Tuesday, 22 December 2015

IS IT REALLY?

... of course it is

12 months ago, I was wishing everyone a 'Happy New Year' and, without any warning, the year is up. At least, that's how it seems to me.

I suppose that part of the reason is that all the offices have been so busy. Not just working on our own projects here in the UK but working in different ways, especially developing new strategies in the US at Enviropeel USA and Alocit USA who, as we mentioned earlier this year, are playing a far greater role in the Alocit and Enviropeel brands. But, as well as changes in the US, this year has also seen a great new relationship developing within Europe and our new friends at Energy Coating in the Netherlands, renewing old friendships in Australia, as mentioned in our post earlier this month and, in a blog to come, working with old friends at IMG in New Zealand with a new training programme and a very interesting look at the problems they will be helping to resolve in the local salt mining industry.

None of which compares with the work that has had to be undertaken in Malaysia where, because much of the technical development and machine manufacture is moving to Indianapolis, the office has moved from the factory development to a new administration centre. Everything had to be moved and they haven't finished yet ... they will need the new year just to recover! Phone lines etc have still to be assigned ... we will keep you updated.

CHRISTMAS AT ENVIROPEEL USA

It wouldn't be Christmas in the USA without a Christmas tree, some fairy lights and some flanges covered in Enviropeel ... at least that's what Ann seems to be telling us with this photo from a corner of the EUSA office.

We love it ... the more lights (and Enviropeel) the merrier.

All of us hope that 2016 will bring you peace and good fortune wherever you may be.

BEFORE I GO ...

We are great supporters of the Australian Corrosion Association ... they know a thing or two about rust prevention. So I visit their website from time to time, just to see what's going on. At the moment, they have a great little movie featured on their home page on 'winning the fight against corrosion'. It's very informative and enjoyable to watch and it has some interesting ideas on new technologies ... have a look, you might recognise one or two of them.

BEST WISHES FROM ALL OF US


Monday, 21 December 2015

WINDOWS 10 - NOTHING IS FREE

Okay ... so Windows 10 has very little to do with rust - except, for me, it is the medium I use to interact with my PC so, when it lets me down - I let others down, because I can't do my work. Right now, I am working on my laptop (which keeps asking me to update to Windows 10 - NO CHANCE!) and gazing at a blue screen on my PC which seems to have failed during an update for W10 - the little blue dots go round and round - an eternal warning that for Microsoft, like with everything else, getting something for free doesn't mean it doesn't end up costing a great deal.

Monday, 14 December 2015

FIVE PICTURES WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

12 years of bearing protection ...


We have talked before about the early days of Enviropeel in Australia and how it was first introduced and pioneered there by Vas Dziombak, a UK engineer working in Australia for his family business – Robil Engineering. A lot has changed since those early days - but recently we had a reminder of how far ahead of the game we were back then - and, of course, still are!

Our CEO, Arthur Haycox recently met Vas, whose business has now become part of the Orontide Group, a much larger specialist Engineering and Asset Maintenance group who are heavily involved in advanced asset protection technologies such as Enviropeel. During their conversation, Vas mentioned that he had recently removed some Enviropeel from pulley bearing housings and shafts coated in the very early days of Enviropeel  - so early that some of them were from before we had learned how to colour or properly UV protect the material. Vas was very pleased and satisfied to see how brilliantly the pulley parts had been preserved, despite being outside for at least 12 years in a tropical coastal environment.

He sent us some photos which you can see here. The first shows the original honey-coloured Enviropeel material which, although the outside looks like it was knitted by my great aunt, is in perfect condition on the inside and the bearing housing is still in great condition. The second and third show two grease nipples - one with protection and one without. Then below, material cut away from the end cap area of another conveyor pulley housing shows the excellent condition of the parts but specifically the 'shiny' bright grease nipple in 'as new' condition. Finally, as a word of warning, the last pic shows what is left of a bearing housing that did not have the benefit of Enviropeel protection.

These pictures show why, sixteen years after he first heard of Enviropeel, Vas is still so committed to the system.

Thanks Vas ...

Friday, 11 December 2015

FASTER, SMALLER, BETTER!

