Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Break in Transmission

Sometimes things just catch up with you ....

They certainly did this December. Instead of sending out a variety of cheery stories about our progress in Dubai, recognition of Alocit in Oman and our plans for 2014, I found myself laid low by a particularly tenacious travel virus, that was almost immediately followed by a viral attack on our email system that is still affecting communications within the Group.
So apologies for our lack of communication.

Today is Christmas Eve

Based as I am, in the UK, Christmas is a big deal. If you have to put up with snow, rain, sleet, fog, wind and only 8 hours of what passes for daylight for three months - you need something to brighten the gloom! 

Throughout history, the winter solstice has been used as an excuse for a party, so it is with this holiday spirit that I wish everybody who reads this all the best for the New Year and, if you are lucky enough to enjoy a holiday break, take full advantage of the opportunity to relax and prepare for 2014.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 21 November 2013


For those of you who are unfamiliar with Gatorade or who might have thought it was a soft drink distilled from the teardrops of large amphibians, you should know that it is a sports energy drink, first formulated in the 1960s to provide replacement fluids and electrolytes lost through sweating and exercise. The Florida 'Gators', for whom it was developed, were so successful in outlasting their opponents that football teams across America have adopted Gatorade as their official sports drink to help make their players last longer on the field.
... now lasting longer with Enviropeel

At the PepsiCo Gatorade plant in Indianapolis, engineers were hoping to make their machinery last longer when they introduced Enviropeel on elements of their production equipment that were suffering from the affects of corrosion and water ingress. The Gatorade product is heated during the bottling process and runs through large coolers where it is subject to a water deluge. The gearboxes and bearings in the coolers are therefore exposed to a constant deluge of water, causing them to fail prematurely.

The first Enviropeel applications at the plant were introduced three years ago where they have more than tripled the lifespan of the protected equipment. Recently, more applications have been undertaken by Enviropeel USA on additional equipment, as these 'before and after' images show. Blue was the colour chosen by PepsiCo as being the most appropriate for their needs but Enviropeel can be supplied in a variety of standard colours - and almost any colour to order.

Enviropeel USA, together with sister company Alocit USA, are the main distributors and licence holders for Enviropeel and Alocit products throughout the Americas. Contact details are available on their website www.enviropeelusa.com.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


As this Blog is relatively new - and because part of what we hope to do is keep everyone informed on the latest developments with Alocit and Enviropeel - I will be posting one or two updates that relate to events from earlier months.


Everyone in the industry understands this test - you take a sample and subject it to the most corrosive environment you can create, do it for as long as you can - and see what happens.  In the warm, salty and moist environment of a hot salt fog cabinet, unprotected steel will rust right in front of your eyes - and keep on rusting until it is an oozing pile of sediment, without form or structure.

Zinc-plated bolts after 18 months offshore
The main problem with the test is that it is in real time - you might test a zinc-plated bolt for a 1000 hours - but that is 42 days and a long time to wait for a test result.  Yet, while this is a widely accepted test period, it is still very short when you consider what these bolts have to put up with in the real world, where DNV testing has shown that such bolts may fail in 18 months in an offshore environment.

We recognised this when first testing Enviropeel, back in the 1990s. Samples were tested for 3000 hours - said to be the equivalent of 30 years in an offshore environment. The Enviropeel-coated samples passed without a blemish but, 15 years later, it seemed like a good idea to try an even more severe test over an extended period - the first to be 4500 hours.

188 DAYS LATER ...

So, in early 2013, a number of samples were placed in a large hot-salt fog chamber and testing commenced. After more than six months (longer than NASA will take to get a manned flight to Mars), the first sample was removed to see the results. The other coated samples were left in the chamber - the next to be removed when NASA might have reached the outer limits of the Solar System or after a year - whichever comes sooner!

