Avoiding complexity with coating

Online Editor

The right protective coating solutions can reduce downtime and ensure that power plant infrastructure withstands the elements.

If you take one thing from this article let it be this; protective coating solutions don’t need to be complex.

We are in a world where the pressure is on to simplify solutions and systems, with fewer steps. We want efficiency but we don’t want to compromise on quality, and even more so now, we want our solutions to support a sustainable future.

Protective coating solutions must also meet these requirements and provide protection to assets to extend their life and help support sustainable goals.

Designing for reality

For protective coatings to meet the demands of their operational environments, we need to consider the reality in which they will exist. Whether this is a 60c pipe in a -200c environment, coating a 900c pipe without shutting it down, coating a sweating pipe in a hot environment or an extensively pitted surface where minimum surface preparation would be preferred.

If we consider the latter and take liquid coatings as an example, to achieve good adhesion, liquids need both a clean surface and an optimal surface anchor profile. This can require extensive surface preparation, often in the form of blasting. Blasting involves time, manpower, materials, tools and waste collection procedures to collect the byproduct. Unfortunately blasting is not an environmentally friendly process since much of what is produced risks  contaminating both the user and the environment. Avoiding this can only be a good thing.

The slicker alternative process involves minimal surface preparation, and the simple use of a wire brush and alcohol wipe is enough to create the profile needed for a polyiosbutene based coating that will provide protection for 30+ years.

Going beyond the standard

The STOPAQ WrappingBand technology was brought to market in 1997 and designed with longevity and ease of use in mind.

The coating range offers immediate protection of the surface giving a barrier that blocks oxygen and water, therefore avoiding corrosion. The product doesn’t require extensive application equipment and can cope with confined or challenging application areas making it an ideal solution for energy infrastructure.

There is no issue in the asset location when it comes to application. The WrappingBand products have all been designed to meet challenges posed by environmental conditions that might include high winds, torrential rain, extreme heat or extreme cold.

Keeping energy flowing wherever possible is an important consideration for the power sector. Many options for corrosion prevention may require a shutdown while surfaces are prepared or the product is applied. These shutdowns cost time and money and can often include timely asset replacement if prevention was not factored in at the outset.

The use of technologies with visco-elastic behaviour and dispersive adhesion mechanisms, like STOPAQs polyisobutene based coating, eliminate the need for a shutdown.

The product can be applied to equipment in operation in situations like a 60c pipe in a -200c environment in the ground, to a 900c pipe in a confined environment with high noise. Both these situations need a product that can withstand the operating parameters and be executed with speed and minimal manpower.

Operating in the LNG Sector, STOPAQ has been able to bring the benefits of their easy to apply product range to provide vital protection to every step of the LNG process.

The solutions can be used in fluctuation conditions: cryogenic or high temps., dry to condensing, or submerged. The technology meets the stringent requirements of health, safety, environment and sustainability.

Products in action

The STOPAQ Easy-Qote range is also being used in the wind sector to tackle a broad range of situations, helping to make renewable energy truly sustainable.  The product has beeen used for tower, walkway and platform repairs, flange sealing, the protection of ICCP connections and internal tower sensors, as well as sealing off voids in the T-Pieces and slip joints. In fact, the range can help alleviate corrosion anywhere it exists.

The importance of protective coating solutions for sustainable infrastructure can not be overstated. By prioritising simplicity, efficiency and environmental responsibility these products can meet the challenges of today’s diverse environments, while ensuring longevity and reliability of assets.

Innovative technologies like STOPAQ help provide practical solutions while supporting a more sustainable future. As we continue to navigate the complexities of infrastructure protection and maintenance, lets remember that sometimes, the most effective solutions are the most simple.


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