New minibatch units prove themselves in the UK and USA

We have been making Enviropeel for just over sixteen years and have been continuously developing the material and our manufacturing technology throughout that time. More recently, we have been developing plans to decentralise production - to introduce minibatch manufacturing plants for the production of Enviropeel on a more localised basis - both to shorten supply lines and provide a faster, more adaptable service. Now, the new system has been tested and and proved both in the UK and the US and, in a major step forward, is ready for implementation in all regions.

Because the raw materials are pre-mixed, greatly simplifying the manufacturing process, regional centres can now have the capacity to produce the majority of their local requirement  - even if they only have limited space. Of course, strict quality controls have to be maintained but the process has streamlined to ensure this can easily be achieved with suitable training.

The system also means that the colouring process can be applied at the final production stage - so non-standard colours can now be available at short notice and in small quantities, providing a much faster and more customised service to our customers.

The minibatch system will also be available to qualified distributors - which can be of major inportance in areas where local manufacturing can play a very important role in reducing costs and increasing acceptance of new technologies.

The photograph shows the E170 Minibatcher in the UK. The entire process can be operated by a single person and, despite its small size, this unit can produce a tonne of material every week.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

BAKING THE SPEED LIMIT ...

... travelling at 264,000 BPH

That's bagels per hour - and if you think that's a lot of bagels, it's only one of several production lines in a single factory - a factory that uses eight railroad cars of flour every day!

One thing you know about flour, it gets everywhere. So it probably won't surprise you to learn that it gets into the production machinery too. And, mixing flour with moving parts means trouble. So much trouble, in fact, that the bearings working on the flour sifter failed regularly from the effects of the incredibly dusty environment.

If this sounds familiar ... you're right. Enviropeel has saved bearings from sand, salt, coal dust and bull dust ... now it is working its magic on flour dust.

The bearings in the photograph on the left are just two of those that were protected using Enviropeel. The material was applied to prevent ingress of contamination into the bearing's moving parts; by applying it around the housing and down on to the rotating shaft it guarantees a long life for the bearings and makes sure those bagels keeping on coming.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

SOUTH OF THE BORDER ...

... down Mexico way

EUSA have been working for a number of years with partners in Mexico to qualify Alocit and Enviropeel products with PEMEX, the state-owned oil company of Mexico. Recently, they sold an MA25 machine and Enviropeel material to TECHINT, an enormous global construction company based in Argentina. The equipment and material were destined for Coatzacoalcos in southern Mexico for a PEMEX project involving many kilometers of natural gas pipelines and five gas compression stations. 

 Pemex websitePEMEX specified Enviropeel to be used in a large number of bolted flanges and valve assemblies at these stations. Paint applied within the past year of construction was already failing in many of these assemblies due to high levels of humidity and salt from the proximity of the ocean. As we all know, paint does not work well in complex bolted assemblies - even in less extreme environments. 

Four applicators were trained on site by EUSA over 4 days on actual assemblies within the plant. As you can see in the photos, most of the training was conducted on smaller flanges and valve assemblies but other much larger flanges are due to be protected at the site.


We anticipate much more Enviropeel will be necessary to complete this project and hope that this project will help establish our products in Mexico ... and for PEMEX.







Monday, 5 October 2015

MAJOR CHANGES FOR ALOCIT AND ENVIROPEEL BUSINESS


For the past four years the A&E Group has been working with its US partners, Enviropeel USA (EUSA) to forge a new strategic alliance, building on the synergy between the two organisations to bring new strength and energy to its business.

Starting with their acquisition of licences for Alocit and Enviropeel in their local area in 2011, EUSA moved on to licence the entire US and then the whole of the Americas. In 2014 they considered taking majority interest in the companies controlling the Alocit and Enviropeel products but have now moved to buy all of the IP for Enviropeel and a majority shareholding in Alocit International. Kenny Boehm, owner and president of EUSA, met with A&E Group CEO, Arthur Haycox in the UK last week to finalise the details of the changes and discuss new plans for the development of the business in Europe, Australasia and the Americas. 

‘Bringing the system development work under one roof in the US means we can really power ahead’, remarked Kenny, ‘we’re really happy that the A&E Group Technical Director, Simon Haycox, will be cooperating with our Technical Manager, Ivan Hess, sharing his experience and expertise to strengthen the engineering and product design skill base that EUSA has already established here in Indianapolis’. 'At the same time, in the UK, a new joint venture marketing company, Alocit & Enviropeel Services, will be working to bring more product emphasis to new websites and co-ordinating project administration for Europe'.

