in Vol. 13 - November Issue - Year 2012
Advanced High Wear-Resistant Ceramic Coating Applied On Location
Applying the coating with 50 degrees on one of the 45-ton roder
The 2K hot airless on the job in action, only air and electric power
Special coating mobile
Complete 2K unit on trailer ready for action
Good research, proper working procedures, qualified personnel and a schedule for future maintenance. High quality super wear-resistant ceramic coatings are coatings that tolerate extreme temperatures and are resistant against heavy chemical elements (such as acids and bases).
For drinking water pipes, ceramic-organic epoxy coatings were developed that can be applied by brush or spray and have a very low wear-resistant yield. Because excessive wear appears on pure epoxy, a ceramic material was added. This is called a Ceramic Composite coating. The epoxy matrix is responsible for the adhesion with the steel surface. For application on the spot, there are many additional issues to be dealt with, as the following examples will illustrate.
For the Netherlands, an engineering company from Amsterdam sought a partnership for applications of the Ceramic composite in the field with an enterprising applicator from which proactive approach to the market would be expected. This was found with Kalfsvel Metalcoating in Zaandam. This cooperation has now culminated in the creation of Kalfsvel Special Coating. Director Cees Kalfsvel likes to talk about his work and certainly about his latest addition to the corporate tree.
The Ceramic Composite coating until then was applied manually. It needed a company that could apply the sprayable version of the Ceramic Composite. Kalfsvel Special Coating didn¡¦t have those facilities and knowledge for this yet, but a standard saying at Kalfsvel is: "what is not now, can still come". Self-testing and experimentation was entrusted to Kalfsvel Metalcoating.
The very advanced hot airless computer-controlled 2-component spraying equipment has had problems with the Ceramic Composite. The ceramics in the paint wears the equipment much faster. Within Europe, there is no experience with spraying of this Ceramic Composite product type. They first followed a seminar in the USA with a producer of Ceramic Composite. There was little-to-no attention on spraying. The practice is at least as valuable, if not more, as the product information itself; for example: the curing goes much faster. It cannot just rely on the data sheets.
After numerous experiments in collaboration with the engineering company from Amsterdam, the process was mapped. Sometimes they had to invent things; for example, by heating the paint. When they were in control of the spray viscosity, they did a project for water supply. Cast iron frames and foundations were in the room with the water sieves. All were affected by pitting. There was not enough time for the work to be assessed in advance. The blasting in such a situation is of a much higher level than normal. It should blast, do salt tests, blast again and continue until it is perfect. In between, it had to be flushed with a cleaner, then the process must act very quickly to apply the paint, which was applied at 2.000 micrometer. Besides the very rusty state, the material itself was also problematic.
The cast base, with cavities and blowholes, can provide withdrawal of the corrosion product in those places. When iron is poured into the mold, it creates tiny bubbles. When these are enclosed under the surface, there is no problem. Even when they are half open, it is still no problem. But when there is just a little hole from the bubble to the surface it causes problems. It is impossible to get coating in there. Even worse: when the coating is applied warm, the air in the hole expands and creates an air duct or air bubble. The hole then needs to be opened with a diamond cutter and repaired.
Not charming, but functional
A second project involved a reactor for the Dutch dune water, where calcic and leach was removed. It was also fed with acid. One hundred square meters were carefully blasted and then applied with the right Ceramic Composite Coating as there are different types from different producers on the market. It used a 23% ceramic-filled variant ARC S2 which was applied in two layers each of 375 microns. Kalfsvel Metalcoating has a SCC (Safety Checklist for Contractors) certificate and SCC-trained staff which are needed when working on location.
Other nearby blast and coating businesses simply did not meet the requirements set. That made him decide to go on his own with these Ceramic Composite coatings. He felt that there was a market demanding for this - and he was right. It has now proven to be the case. As for example in the petrochemical industry, a solution for applying a Ceramic Composite Coating paste where the processes are not or hardly ever interrupted was very welcome. It might not look very charming but is very functional. When a Ceramic Composite coating is applied, the service life is extended 4 or even 5 times.
Plenty testing for more applications
There is plenty of testing being done for more applications. A known spraying pump producer has performed in its own testing facility a comparison after the application of an internal coating that showed the flow was improved and the energy efficiency went up by more then 3%. Currently, comparative tests in forty-meter-high soybean and corn silos are performed. At the bottom of the silos are test panels made with the Ceramic Coating and a standard (now used) wear-resistant coating. Again, an unprecedented application, and also a coating that is stronger than the underlying material. The result was that the panels with the Ceramic coating were intact while the others had become completely blank.
Kalfsvel special coating mobile unit
More capacity and mobility was required, so they created Kalfsvel Special coating. They now have a very advanced mobile unit with up-to-date qualified staff. With them it is not just do it! There is only one quality and that is 100%. With their new special mobile unit they go everywhere in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. Their mobile unit is equipped with the latest modern equipment: a new computer-controlled 2-component pump with specially prepared cylinders for perfect mixing of the coatings and applying it and an advanced blast kettle boiler for blasting. As previously reported, all employees at Kalfsvel Special Coating are SCC-certified at a managerial level and have the highest quality working experience (because 70% of what goes wrong in the preservation is due to the applicator).
The objects to be treated do not need to be moved. It can be well imagined that this is a very good solution in many special situations. Objects that are too complex and/or too large to move are able to be dealt with by their mobile unit on site.