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UV-cured Corrosion Protection Products Enter in Local Market

Chemical and aerosol manufacturer Specialised Maintenance Products (SMP) reports that it is the first Southern African distributor of the SolarTech ultraviolet cured product range, which provides seamless protection against corrosion, abrasion and other aggressive environmental conditions.

Through innovative technology, the vinylester/polyester product is manufactured as a single component sheet moulded compound. The products are chemical and abrasion resistant, and have a class 1 fire rating. SolarTech products have passed a range of tests, including hydrostatic, adhesion and pressure tests, and have been rated with a safety pressure factor of 1 500 lb/in2.

This range has a broader spectrum of acidic and alkaline protection compared with many other similar products on the market.

One of the products, SolarTech PW 100, has also been approved for internal use in potable water tanks by the UK-based Water Regulation Advisory Scheme.

The laminates cure, depending on strength of the UV radiation, within five minutes to several hours. If there is insufficient UV radiation, artificial UV light is used to cure the laminate by the use of the UV lamps.

When it is applied in an environment exposed to the sunlight, a small structure, such as a tarpaulin, is erected over the area of application. When the product has been applied, the tarpaulin is moved over the following section and the laminate is left to cure in the sunlight. Prior to curing, the material is flexible and can be moulded to any shape, includ- ing flanges, T-joints, elbows, tanks and bolts, and cut with a basic hand tool.

The SolarTech product range can be applied to both new steel or retrofitted in applications, such as pipeline rehabilitations and for corrosion that takes place under insulation, referred to as corrosion under insulation (CUI), and can be applied over insulation and existing structures. The laminate is available in either 600-mm- or 920-mm-wide rolls and is 10 m long, with a thickness of 1,5 mm to 2 mm, allowing for fewer joints and a more seamless finish than offered by other products on the market, which he says are generally 100 mm to 150 mm wide.

The product range, which has been on the global market since 1989, consists of glass reinforced plastic sheet laminates, primers, topcoats, fillers and repair patches. It has provided corrosion protection to pipelines, pipe supports, splash zones, risers, vessels and tanks in the oil, gas and marine industries, demonstrating its versatility, reports SMP.

The SolarFill filler can be used to fill cracks or pin holes as a repair system, prior to applying the topcoat or laminate. SolarSeal can be used for priming or to seal off joints between the laminate or top coat to enhance corrosion resistance.

Insulation Applications
Meanwhile, CUI, such as that in tanks and piping, often proves to be a challenge for industry. Most insulation material has not been developed to provide a completely nonporous seal, so moisture ingress and corrosion set in between seams and pores in the insulation, causing the insulation to disintegrate and the substrate to corrode.

Further, reinforcing steel bars inside cement pillars, such as those supporting massive gas spheres in the desert in gas plants, are also subject to corrosion and will eventually corrode away, leaving the concrete to crumble and the structure to potentially collapse. The ingress of moisture and acids needs to be stopped, which, can be done by coating the outside of the structure with SolarTech products for corrosion protection.

The SolarTech lami- nate forms a seamless high-impact resistance cladding, with excellent abrasion resistance, over the insulation and can be used in brew- eries and petrochemicals companies that have boilers and use heat processes.

Applications
Meanwhile, manufacturer of solar heat- ing products Solartech International is currently involved in a 560-km pipeline rehabilitation in the Arabian Desert, near Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Payze explains that the pipes are lined with the SolarTech laminate, as the thousands of litres of liquid that pass through the pipeline cause vibrations, which lead to abrasion. The pipes are unearthed, and as the laminate cures within minutes, downtime is significantly reduced.

Many international oil companies have approved SolarTech products and are currently using them on oil rigs around the world.

The product has also been used for corrosion protection throughout the largest sugar mill, in the UAE, in the air-conditioning ducts, the piping, stairwells, pipe flanges, joints and the fittings. Payze adds that certain international militaries are using SolarTech for infield battle damage repair in operational areas around the world.

Reference: www.engineeringnews.co.za