‘I am really excited to be working more closely with Kenny’, commented Arthur, ‘we are living in very turbulent times and this new relationship will help us focus on serving our customers better, wherever they may be in the world. Work is in progress on changes to the website and the structure of the UK reorganization is in place, so we do not expect there to be any negative impact on customer services. With all aspects of the change due for completion by the end of 2015, we are looking forward to a fantastic new year'.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

WORKING WITH RENEWABLES

Wind Turbine Bolt Failures

Bolt failures on wind turbines can be catastrophic, ranging from the separation of components such as rotors and blades from the structure to the total collapse of the tower. Although such accidents rarely result in human injury because of their relative isolation, the costs of replacement or repair can be extremely high - and every such failure requires investigation which may mean shutdowns and other interruptions to supply.

In most circumstances, turbine towers are constructed with a circular flange at the base which are secured by means of a series of threaded bolts that are embedded in heavy concrete foundations. Once the tower is lowered into place and levelled, nuts are screwed down on to the flange to prevent any movement.

In some cases, the entire flange, all the bolts and the nuts are then encased in a protective grout, in other cases the bolts and nuts are left exposed to allow for testing and visual inspection. Where grout is used, any problems with security of the bolts is completely hidden from view and failures in the bolts may not be identified until too late. In recent years in the UK there have been a number of tower collapses from incorrect installations and poor quality grout which have caused the bolts to fail.

Exposed nuts and bolts, as in the case study illustrated below, are vulnerable to the effects of weather and the environment but, as long as they are regularly inspected and some form of protection is applied, they can be safely maintained for many years without any risk of failure. Nevertheless, constant vigilance is required and, although a number of solutions exist for bolt protection on wind turbine foundations, none has met all the necessary criteria for long-term protection without constant remedial action. Recently both in the UK and the USA, we have been looking at ways that Enviropeel might provide an effective system for such bolt protection.



A close look at the base bolts shows how much corrosion can affect them
APPLICATION CASE STUDY

The photographs show an application in the US. Prior to application the bolts can be seen to have significant corrosion on the threads and there is a variation in bolt length which makes it difficult to apply a 'one size fits all' solution such as bolt caps. Because Enviropeel is spray applied, any variation in length or shape of substrate can easily be accommodated, so application to the bolts is very simply accomplished.

As most readers will be aware, application of Enviropeel not only provides a barrier to the effects of the environment - preventing moisture getting on to the substrate - but, through its continuous release of inhibitors, it also provides active protection against galvanic and other forms of corrosion which are endemic in bolted systems.

For this application the Enviropeel USA crew used the US-designed and built MA25, a larger capacity variant of the original MA10 workshop unit. Although heavier than the MA10, the MA25 is still easy to manoeuvre and can easily be moved around a work site. The image shows the operator recirculating the material from the application gun into the tank while adjusting for the perfect flow pattern.

The next image shows the Enviropeel being applied to the bolts. Using a standard two-coat system, the material is flowed on to the bolts forming a perfectly-fitting barrier against deterioration. Following application, excess material around the bases is trimmed and all waste material is returned to the application unit for re-use.

Following the application, all the bolts are fully protected from the effects of corrosion while, at the same time, they remain easily accessible for inspection or adjustment.

A short video of the application can be viewed by clicking this link




Friday, 3 July 2015

A CLOSER LOOK AT RISER CLAMP PROTECTION


So ... what are the problems?

Risers are the pipes that are used for the production, drilling and export of oil and gas from the seabed. They are a key component for the offshore industry and maintaining their functionality is central to the success of the production system.


On a platform, the risers have to be secured to the structure using clamps and, while there are many sizes, shapes and designs for the clamps, they share common principals and suffer from similar problems, no matter where they are found.

Steel clamps are especially vulnerable to corrosion because of the way they are constructed and deployed. Usually made up from two halves, one of which is connected to the platform by a stub piece, they are hinged and/or bolted together around the riser to hold it in position, as you can see in the picture on the right. Surrounded, as this clamp is, by significant signs of corrosion, it is easy to understand how the bolts and fixings holding the clamp together must be suffering from the effects of this extreme environment.

The second picture shows some disassembled clamp components. Nothing could be clearer from these pictures than the evidence of corrosion around the bolt holes and clamp faces. The main body of the clamp is able to withstand the marine environment but the cavities around the bolts and clamp faces create a perfect micro-climate for the creation of corrosion and, with the galvanic effects on the bolts and nuts, serious deterioration of the clamp is depressingly inevitable.

But ... we have a solution!

As you know, we have been working on a solution for corrosion problems in riser clamps for some time and we have spoken about the development of an integrated system in earlier blog entries. Now, with imminent mobilisation plans for riser-clamp applications on behalf of major international companies - and a patent pending on the overall system - it's time to talk more detail on a system that we believe has the potential to revolutionise riser clamp protection.

Strength and adaptability

Enviropeel's great strengths have always been in the corrosion-inhibiting quality of the material and its universal applicability. By moulding itself to any substrate, no matter how complex or bizarre in shape, it has been able to bring active protection to the most inaccessible structures in a way that has never previously been possible. Integrating these qualities into a system that can withstand the rigours of the most hostile marine environments, such as those faced by large offshore riser clamps, has been a long-term objective that has finally been achieved.

The system involves three potential stages with different levels of implementation tailored to match the specific needs of the structure to be protected. At the heart lies Enviropeel and its unequalled protection but, with the addition of a tough self-amalgamating outer wrap, it is now possible to withstand splash zone conditions and even submersion. With the potential for a final coat of marine-growth inhibiting, colour-matched epoxy, the system offers the most comprehensive protection ever provided by the A&E Group.


How the system works

Taking a fairly typical clamp as an example, the illustrations take us through the various procedures. The red arrows indicate the most vulnerable areas of the clamp: voids, exposed bolt threads and fixings. The green arrows indicate the application stages.

First, exposed bolt threads and voids are coated and filled, followed by application to the bolt ends using spray and casting techniques as necessary.

Once the voids are filled and the bolt ends given their initial protection, a first coat of Enviropeel is applied around the joint area and across the first half of one side of the clamp. Then, proceeding around the clamp, all four quarters of the clamp are fully coated.

Once the first full coat is completed a second coat is applied in the same manner around the entire clamp. The second coat is stepped in to allow application of the wrapping system.

Finished topside application
The first of the detail pictures on the left shows the step between the two coats.

Following the application of Enviropeel a sealing wrap is applied on the pipe up to the stepped edge of the Enviropeel. This is followed by a second wrap application that takes in both the first wrap on the pipe and the stepped edge of Enviropeel. For most topside applications, this is all that is required to provide long-term preservation of the entire clamp.


Splash-zone/sub-sea applications

For complete ingress and impact protection, a full wrap is recommended. Following the stages outlined above, the bolted areas are individually wrapped, followed by a total wrap of the entire clamp. The wrapping tape is self-amalgamating and moisture-cured. Once the curing process has completed, a coat of Alocit, colour-matched to the riser structure can be applied forming a final impenetrable barrier on a system designed to protect the clamp for many years. 
Large clamps in the splash zone

For large clamps with complex bolt and hinging systems, the most appropriate protection may not be to encapsulate the entire clamp. As previously noted, the areas most likely to be seriously affected by corrosion are the hinge and bolt areas. With clamps that may be one or two metres high, with numerous very large bolts/studs and nuts, the most appropriate and cost-effective approach may be to encapsulate the bolt section, as shown in the pictures on the right.

For large clamps it may be necessary only to protect
the  vulnerable bolted areas
Protecting the bolt area

Following a similar procedure to those previously outlined, the exposed studs are flooded with Enviropeel between the clamp faces and all the studs and nuts are coated. A coating of Enviropeel is then applied across the bolt area, followed by a wrap coat. As with the whole-system application, the wrap coat can be epoxy coated to provide the final finish.

Anti-fouling option

For areas suffering from marine growth, the final epoxy coat may include an anti-fouling (AF) option. Recently approved by the Royal Navy in the UK, Alocit AF has proved to be extremely effective in reducing marine fouling and, like other Alocit products, can be applied to wet and submerged surfaces.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Meet us in Kuala Lumpur next month ...

You know what exhibitionists we are, so you won't be surprised to learn that we are at it again ... this time in one of our favourite places ...KL!

Hall 10, Booth 10013 ... see you there!
The 15th Asian Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Engineering Exhibition will be held from 2 - 4 June, 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It is the biggest and most comprehensive event in the Asian region, with oil and gas industry exhibitors from around the world.

We hope that everyone in the area will come and see us ... you can find us on Booth 10013 in Hall 10. If you have any specific requests or questions about attending the event, please contact Sean Ong ... he would be glad to help in any way he can.



Tuesday, 12 May 2015

BREAKING NEW GROUND

Getting a new product into the market can be harder than it should be ...
Once upon a time in a land down under, as part of the Australian Corrosion Association's annual conference, our Perth manager gave a talk on introducing new technologies. 

Enviropeel was relatively new, and the paper focussed on the various different ways that a new genre of product, such as corrosion-inhibiting sprayable thermoplastics, could win the trust of notoriously sceptical corrosion and coating engineers. Ten years later, there are still people who do not understand how Enviropeel works ... they may have heard of it ... but some still don't get it.

At least, with an epoxy like Alocit, engineers can recognise a coating when they see one. Why anyone would need to apply underwater may be a mystery to the uninitiated ... but a coating that is applied in a traditional way using traditional methodologies is part of their known universe. And, of course, Alocit can be tested for hardness, abrasion resistance, adhesion and all the other tests engineers know and love ... not so with Enviropeel.

The only meaningful test that Alocit and Enviropeel have in common is the test of time ... but you won't find this in the ASTM catalogue, despite the fact that it is the only test that has any real importance.

Back in Australia, the talk came to the conclusion that the best way to convince the sceptics was to show them, through a combination of case studies, trials and appropriate testing ... a lot of which is summarised on our website. The case for effectiveness has been more than adequately demonstrated but, as part of the process, it has also been necessary to develop testing methodologies that reflect the unusual properties and strengths of Enviropeel. 

Last year, after years of gathering data, another A&E manager was in Beijing delivering a paper to NACE in China about Enviropeel on this very subject. More recently, I was discussing some of the data with a colleague and he suggested we make the paper available to our readers. Obviously, this was a good idea ... so here is a link to view it.

Sorry it has taken me so long to share it with you!









Thursday, 7 May 2015

HANDS ON - AND LOVING IT

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing ... and every so often a customer, new to Enviropeel or Alocit, will read something or hear something out of context and come to impossible conclusions about what we can or can't do. 

It would be great if we could ...

Sometimes it's our fault. Even though both products protect against corrosion, they have very different properties so, when we are at a show for example, a casual visitor will see a picture or video of Alocit being applied underwater, read about Enviropeel ... and then ask us how we spray Enviropeel underwater. Which, unfortunately, is against the laws of physics ... but it would be great if we could. Nevertheless, the most outlandish suggestions may contain a kernel of sense. OK, so we still can't apply Enviropeel underwater but, until recently, we also would tell people that Enviropeel was unsuitable for immersive service ... now we have a system that allows us to protect using Enviropeel underwater.


Testing the wrap system
on the back lot pipe rack
And the reason for this is that, when a suggestion is made, we don't dismiss it out of hand. If there is a good reason to do something, just because we can't do it today doesn't mean it will be impossible tomorrow. The potential to be able to do new things is part of what motivated the original development of Enviropeel and it continues to drive us every day.

Yes, you can ...

This can just be a day-to-day thing like the pipe rack which is set up on the back lot of our HQ. Here, simple suggestions are tried out ... 'can you paint Enviropeel?' Well, it turns out, yes you can but, at this point in time, we are not sure why you would want to.

'What happens when Enviropeel has water pouring over it for long periods of time?' You've seen the answer to that question (Blog 3-12-14) or, if you haven't, you should check it out. In a nutshell, the answer is nothing, it doesn't matter how much water pours over Enviropeel ... it just keeps on working.

Anyway, you get the point, some things are easy to test and having a permanent test bed is really useful ... but not every suggestion is quite so easy to assess.


Test facilities

There are certified labs all over the world with the ability to test products against almost anything. Usually this will be against a specific standard set by organisations such as ASTM or ISO in order to test a specific quality such as resistance to UV. In most cases this would involve a small test plate and a relatively short accelerated test for extrapolation into real-world predictions.


