Thursday, April 14, 2011

Care of Fiberglass Booms

Fiberglass booms should be wiped down daily with a lint free cloth. This practice both cleans the boom and allows the operator to inspect the boom for any damage or items requiring repair. In the event any chips, scrapes or abrasions are found, that would permit water to be absorbed into the fiberglass, the boom should be repaired in accordance with the manufacturers requirements.

Fiberglass booms should never be steam cleaned. This practice may actually damage the boom by allowing the high-pressure water and steam to penetrate the fiberglass. Booms should be washed with a mild dish-washing detergent. Never use an abrasive type cleanser or anything that will compromise the dielectric value of the boom.  The boom will need to be elevated and allowed to air dry after the unit has washed.

If the boom does have deposits of creosote or grease a more aggressive chemical, such as Donar Chemicals Electra Clean, may be used. The booms need to be thoroughly rinsed and allowed to air dry after the use of any type of cleaner.

Once booms have been cleaned, it should be coated with a good quality fiberglass wax. Boom wax is available from companies such as Hastings, Kearney and Donar. This coating of wax will help to keep the booms clean and shiny, preventing grease, road salts and creosote from adhering to the boom. This will also assist the boom with shedding water during storm work.

Fiberglass booms should be dielectrically certified after the booms have been cleaned to insure the dielectric values of the boom have not changed. A dielectric test should also be performed anytime a boom has been repaired or a component that passes thru an insulated portion of the boom has been replaced. This test will insure the repair procedure and the replacement items used, have not affected the insulated value of the boom.
Items such as saw scabbards should be removed for any dielectric tests. These items should also be washed periodically to insure they do not track any residue across an insulated portion of the booms. It is important not to place any aerial accessories in a manner that may affect the dielectric value of the boom.

If you have any questions about boom maintenance or repairs, you should contact your aerial service center or the aerial manufacturer for assistance.

No comments: