Different types of airfield tarmac sweeper

Different types of airfield tarmac sweeper

Safety is a top priority in any airport. Part of the safety measures are ensuring that the airfield tarmac is clear from any foreign object debris. To get rid of these debris it is essential that the management consider purchasing airport sweepers. There are different airport sweeper technologies that are the management’s disposal. For them to choose the right sweeper they need to evaluate their needs as well as understand the different sweepers that are offered. Each sweeper has its strengths as well as weaknesses. Below are some of the sweeper technologies at their disposal.

Friction Mat Sweepers
These are recommended for small surfaces such as shallow groves and joints. They are especially used in areas that are safety critical or are in remote locations. It is a bristled mat that is usually towed behind a vehicle and it drags debris under it. These debris are then collected by a series of plastic scoops for disposal. Since this sweeper does not have moving parts it has low maintenance costs. It is also light and easily portable and it captures small foreign objects. The down side of this sweeper is that it does not collect large foreign objects and it is not suitable for use in windy days.

The mechanical sweepers
These sweepers usually sweep the surface and the sub surface for foreign objects at the same time. It works by a spinning broom that sweeps any debris on the runway into hopper. Some of the mechanical sweepers have side brooms that direct debris on to the path of the main broom. Some of the brooms have adjustable bristle lengths and they can therefore easily reach into joints. They are also able to sweep heavy material. The downside of the mechanical sweeper is that it can generate dust while it sweeps. Also, the bristles are to breakage and they then become foreign object debris. Their maintenance cost are also high because of the many moving parts.

Vacuum sweepers

These are mostly recommended for sweeping uneven surfaces especially in dusty environments. It has an air nozzle that sucks the foreign objects off the pavement inti the hopper. Some of these sweepers have side brooms that assist in sweeping debris into the bath of the nozzle. They are advantageous because they can collect debris from surfaces that are uneven. They also generate less dust because of the technology that they use. Unlike the mechanical sweepers they have fewer moving parts hence lower maintenance cost. However, they also have some cons. The size of the nozzle dictates the size of the debris it can collect. There is also the possibility of releasing small sized debris into the atmosphere through the exhaust.

Above are just a few of the available sweepers. To purchase the right sweeper for your facility it is vital to evaluate the challenges your facility faces.

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