The hot salt fog cabinet at Group HQ is
capable of accepting large and complex test pieces
Different wrap techniques
were assessed to maximise
strength and flexibility
Nothing wrong with that but, if you are dealing with complex structures and complicated ideas, it can be very hard to set the correct parameters ... and paying for long-term testing just to see if something works can be an expensive business. So, as you may be aware, we have installed equipment at our HQ more suited to a test lab than a work shop but it allows us to just make things up and see what happens in real time. It's the best possible way to try things out.

Riser Clamp

I mentioned the Riser Clamp in our last post, but is an interesting insight into our approach to see how we arrived at a solution. When approached by Maersk, we had already completed testing of a range of wrapping materials as part of our development of a submersible Enviropeel system. Working together with our colleagues at Enviropeel USA, as a result of early trials for offshore wind generators in the UK, we arrived at a great solution that gave us just what we needed.

Large complete test pieces could
be tested in the salt cabinet
With this in mind, our Technical Director ... a real 'hands on' engineer who enjoys making things ... decided to have 1/3rd scale models of the clamps created to test different ways of protecting them. The fact that we had a very large salt-spray cabinet in which the models could be tested made a huge difference. Monitored in real time, it soon became apparent what was working ... and what was not.

Several methodologies were tested, different wraps, wrap patterns and top coats as well as adapting spray techniques to meet the requirements of the outer layer - all manufactured and tested without leaving the HQ building.

Any questions?

So, if you need to know whether or not we can make Enviropeel glow in the dark (actually, we can) or apply Alocit  with a toothbrush (probably not a good idea), then let us know ... we may not have a solution ... but we will enjoy trying to find one.

Click this link for more information on A&E testing facilities

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

MEETING OF THE MINDS

Kuala Lumpur is a great place for a visit, full of colour and vitality, it provides a vibrant backdrop for every possible activity - it even makes an AGM seem worthwhile!

KL puts on a spectacular welcome for A&E delegates
So, at A&E we are lucky that our group HQ is only an hour from the centre of KL and that those of us (i.e. me) who live in less tropical environs may sometimes get the chance for a warm up - even if it does mean quite a bit of talking shop. 

Earlier this month, managers from the UK, Australia and Malaysia were in KL to learn about two exciting new application developments and to discuss a range of future projects that are being planned, including product research and development.

We are a small team with a wide range of backgrounds and, as we work in very different environments, we get presented with an equally wide range of challenges. Meeting face-to-face really accelerates the problem-solving process, especially in KL where the facilities allow us to immediately test our ideas in practice or see first hand how suggestions are turned into practical solutions (see next blog).

THE A&E TOTEM POLE?

We were all surprised, on our arrival, to see that a totem pole had been erected outside the office entrance, apparently dressed in the yellow jersey and blue shorts of the Brazilian soccer team. It turned out that it was a test bed for a new riser-clamp protection system that had been temporarily moved outside for us to view more closely ... but it certainly added an artistic touch to the entrance while it was there.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Naturally, once we were all gathered together in the conference room, there was considerably more discussion about the riser clamp. The test bed demonstrates a completely integrated system, based around the anti-corrosion properties of Enviropeel but incorporating a partial or complete wrap sealing system, that has been extensively tested both for topside and splash-zone application. Developed specifically in response to a request from Maersk, the system can even be supplied with an anti-fouling coating, making it the most complete tailor-made system that A&E has ever offered. 

Testing and system details are available on request from tech@ae-sys.com.

Other new developments were discussed, one of which is set to revolutionise the Group's ability to offer underwater protection in areas where marine growth is a problem. Not quite ready for general release at the time of writing, information on this new system should be available in the next few weeks.

OTHER UNDERWATER NEWS

Talking, as we have been, of the tropics and underwater, I am glad to report that the Alocit and Enviropeel experimental fish team are thriving in the office gallery tank. You may remember the video from November 2013, you will be happy to know that all participants are still working on their escape plan.


