Surface Preparation is the Key to Industrial Decorating

Surface Preparation is the Key to Industrial Decorating

Whether it’s the inside of a petrochemical tank, an oil tanker’s hull, a warehouse floor or the deck of a bridge, all industrial structures will require re-decorating during their life-span, preferably as part of a scheduled maintenance programme.

Different structures have exposure to a variety of elements over time that can affect their use and structural integrity. For example in the petro-chemical industry where there is a high volume of storage tanks, exposure to the environment and stored media can reduce efficiency and performance. The build-up of corrosion and oil residue on internal walls will reduce efficiency of seals on floating roofs and damage to exterior surface coatings which can cause structural problems.

For marine vessels such as oil tankers there is a need for an effective barrier against corrosion and surface contaminants. When this is compromised the structure is then fallible.

For surfaces such as concrete floors and concrete structures there is often the need to remove surface contaminants, dirt and grit that have embedded themselves over a period of time. This removal may be required as purely a means of cleaning the surface or in preparation for the laying of a new surface, an epoxy resin on warehouse flooring as an example.

What is necessary as a fundamental requirement for whatever surface is being prepared, is an in depth knowledge of the material that is being removed and the type of material that is to be re-applied. This will then determine the most suitable surface preparation method to be employed. The success of any industrial re-decoration project depends on the quality of the preparation work and ensures the new coatings will perform as the manufacturer intended.

The most effective and cost efficient method of preparing the surfaces described previously is to carry it out mechanically. Captive Shot blasting is generally considered to be the best technique and provides a number of significant benefits. The shot blasting machines are self-contained units that propel small steel shot into the designated surface at speed, removing the contaminated covering.

On steel surfaces the machinery can be used on vertical and horizontal surfaces to remove contaminants and failed coatings and is specifically designed to prepare large surfaces in very fast time. The equipment utilises dust free technology and is environmentally friendly as all material removed is vacuumed up into a recovery unit. The process removes all redundant paint finishes and contaminants including a very thin layer of the existing substrate. This ensures a good mechanical key will be achieved for the project specific coating.

A similar method can be used on large, open concrete surfaces and where the finish of the floor surface must be cleaned and textured to establish the best adhesive properties. The process conditions the floor surface, leaving a profile that allows coatings to gain both physical and chemical adhesion.  By varying the speed of the blasting machine, the rate of flow of shot and the size of the shot, differing surface textures can be achieved specific to the final coating application.

This service must only be carried out by trained and experienced operatives where health and safety is a serious consideration. HBS have undertaken a number of industrial decoration projects where we have carried out the specified preparation and decoration works and also acted as independent design consultants specifying the most appropriate coatings. Recent projects have included a large air intake louver for Eurotunnel, flour mill re-decorations and large warehouse flooring projects.

See our Decoration Services . . .

If you have any questions regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to give me a call. Andrew Pratt Director t: 01708 744 574

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Havering Building Specialists Ltd.
46-48 Brentwood Road,
Romford, Essex RM1 2EX
Phone: 01708 744 574

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