Numerous industries use concrete to build secondary chemical containment areas and bunds. The function of these structures is to retain spilled chemicals, facilitate product recovery, and prevent environmental contamination, as required by environmental and safety regulations.
While concrete is a cost-effective and sturdy material, it is susceptible to physical and chemical damage due to its porosity. Concrete walls and floors are prone to damages caused by cracking, increased porosity, reinforcing bar corrosion, and chemical attacks. If the deterioration is not addressed early, the structural integrity of the concrete may suffer.
Additionally, even with the use of the bund, it can result in contamination of the surrounding areas and groundwater. Concrete also moves due to thermal expansion and contraction. If expansion joints are not placed and spaced accordingly, this movement can lead to cracking. Thus, affecting the concrete substrate and exacerbating the ingress of chemicals.
Therefore, many asset owners opt for containment areas coated with protective coatings. The design of these coatings is specifically for chemical resistance to aggressive chemicals. Whereas others are less chemically resistant but more flexible, hence ideal for crack bridging. Products like Belzona 4361, for instance, provide both outstanding chemical resistance and flexibility. However, it could be costly for secondary containment applications where the stored chemicals are benign. For this reason, Belzona is launching Belzona 5815, a solvent-free containment grade coating with enhanced flexibility.
How Belzona 5815 can protect containment areas
When compared to other containment coatings in the market, Osmay Oharriz, Technical Manager at Belzona, notes that: “Belzona 5815 is an economical solution to secondary containment areas holding nonaggressive chemicals”. Belzona 5815 has undergone testing to prove that the product can resist a range of dilute acids, alkalis, fuels, and oils. Moreover, “it can bridge cracks in concrete up to an extent” and “has great adhesion to nonmetallic and metallic substrates,” Mr. Oharriz adds.
Testing also proves that it has high tensile and flexural strength as it can resist pressure up to 2,430 psi after curing at 72 °F (22 °C) for seven days, allowing it to bridge cracks. Additionally, it is temperature resistant, enduring temperatures up to 320 °F (160 °C). For many applications, the product is suitable at temperatures down to -40 °F (-40 °C). Finally, Belzona 5815 is easy to mix and apply: it does not require a surface cleaner. Also, one can apply Belzona 5815 by brush, roller, squeegee, or an airless spray system for large containment areas.
Belzona 4361 Protects From Harsh Chemicals
Similarly, Belzona 4361 is a flexible coating for the long-term protection of chemical containment areas from harsh chemical attacks. The product adapts to the movement or cracking in the material beneath without deteriorating; the crack-bridging technology safeguards against any loss of containment. The coating has a dry heat resistance of 266°F (130°C) and a pull-off adhesion of 810 psi (5.6 MPa) on dry concrete and 780 psi (5.4 MPa) on wet concrete.
Belzona 4361 was used in an application where an existing concrete bund needed protection as gaps formed between the floor and bottom of the wall. Also, the protection present at the time failed to contain splashes and spills of 93% sulfuric acid. The local Belzona distributor proposed the coating to the powerplant for its excellent chemical resistance, flexibility, and good adhesion—facilitating long-term sealing between the floor and walls of the bund. The application passed an inspection nine months later.
Belzona 5811 For Immersed Containment Areas
Belzona 5811 stands out among the other containment area coatings because it is engineered to provide chemical resistance (saltwater, acids, alkalis, alcohol, hydrocarbons, etc.) and protect assets operating under immersion in aqueous solutions. The coating can endure temperatures up to 122°F (50°C) in continuous immersion to protect assets from corrosion. Another stand-out feature is that it is potable water safe. Both Belzona 5811 and its variant Belzona 5811DW2 are approved by WRAS due to their solvent-free properties, which reduce health and safety risks.
An electrical company had postponed fixing a leaking cooling tower for 4-5 years- the lack of a protective coating allowed leaks to develop. Consequently, the leaking was enough to force them to repair it. After grit blasting for surface preparation, they had noticed many pinholes. The holes were too small for Belzona 5811 to leak through, creating an impervious surface that prevented leaking entirely.
Belzona 5813 Protects From Electrostatic Charge
Belzona 5813 is a static dissipative coating. Therefore, it is designed to transfer surface electrostatic charge build-up away from hazardous areas preventing flammable or explosive materials from igniting due to sparks, shorts, and sudden discharges. It has excellent adhesion to concrete, making it an appropriate coating for bunds, chemical channels, floors, fuel storage, and other containment areas. Additionally, it is suitable for continuous immersion in aqueous solutions up to 122°F (50°C) and dry heat up to 320°F (160°C).
A demonstration of Belzona 5813 can be viewed below: