Monday, 15 January 2018

Many mickles make a muckle ...

Historians will know that when George Washington introduced the concept that 'many mickles make a muckle', he was referring to the old Scottish saying, 'mony a mickle maks a muckle' which essentially means that many small things add up to one big thing. For the Scots, they were talking about taking care of the pennies and the pounds would take care of themselves, but it is a saying that resonates in many areas, including modern industrial infrastructure. It is all constructed from many small things, creating machinery and plant that depends on the proper function of its smallest component.

A wind turbine, for example, is a collection of 'mickles' all of which make a pretty large 'muckle' ... stuck in the middle of nowhere and specifically designed to be exposed to the worst weather on the planet. 

A lot is written about the design and maintenance of turbine components ... products to reduce wear and tear in the gears, how to control the atmosphere in the nacelle and tower to minimize corrosion, coating systems for the structure and blades ... the list of ASTM and ISO standards that apply to the design and manufacture of these complex structures is much longer than my arm. 

But one thing appears to be missing ...

... anchor bolt maintenance standards and recommendations ... see if you can find any.

Turbine foundations are a big deal. A standard 1.5 megawatt wind turbine tower is well over 200 feet high (with its blades making it more than 320 feet), supporting a combined weight of 56 tons for the nacelle and 36 tons for the blade assembly. The tower itself weighs around 70 tons. All of this is anchored to its foundation by a series of bolts set in concrete ... quite a lot of concrete. Have a look at this video of a foundation being constructed in Oregon. You can see the ring of anchor bolts being embedded in the enormous circle of concrete. Once the foundation is complete, the first section of the tower is lowered on to the bolts and secured, then the rest of the turbine is assembled above.

The bolts have to be tensioned accurately to prevent any movement on the base when the tower flexes in the strong winds it is designed for, but still allow some stretch to reduce foundation deflections from the high wind loadings. So the condition of the bolts and nuts is critical to the long-term survival of the tower. Bolt tension issues have been identified as a cause for failure in turbine collapses as have bolt failures from the effects of corrosion.

Yet many bolts are left exposed to the elements, with the result that corrosion rapidly occurs. Proprietary solutions exist for post-construction remediation of corrosion damage to exposed bolts ... these include tape wraps, grease and bolt caps ... but all suffer from limitations that require frequent maintenance or replacement to prevent corrosion damage to the turbine anchors. If the nuts and threads corrode, they cannot be retensioned properly.

So the entire turbine structure relies on a few relatively small nuts to ensure it is firmly fixed to the anchor bolts, yet it is left to the operator to ensure they get the protection they need.
We think protection of these nuts is pretty important. Turbine towers do not collapse very frequently and, because they tend to be off the beaten track, injuries from such collapses are rare but the cost of replacement runs into millions and the constant vigilance that is required to maintain the bolts is wasteful and unnecessary.

The Enviropeel solution is simple. Anchor bolts can vary in length but the exposed threads are always several inches long, so providing the correct size of bolt cap can be a problem. Because Enviropeel bolt applications will fit any size or shape of bolt, it provides a straightforward, one-size fits all solution ... but this is not its only advantage over bolt caps. Bolt caps have to stay in position to work, they usually have some kind of friction fit mechanism to maintain their seal with the base but this is not always effective. Because Enviropeel is spray applied, it moulds itself around every thread making it impossible to dislodge yet easy to remove, if required, by simply screwing it off.

And, of course, Enviropeel contains its own active inhibitors so, if corrosion is already present in the bolts, it not only prevents further deterioration but it will also condition the nuts and threads so that they can easily be adjusted for maintenance. Compare this with protection using a wrapping system ... as long as the wrap stays intact, it will provide a barrier to water ingress but nothing else. And, it cannot be removed for inspection without having to be completely replaced whereas, with Enviropeel, it can be removed and replaced.

Contact Enviropeel for information on how we can design the best possible corrosion protection system for your specific application. We would love to hear from you.

A short video of an Enviropeel wind turbine application can be viewed below. 

Saturday, 28 October 2017


You may recall me speaking about a fantastic follow up report from Shell after its inspection of an Enviropeel test application by our UK distributor in the North Sea (September 2016). This report has now been incorporated by Shell into its recommendations for maintenance purposes in atmospheric conditions:
Test applications for Shell in the North Sea

  1. The Enviropeel coating system is a suitable surface tolerant coating system for maintenance purposes for atmospheric exposure conditions. 
  2. Minimum surface preparation is required before application of Enviropeel. It is recommended to have a minimum St 2 surface cleanliness.
  3. The Enviropeel coating system can provide a reactive solution to existing corrosion problems on assets, with long-term active effects. Based on track records and long-term testing, the expected lifetime prediction for the coating system is 10 years.

Just like we have been telling you all along! 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017


Enviropeel Holdings, LLC took ownership of the Enviropeel brand and IP in early 2016 following investments in various aspects of the business after the owner of Enviropeel Holdings, Kenny Boehm (whose name rhymes with ‘came’ not ‘comb’) was first introduced to Enviropeel in Las Vegas in 2010. Although Kenny was there for a trade show not the gambling, he decided to make a bet on Enviropeel and his company was soon the Enviropeel license holder for all of the Americas, from Tierra del Fuego to Hudson Bay. He later formed Enviropeel Holdings to acquire all right, title and interest to the Enviropeel brand and IP in early 2016.

