Today’s industrial coatings are highly complex systems that can perform a variety of functions thanks to their very specific properties. The latest example: an application that enables XERVON Oberflächentechnik to apply paper-thin insulation.
A highly effective way to protect against corrosion
A refinery in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. A white coat is being applied to the roof of a huge tank high above the ground. A measure to simply spruce up the tank it would seem. Appearances, however, can be deceptive. What at first glance looks like white paint is, in fact, a high-tech coating that has less to do with optics and much more to do with insulation and protecting the structure against corrosion.
Whether it is to curb climate change, grow energy efficiency or improve the quality of a product: insulation helps businesses to achieve their goals.
XERVON Oberflächentechnik, the XERVON Group’s surface technology experts, deliver a number of specialist services. These include coating the interior and exterior surfaces of industrial tanks. Up to now, this work has primarily focused on anti-corrosion and fire protection coatings or on applications that prevent a potentially aggressive material being stored in the tank from damaging the inside walls. A further service has now been added to this particular field: exterior coatings that contain special particles and have insulating properties, both of which help to maintain the temperature inside the tank.
Heat insulation as a coat application
Mascoat-DTI is at the heart of XERVON Oberflächentechnik’s new service – a coating material based on ceramic and silica and applied using airless technology. A coat just one to five millimetres thick is sufficient for Mascoat-DTI to create a thermal barrier that, depending on the area of use, prevents the contents of the tank from either losing heat or from being heated up too much by the sun’s rays.
XERVON Oberflächentechnik is currently using this innovative system for a remediation project, where a number of tank roofs at a refinery need to be coated and insulated.
Mascoat coatings are a relatively new kind of system and are still quite rare in Germany. As specialist know-how is needed to apply this material, XERVON only deploys teams that have the necessary skills and expertise to do this. This new type of coating is a perfect fit for the XERVON Group’s industrial insulation division, which offers high performance protective cladding insulation including systems involving mineral-fibre insulation, foam glass and Microtherm.
A perfect blend of advantages
By combining the two insulation systems (surface coating and protective cladding), the very most can be made of their advantages. Mascoat applications, for example, are a quick and simple solution for insulating areas that are more difficult to access with conventional forms of insulation. These include the areas under ladders attached to the outside of a tank or hard-to-reach weld joints.
XERVON Oberflächentechnik also sees these Mascoat coatings as being an ideal system for tank roofs. Insulating these roofs is a particularly complex procedure as they generally have a range of different fittings such as valves, air vents and air discharge outlets. Furthermore, a particularly robust kind of coating is needed here to protect the roof against corrosion – something that is automatically provided by the Mascoat technology. From time to time, employees also have to walk on the tank roofs. Roofs insulated with wool and sheet metal are more likely to suffer damage than roofs that have been sprayed with a coating.
Other applications likely in the future
As the coats required are so thin, XERVON Oberflächentechnik can also use this innovative coating system for plant components. This new coating is particularly good for hot environments where there is a high fire risk. What’s more, it makes sense to use the coating on areas that get particularly hot and that employees may get close to as it protects them from getting burned. Both aspects – fire protection and work safety – are drawing people’s attention to this pioneering application, especially when it involves applying heat insulation to industrial fittings. XERVON Oberflächentechnik is, therefore, likely to be using this new high-tech coating in a number of other areas in the future – not just on large-scale tanks.
Mascoat-DTI is at the heart of the new service – a coating material based on ceramic and silica and applied using airless technology. Depending on the requirements, a 1-5mm thermal barrier protects the contents of the tank from heat or cold
Image credits: image 1–3: © REMONDIS