Friday, 17 April 2015

ALOCIT TO THE RESCUE ... AGAIN

Repairing damaged SBM paintwork underwater for Hyundai

Hyundai is building an oil refinery in Musandam, Oman. An SBM* anchored offshore as part of the project had suffered significant damage to subsea paintwork and a repair was necessary to prevent further damage from corrosion. As there were no local facilities where the SBM could be dry-docked for repair, Alocit was recommended as a cost-effective solution to the problem.

In order to satisfy themselves that such a repair was viable, Hyundai undertook a series of tests. First, the principals were demonstrated to them on site by Sean Ong from our Malaysian HQ using plates prepared using the SBM coating system with areas masked off to allow corrosion with paint edges beside the exposed area chipped away to simulate the damage to the SBM. 

Using water that was specially collected from the harbour, the samples were submerged and prepared for coating using hand tools. A two-coat system of Alocit Tropical was applied to the plates while they were in the water and then left to cure.

Pleased with the onshore test results, Hyundai commissioned a trial application on the damaged area and arranged for it to be filmed. After curing, tests on the trial application showed that the repair had been successful and the Alocit system was adopted for the restoration of the entire damaged area.

A short edited version of the film of the trial application is available for viewing if you click this link.

* An SBM is a single-buoy mooring. These are specially-designed offshore storage tanks, usually connected by pipeline to the shore, that allow deep-draft tankers to offload their cargo without entering shallow waters. 

Alocit has a long history of application to structures of this type, a case history showing complete refurbishment of an SBM using Alocit is available for viewing by following this link.

Monday, 23 March 2015

AND IN DALLAS ...

A tale of two carpets ...

It's not obvious from the picture of the Enviropeel USA stand being set up in Dallas last week at NACE but there is a history to the carpet which you can see forming the square of the stand area. 

Most visitors to an exhibition would not give any thought to the carpet on which they are walking but, as an exhibitor, it is always amazing to see the carpet fitters as they sweep through the hall, transforming its appearance as they cover the ugly concrete on which the stands are being built. Although the hallways are the responsibility of the organisers, each stand has to either rent carpet from the exhibition contractors or supply their own. Renting carpet can be more expensive than buying your own so many exhibitors will bring carpet with them - especially if they are bringing in all their other stand components, as is the case for EUSA.

Last year, Kenny Boehm, CEO of EUSA used a local carpeting supplier in Indianapolis, ordering a single square of carpet for the space you can see in the picture cut to exact size - so it would just have to be rolled out. Unfortunately the supplier was unable to measure the same length twice - so the carpet was too short one way and too long the other! In the end, the carpet had to be cut in half and then a strip cut into the middle of the short section in order to fill the square. 'Never again', said Kenny, 'next year I will rent the carpet'.

So, March 2015 comes round and Kenny just can't bring himself to spend the enormous amount required to rent the carpet - and decides to buy. He goes to the supplier, reminds him of what happened last time and orders the carpet in two pieces to make it easier to fit.

No prizes for anyone who guesses that when they got the carpet to Dallas, not only was it the wrong size but each half was from a different roll and the colours didn't match.

Luckily the show went really well and not a single one of the many visitors to the stand complained about the carpet! We'll let you know what happens next year in Vancouver.

TWO EXHIBITIONS - TWICE THE FUN


















Above: the stand is completed ready for visitors

Getting logistics organised for an exhibition is not always as easy as it should be, and having two exhibitions running at the same time just adds to the chaos. For ORPEC 2015 in Oman, we had exhibition material arriving by sea from Australia and by air from the UK with delegates from our Malaysian office and from local partners, 3D Engineering in Muscat.

Luckily, everything and everybody arrived on time and enjoyed the show!

Visitors were able to see Alocit in action, with a water tank and material on hand to try the material for themselves. In the picture, Keiran Hedigan, General Manager of Al Tayeb Water Technology in Qatar, tries his hand at painting underwater - a first for Keiran who prefers rugby to water sports.

Also on hand at the show was Sean Ong who, together with CEO Arthur Haycox were in Muscat to support 3D. Sean can be seen in the bottom picture explaining the advantages of Enviropeel - and its many colours.

Thanks to 3D for their hospitality and help during the exhibition, we look forward to many more visits to Oman.

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF ALOCIT

Something we take very seriously at A&E is our ability to find solutions for what can seem quite intractable problems. With Alocit, because coating underwater and on to oily surfaces already seems impossible, we are often expected to provide solutions for areas where any sane person would know perfectly well that no coating could be applied.
Visit www.flood-safe.com

Nevertheless,  we always look at each problem as it is presented to us to see what we can do - or if there is anything we can do to help.

Recently, with more and more stories about climate change and the consequences of increasingly extreme weather events, we have been asked about protecting buildings against flooding. Alocit is frequently used for civil-engineering works where the presence of water makes the use of standard coatings impractical, and it made sense to us when we were asked if it could be used to keep flood waters out and whether it could be used to help repair flood-damaged buildings.

Clearly there are limits to what a coating can do to prevent flooding, but the question set us thinking about an integrated approach to flood protection and what part Alocit might be able to play. Following a lot of industry research and in-house testing, we have launched a new website - www.flood-safe.com.

The site is a first attempt to draw together a range of simple remedial solutions for the protection of homes and buildings that might otherwise suffer serious damage from flash flooding and other short-term, potentially catastrophic water-affected events. It's all about being prepared and recognising risk. If we can help ... and maybe sell some coatings too ... everyone's a winner!

ALL ABOARD THE 28.15 FROM ALOCIT

Who doesn't like a steam train? There is something magical that brings old locomotives to life and there are many groups of enthusiasts around Britain - and in other parts of the world - working hard to maintain the spirit and the machinery of days gone by.

THE GLOUCESTER WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY (GWR)

One such group is the GWR, who have been working since 1981 to restore a section of the old Great Western Railway's route running through the Cotswolds. They have built new track, stations and a range of facilities and can now offer visitors a spectacular 25-mile trip pulled by a wide range of steam and diesel trains.

In the picture you can see the 7820 'Dinmore Manor' at the GWR Toddington Station. Also, in the background, is a 12,000 gallon (55,000 litre) tank - with its interior coated using a two-coat system of Alocit 28.15. Following the successful coating of this tank three years ago, the team at GWR are about to use Alocit again on a second tank. 

That's something else we like ... a satisfied customer!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

THE EXHIBITION SEASON STARTS ...


The Dallas Convention Center
A&E Group are in Oman and Texas with exhibition partners 3D Engineering at ORPEC - Oman Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition & Conference in Oman, Booth C465, from the 16th to the 18th of March and in Dallas Texas at the Dallas Convention Center for NACE Corrosion 2015, Booth 24045, from March 15th until the 19th with Enviropeel USA.

For more info about the locations click on the logos below to link the the exhibition websites. For help finding the EUSA booth click this link to the floorplan - you can find the EUSA booth by scrolling down the exhibitors list and clicking on the name.

Click here to link to info





We would love to see you, please visit our booths.

Click here to link to info



A&E IN OMAN


Strategically situated at the mouth of the Gulf, facing the Arabian Sea, Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Since the 20th century, like other Gulf States, Oman has benefited hugely from its oil and gas industry, although it maintains a relatively diverse economy with income from agriculture, industry and a rapidly-growing tourist trade. In 2012 its capital, Muscat, was named second-best city to visit in the world by Lonely Planet.

In the last two years Oman has become a regular destination for A&E management and technical personnel during the development of its partnership with 3D Engineering Services, working in the oil, gas, processing and power industries. Although a relatively new company, 3D Engineering Services draws on a wealth of strategic and operational experience in the successful delivery of engineering projects in Oman. So far, the partnership has seen three projects completed for Oman Gas using Alocit coatings and both Alocit and Enviropeel projects are in the pipeline for the future.

As part of its strategy for the future of Enviropeel in the region, plans are well advanced for the completion of an Enviropeel batching unit for 3D, based on successful models already operating in the UK and the USA. By providing a local manufacturing facility able to respond instantly to local demand, the facility will be a major step towards establishing Enviropeel in the region.

A&E personnel have also been working with Hyundai in Oman on repair strategies for wave damage to coatings on a large offshore SBM storage facility. Alocit was recommended as it could be used without the use of a dry dock.

Left: A&E CEO, Mr Arthur Haycox together with Mr Mohamed (Admin & Finance Director of 3DES) and Mr Abdullah (Admin Manager & Technical Coordinator of 3DES).


A&E Group and 3D Engineering Services are exhibiting together at the Oman Refining & Petrochemical Exhibition in March, visit us on Stand C465.