Kenny’s background is in engineering, his companies have designed and built caterpillar-tracked drilling rigs as well as making key components for the production lines of a variety of major industries, including Coca Cola. He knows machinery so, although he was fascinated by the unique qualities of the Enviropeel material, he was also intrigued by the possibilities of equipment development for its application.

Through Enviropeel, Kenny came to know much more about the entire corrosion industry as well as Enviropeel’s sister product, Alocit. It might not surprise you to learn that, when he heard about a paint that could be applied underwater, he thought that was a good idea too, and took a majority stake in Alocit International, the company that makes it.

The only problem with Alocit, for Kenny, is that it doesn’t use specialist application equipment that he can redesign … but you can bet he is working on it!


In previous blogs we have talked about changes in ownership, the transfer of the Enviropeel IP to Enviropeel Holdings LLC in America and other corporate wheelings and dealings, without explaining what this means for the most important people in our business … our customers.

In the short term, it has meant a few changes in personnel, including a move for me from working with A&E in the UK to working directly for the new owner in the US. For the Blog it has meant a rather quiet period while we assimilate all the changes and, for Enviropeel, it has brought big investments in a new range of equipment and a streamlined supply chain that should greatly increase availability of material and equipment.

So, for the customer, it is great news.

The new range of application units is more affordable, lighter and easier to move around but with all the capacity and reliability of the superseded CA series. Even better, with major components designed and purpose built by Enviropeel in the US, the new units heat up faster and are far simpler to operate and maintain.

The new MA Series comprises:

The MA10 – a light-weight, one-man unit that can easily be loaded into the back of a pick-up yet with the capacity to perform a wide range of tasks. This unit can be supplied with its own built-in compressor for full operational independence. Unit capacity 10Kg/22llbs. Click to see video of this unit in operation.

The MA25 – a full capacity unit capable of the most demanding tasks. Lighter than the CA18 and easier to manoeuvre yet with almost the same capacity as a CA30, the MA25 is the new Enviropeel workhorse, ready for anything. Unit capacity 25kg/55llbs.

The MA25 Zone 2 unit – similar to the MA25, this unit is DNV certified for use in hazardous areas with explosion-proof electrics for use in areas where gas is present in the atmosphere. Unit capacity 25kg/55llbs.

For more information on MA Series equipment, please contact Ivan Hess at EUSA.

Left: The MA25 is compact, reliable and easy to use.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


Okay, so it wasn't the nineteenth century or the North Pole, but it was pretty cold. And, I suppose I should point out, Ivan doesn't really smoke a pipe or wear a knitted beanie ... maybe he should because it's an interesting look.

The reason Ivan was out in the cold was that Technip FMC and their client, Husky Energy, were looking for a coating to apply on their FPSO, Sea Rose. They organised a trial of three short-listed coatings - one of which was Alocit. Ivan travelled up to Newfoundland to oversee the subsea application of Alocit in waters below 5°C. Alocit USA supplied a custom-built pumping system for the trial and, despite the distance between the pumping station and the diver, were the clear winners of the trial, significantly outperforming the rival coatings. The system allowed continuous delivery of Alocit to the diver from the FPSO deck to the application site, more than 50 metres away.

The pics below show the diver applying Alocit and the frozen splendour of the area around the work site.

Friday, 14 April 2017


He would definitely have come to our party last week ...

Thank you to everybody who came to see us at the WA Club in Perth last Tuesday, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and, for those who were unable to attend, we hope to see you next time - you missed a good night. Particularly happy was Tony Lutzu of Orontide, who won the prize draw and went home with a case of great Western Australian wine.
Special thanks to Jerry Fraser for his awesome oyster virtuosity and to Dr Peter Farinha of Extrin and Vas Dziombak of Orontide for their insight and the time they spent with us, nourishment for the mind as well as the body.

The evening was organised to raise awareness about thermoplastics and how their use has allowed new approaches to corrosion control ... and, of course, to have an enjoyable evening in the wonderful setting of Perth's Western Australia Club, overlooking a glorious Swan river sunset.

Not a great shellfish lover myself, I had not experienced oyster shucking, especially not as performance art! For most people though, the oysters were a welcome treat, as were the drinks and the opportunity to share some time and stories with like-minded people. The presentations were entertaining and informative, Peter and Vas shared their experiences from a technical and long-term user perspective ... and I was able to sum up some of the Enviropeel story for those who were unfamiliar with the technology.

All-in-all, it was a great evening.

For those of you who are interested, the presentation can be viewed on the following link: Thermoplastic Presentations.

Thursday, 2 March 2017


'The Magic Underwater Coating' 

They say that familiarity breeds contempt and it is certainly true that we all can sometimes take for granted those things which are always around us, not noticing how amazing they might be just because they are just part of our every day life. So, it was with some surprise that we watched the astonished reaction of attendees at AOG to the Alocit underwater application demonstration on our stand. As Chris Harrey, Australian manager for A&E, reported:

... the underwater coating demonstration went down a storm! No one had ever seen such a thing and watched in amazement. People would come back and bring other people to show them the 'magic underwater coating' ...

Obviously, we need to do more to ensure that everybody takes us for granted. No point in keeping all that amazingness to ourselves! Click on this link: AOG Underwater, if you would like to see a 'live' application.

As well as this bit of unexpected excitement, the show went really well. Very high quality visitors, lots of interested attendees. A really worthwhile exercise ... particularly for Jeff Fraser of E&M Industries who went home with a case of wine courtesy of A&E - and Tracey Winn of the Australian Corrosion Association who graciously agreed to draw the winning card.