For complete details of the test you can follow this link but a picture is worth 4500 words - and, as you can see, the difference between the Enviropeel-protected bolt and its less fortunate companion is quite startling. With no deterioration of any kind on one and a definite case of man flu on the other - it's easy to see why Enviropeel makes so much sense when it comes to protecting bolted systems.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Our Friends in Alabama

Road bridge near the town of Creola, Alabama
COMMERCIAL DIVING SERVICES have been buying and applying Alocit in Alabama and surrounding areas for the past ten years and their CEO, Doug Christopher, knows better than anyone how to exploit the potential of Alocit's surface tolerance and ability to be applied in the wet.

During a visit to Alabama in September, I was able to witness CDS in action as they trialled a new application for the Alabama DOT, protecting damaged piles on concrete bridge piles. With heavy rainfall in the area, bridge piles are eroded by fast flowing water and debris - even on small waterways like the one illustrated, where the trial took place. To stop deterioration before the concrete needs extensive repairs, a programme of remedial applications to 'at risk' piles has been proposed.
One of the CDS divers enters the water prior to blasting
The trial was witnessed by DOT and industry reps, all of whom were impressed to see underwater painting for the first time. Also attending was the Mayor of Creola who had been of great assistance to CDS in facilitating the event in order to encourage local industry.
First the diver blasted the piles clean using a quartz material that matched the natural sands in the area, then two coats of Alocit 28.15 were applied to seal and protect the damaged areas. Despite muddy waters from heavy overnight rain, rising continuously during the application, the diver had no difficulty with the application although the video of the operation was hampered by very limited visibility. A short video of the event has been posted by Doug, follow this link to see it. Once mixed and cured, the Alocit coating is inert and harmless to marine flora and fauna making it safe to use in the most environmentally sensitive areas.
Doug and the Alabama DOT will be monitoring the bridge to assess performance over the coming year.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Although they are not certified by any international testing authority, the tropical fish in the reception area at A&E Group HQ, have been playing their part in proving the non-toxicity of Enviropeel by sharing their home with a number of colourful samples for the past two years.
The picture shows the tank but action speaks louder than words - click on this link to see what the fish themselves have to say.

Monday, 11 November 2013


Following hot on the heels of the successful 110 volt single-phase MA10 from Enviropeel USA, a compact, single-phase 230 volt unit is now available for Asian and European markets. Competitively priced, the new unit is supplied with a 5-metre hose and is similar in appearance to the MA10 but with a slightly larger 12 kg capacity.

Response in the US to the MA10 has been remarkable and it is clear that, for certain users, a compact, entry-level machine is an ideal introduction to the Enviropeel process. Of course, for larger projects, the CA18 and CA30 continue to be the products of choice but for the user who values mobility, the new unit is an ideal solution.


First view of the unit is at the Australian Corrosion Association's 2013 Annual Conference - CORROSION & PREVENTION 2013 - where the unit is displayed on the A&E stand, pictured left. Also shown in the photo is Chris Harrey who manages the A&E Perth office but behind the camera is Sean Ong who barely had time to draw breath from his trip to Tokyo before travelling to Brisbane where the ACA Conference is taking place. If Sean's experience in Tokyo is anything to go by, the Queensland show will provide an excellent showcase for Enviropeel and Alocit products.

The show is running from 10-13 November. Once it is over and Chris is back in Perth, we will be taking a closer look at what is happening with Alocit and Enviropeel products in Australia. It's an amazing country which has had a big part to play in the development of Enviropeel within the Mining Industry.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Showing off in Japan

Sean Ong, the Group Manager for the Far East, has just returned from Japan where he was helping our Japanese distributors, A&E Systems Japan, at the Maintenance Techno Show in Tokyo - one of the region's largest anti-corrosion showcases. The A&E stand was very busy and many visitors were amazed to see Alocit being applied underwater, with lots of them trying an application for themselves in the small demonstration tank on the stand.

Left: Visitors form a line to see what Alocit and Enviropeel can do for them.
Centre: A&E Japanese President, Satoshi Koyama, demonstrates how to apply Alocit underwater 
while on the right visitors examine small flanges coated with Enviropeel.
The stand featured both Alocit and Enviropeel products and, as Enviropeel is a relative newcomer to Japan, engineers and executives were intrigued to discover how simple bolt protection has become using Enviropeel.
Sean tells me that the rewards for all their hard work came in the evening when he was able to enjoy some excellent Japanese cuisine (see left)!
Satoshi Koyama was recently supervising applications at the stricken Fukishima Nuclear Plant where Alocit coatings are being used as part of the rehabilitation process at the site. A&E are working with major Japanese power, oil and gas companies to introduce their technology to Japan.
For readers who speak Japanese, more information about A&E Systems in Japan can be found on their website at www.ae-sys.jp.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Dubai doesn't sleep much either ...

