gone with the final surface bone dry.


Round two – water came out with a steam. After adjusting the pump pressures and speeds of the many valves and dials, the water-blast truck technically delivered the water jets to the surface and washed away the paint from the surface leaving only a wet surface.  The crowds that pressed their face close to the action felt the cool drops of water splash from the water blast delivery.

When it was over, both the Eraser and waterblaster felt victorious. The crowd saw both machines had removed the paint, but which process would be crowned “Stripe-Removal Champ?”

The judges compared the final surface with the CSP1 – CSP10 profile pad samples. The water-blaster removed all the paint and left the surface in a CSP7 – CSP8 condition.

waterblasted surface

Waterblaster-treated surface showing microcracks. Click for larger view

The Rotary Eraser left some paint spots in the lower-lying areas with an overall smoother CSP4-5 profile.

erased surface

And the winner is…

The duel ended in a draw. If judging strictly by speed and looks, water was faster on this surface. Factoring in acquisition and operational costs per foot,  ease of maintenance, and smoother surface finish, the Eraser would be a winner by knockout.

It is common knowledge that the SMITH X-Series Dry Rotary Erasers leave a more consistent surface finish when removing striping on asphalt than high-pressure waterblasting processes. However, the X Series, leaves a more consistent, no-groove surface profile on concrete surfaces, as well.  Review this article on the reasons how rotary, drum, and water methods deliver surface finishes.


If you are looking for an effective tool to compliment your waterblast operation, consider adding a SMITH X-Series walk-behind, skid-mount, or truck-mount Rotary Eraser with a dust-and-debris-collecting vacuum system to your operations. If you want cost-effective, no-groove surface finish on asphalt or concrete with your contract operations, consider these specifications.

To learn more how the SMITH X-Series Dry Rotary Erasers can perform in your maintenance operations, please speak to your SMITH Representative directly for details.

Want to see the video of the RDU demonstration, please request a copy here.


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Toll Free: 1-800-653-9311 | Ph: 954-941-9744 | Fax: 954-545-0348
Specifications and data are subject to change without notice.