Dan Diehl, Paul O’Malley & Lou Ronsivalli.
Protecting a Factory Floor from Chemical Corrosion28 August 2018 / by Belzona International (author) / Harrogate
The factory used sulphuric acid and carbon disulphide in production process, and the initial problem was identified as a leaking safety bunker containing carbon disulphide, immersed in water for safety reasons. In order to bring the bunker in-line with safety standards in case of leakage, a chemically resistant coating was used to overcoat its surface.
The plant owner was satisfied with the solution, so discussions commenced to find repair methods for the damaged floors and walls throughout the interior of the factory. The old factory floor had been exposed to mainly sulphuric acid (5-7%) for decades. Chemicals ate away at the grout, dissolving the concrete underneath, creating an uneven and hazardous foundation on which the machinery would sit.
Since the acid is used to soften cellulose in open basins, it was flooding the manufacturing floor frequently. This resulted in the factory using a lot of water several times per day to wash and rinse the floors. To make matters worse, the machinery was vibrating excessively. All of which ultimately resulted in a system shut down.
Previously, an epoxy flooring system was used to try to renew parts of the factory, which gradually began to fail. The initial repair needed to be carried out in a 3-day window, which immediately ruled out any cementitious materials being used, as they would require 28 days to fully cure before a chemical resistant coating could be applied.
A solution which could be applied within the designated 3-day repair window was applied to test areas throughout the facility and revealed no signs of failure after one and a half years.
Applying a custom solution
Work began where the grout had been eaten away between the tiles, dissolving the concrete. Once a firm substrate was achieved, a bulk-fill resin was used to fill the larger, deeper areas (up to 100mm or 4 inches), and Belzona 4111 Magma-Quartz concrete repair grout was then used to overcoat the repair and restore the floor to its original condition. As a precaution against any future spillages, a chemical-resistant barrier coating was also applied, providing optimal protection against the problematic sulphuric acid.
Belzona provided a cost-effective solution which was fully applied in two days – ensuring a faster return to service for the customer than anticipated.
Once the initial application was completed, a room containing the supply tanks for the sulphuric acid located under the production floor was presented with the same solution after both the walls and floors were suffering from deterioration. The application was carried out in two parts due to the means of production.
The customer has indicated there are no signs of deterioration, surfaces are easy to clean and floor coating applied does not create any danger for slipping. This therefore increases the general safety in its production processes, and allows manufacturing to progress without lengthy downtime.
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