I recently enjoyed a trip to Dubai to liaise with our colleagues there on a demo for the protection of Siemens switchgear for the local power generation authority DEWA. Although it was only a short trip for a meeting organised by Siemens with DEWA engineers, the idea of using Enviropeel was well received by the engineers but, as noted in my very first post, they wanted to see Enviropeel in action.

So, last week an Enviropeel unit left the UK offices for the UAE and this week Steve Flack, the UK's Senior Project Engineer, will be travelling to Dubai to show them what an Enviropeel application looks like.

Steve and the local Enviropeel team have been working on Siemen's substrates in the UK for the past two years and, we are told, one of the senior Siemens people we work with was part of the original team that installed the switchgear in Dubai - many years ago!

Dubai is a fabulous place to visit, very friendly and visually spectacular. There aren't many places you can do business in fabulous 35° sunshine, indulge in some retail therapy - and go tobogganing!

On the left, outside the amazing Dubai Mall at 35+ degrees - on the right, inside the Mall of the Emirates at freezing point!

Needless to say, we won't be allowing Steve anywhere near the malls but we hope he will have a successful trip.
For those of you with a technical interest in Enviropeel and its use on power generating and distribution sites there is a short presentation available for viewing here

Friday, 1 November 2013

New kid on the blog

Seems like a good idea to start a blog - after all, the A&E Group has a lot of colleagues, friends and customers who might like a reference point for info and news about what we are up to. Arthur, the Group CEO, is all for it (which is a worry, because he's pretty judgemental and not afraid to express his opinion) and we all know how 'important' social media has become as a means of communication ... we'll see how it goes.

As an organisation, we have always been early adopters of technology - we had a website before most people had any idea what that meant and our products benefit from all the latest tech - but we have been slow to move into blogging and facebook etc because of the commitment involved in maintaining a constant flow of ideas and news.

Of course, since it is going to be my responsibility to ensure that it works, it might be possible to attribute some of this tardiness to fear of the unknown - just how much work is going to be involved, who is going to read it, why me? You know what I mean ...

Nevertheless, because there IS a lot to say - about us, our friends and our competition - we have started, and plan to make sure it's worthwhile for you to make regular visits.

So ... what's new?

Quite a bit, since this is the first time we have spoken, but something that has given rise to more than a little satisfaction within our Technical Department has been the completion of the first stage of our recent long-term hot-salt fog testing for Enviropeel. Not that anyone here was surprised, but there are quite a few cynics amongst corrosion engineers and infrastructure operators, so it's great to be able to show in a standard test that what we experience in the field is demonstrably true - Enviropeel works brilliantly well. Follow this link to see the test result in full: 4,500 hour ASTM B117 test.

Just to help with the maths, 4500 hours is 6 months. A lot of bolts sold to the offshore industry are sold with a 1000-hour test as a mark of their durability and we see them fail in as little as six weeks. So we are not resting on our laurels, more samples remain in the test cabinet and we intend to keep them there for at least a year.

You might think that more than a decade of protection from Enviropeel tells its own story, but you would be wrong. Perhaps we can attribute some of this cynicism to the tenuous links with reality that lie behind many competitors' product claims. I have certainly learned that seeing is believing - and I hear it over and over again from potential customers who have no experience with our products. So, if a test is what you need, here is one for you to read but I suggest you speak to our customers - they know the truth when they experience it.

This is just a first post and relatively short but, now the ball is rolling, we will be back. Not just blowing our own trumpet - we hope to cover many of the issues that concern this corroding planet and, for our colleagues, there will be updates to testing and product information as well as the odd story or two that have absolutely nothing to do with rust.

Thanks for listening ...

Tim Davison