Tuesday, 15 July 2014

THINGS WE ARE GOOD AT ... and a really good story ... read on!

Underwater Painting and Rehabilitation

The idea that it is possible to successfully coat a structure covered in water seems crazy yet, all around the world, there are bridges, pipelines and jetties that are supported by vulnerable steel and concrete structures that are either permanently or regularly submerged.

Sometimes operators leave it too late ...
Even when great care is taken to protect steel structures in marine environments with coatings and cathodic protection systems - impact damage, microbial action and other factors will often make repairs and/or re-coating necessary.

So, it's handy that we have a product that can help

In the UK, Australia and the USA, Alocit is working with specialist companies that can do amazing things to restore and protect ageing or damaged assets, saving money and preserving valuable infrastructure. 

Commercial Diving Services (CDS) in Alabama featured in a post last November. Company president, Doug Christopher, calculates that they have applied more than 300,000 sq ft of Alocit in their region. CDS have a reputation for success in difficult circumstances but, when called on to survey the structure pictured above, it was clear that the operators had left this particular project a little too long! More sensible applications include the toll bridge piles right. The piles are part of a protective barrier around the bridge support tower and were beginning to deteriorate. After blasting, Alocit coating was applied above water from a pontoon and below water by diver. Alocit can be applied in the wet, through the splash zone and on to dry or wet surfaces above water.

A really good story ...

In Australia Alocit has been used underwater successfully in a range of areas - you have probably seen the video of NZ navy divers (if not, here it is) using Alocit underwater on a damaged prop shaft. Most of the time we sell the coating, customers apply it, job done. Occasionally we get to hear about what they have been up to but, sometimes, it turns out to be a really good story ...

Are you sitting comfortably?

About three years ago Chris Harrey at our Australian office in Perth had a phone call from a local Dock Master with an interesting tale to tell ... he had a large submersible floating dock which had been coated in Korea prior to delivery in Australia. Within a year, the coating started to fail and, as part of the legal action that followed, an assessment had to be made of the likely cost of repair. This wasn't so easy to do. How was the dock to be repaired? How do you dry dock a dry dock? What kind of coating do you use?

Many questions and, as the Dock Master related to Chris, not as many answers as he would have liked. However ... just as the owners of the deteriorating dry dock were contemplating what to do, the dock in question came in from a mission. 

For those of you that are not familiar with this kind of dock, it is designed to be taken out to the vessel requiring maintenance where it submerges. The vessel positions itself over the dock, which then resurfaces, lifting the vessel out of the water. The dock then returns to base so that the vessel can be worked on out of the water.

On this particular occasion, the vessel being returned for work was a submarine. It was covered in corrosion and marine growth, except for one particular area which appeared to be in very good condition. As the Dock Master tells the story, he was intrigued by the clean area thinking that a paint that worked on a submarine would work on his dock. In conversation with the crew, he discovered that the area in question had been coated underwater some years previously as part of a trial and that it had stayed in perfect condition ever since.

An artist's impression of the submarine arriving in Perth
Now the Dock Master was excited, this was just what he needed ... but where could he get it? He investigated, got the name of the product (perhaps I should mention it was Alocit 28.15) and went on line to find it. He was amazed to find that he only had to drive a few miles down the road to get it and that there was a well-respected local company who could apply it for him. 

Gage Roads Diving/Franmarine were the company and since that time they have been using Alocit successfully underwater to repair failing coatings. The background to the application can be found on their website here and in the following pdf document. GRD Franmarine is one of Australia’s leading commercial diving companies with more than three decades of experience in onshore and offshore diving and hull cleaning services

Needless to say, we liked this story but it is not unusual for us to find that Alocit has been able to solve a difficult problem, particularly in situations where other coatings have failed or where coating is required in difficult environments such as underwater. Not so crazy, after all!