Cold Bonding Brilliance with Belzona at Two Major Tank Farms 

In the heart of the Netherlands, two large tank farms chose cold bonding to face a daunting challenge: over 1100 brackets needed to be installed on live, fully operational tanks filled with highly flammable liquids. Traditional welding was impossible as taking the site offline and emptying the vessels would have required a costly shutdown which was not a viable option. So, seeking a welding alternative, the Customers chose Belzona’s innovative cold bonding solution.

Belzona on site, ready for cold bonding 

What Was the Problem?

The first Client, a renowned global infrastructure provider, wished to make their operations more sustainable by installing solar panels on the top of their tanks. However, before the panels themselves could be implemented, cable ducts and supports needed to be installed across the entire structure. Such a large number of panels required around 500 brackets be cold bonded on to the live oil tanks, as hot work was out of the question

The second Client, a global leader in tank terminal operations, required the installation of 660 brackets on to live kerosene tanks. This was required due to recent legislative changes which mandated the installation of extra fire extinguishing pipes. With safety as their top priority, the Client sought a swift and dependable solution. It was crucial that the chosen method could install the required brackets without disrupting the facility’s operations or incurring the unnecessary expense of a shutdown.                   

Why Was Belzona Chosen?

For both sites, a hot work permit was out of the question and so a cold bonding solution was required. The kerosene tanks were filled and had an internal coating, meaning hot work was not an option at the first site. Similarly, at the second site the tanks were fully operational, so a welding alternative was also required in this case. 

Belzona offered a cold work solution which could be applied whilst the tanks were full and operational. Epoxy composite Belzona 1111 (Super Metal), was chosen for its high adhesion properties, as it can be applied and cured at ambient temperature using simple tools, making it ideal for this in-situ application. In addition to being less hazardous, this method also ensures greater contact across the surface area of the bonded bracket, compared to the limited contact of weld seams. 

Application of Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) 

First of all, the surface was suitably roughened to Swedish Standard Sa2½ (near white metal finish) with a 3 mil (75 μm) profile in order to achieve maximum adhesion. By utilising ATEX closed-loop vacuum grit blasting, optimal surface preparation was achieved whilst mitigating the hazards of airborne grit and debris. This method not only ensured safety but also maintained operational continuity by eliminating the need for temporary structures like tents and additional scaffolding which would have been required for conventional grit blasting. Therefore, the closed-loop system proved to be the most efficient solution for surface preparation on a live site. 

Following completion of surface preparation, the team bonded the brackets onto the substrate using Belzona 1111 (Super Metal). Once the product was mixed, a layer was firmly applied to the prepared surfaces of both the tank and the underside of each bracket. The brackets could then be pushed into place with force, secured, and left to cure. 

Cold Bonding Success 

Both applications were successful, leaving the Clients thrilled that the brackets had been securely installed without the need for welding, thereby avoiding the expenses and hazards associated with a costly shutdown or dangerous hot work

The first Client has successfully installed their solar panels after cold bonding over 500 brackets with Belzona 1111 (Super Metal). This application was imperative to their successful implementation, helping the Customer achieve their sustainability goals. Similarly, the second client is now fully compliant with the new fire safety regulations. In each case, choosing Belzona as a welding alternative allowed for a safe and efficient installation, without the need for hot work.  

About the Distributor: 

Perspect Benelux B.V., based in the Netherlands, has an impressive 29-year history as a Belzona Authorized Distributor. Since its inception, Perspect has expertly utilised Belzona’s innovative solutions to repair, protect, and enhance machinery and equipment across a range of industries. With such a wealth of experience, they have a earned a stellar reputation as Belzona’s sole distributor in the Netherlands. To learn more about Perspect Benelux B.V. please visit their website here. 

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