From coke oven plants and sinter plants to pickling lines and cold rolled finishing lines, reliable equipment is a must. Ensuring this equipment does not fail is a challenge faced by maintenance professionals within the steel industry every day. Surface protection is critical in the steel industry as the machinery and equipment are susceptible to harsh environments and rough use which lead to various complications.
Belzona can provide a cost-effective solution to maintenance problems by minimizing downtime, labor, and equipment replacement costs while at the same time increasing plant efficiency and ensuring environmental compliance. Through decades of experience and research, we have identified the top five most common application areas in the steel industry. These five areas include:
- Fluid and gas handling equipment
- Containment areas
- Shimming of worn equipment
- Abrasion resistance and solids handling
- Facilities maintenance
Each application area will be described using common problems the area faces. This will then be followed by the Belzona solution.
Fluid and Gas Handling Equipment
One of the top five application areas within the steel industry focuses on how the machinery and equipment can become eroded and corroded when handling liquids or gases. The flow of the contents within the equipment can cause the material to break down, and this erosion can lead to corrosion. Additionally, they can cause the material to oxidize over time if exposed to oxygen and moisture. These problems can lead to significant process delays and shutdowns.
Belzona 1000 Series has been designed to solve this problem by mitigating erosion and providing a corrosion protective barrier. These products were engineered to be durable and multipurpose. Their sturdiness is in part due to their long-term resistance to several chemicals. Some products are hydrophobic, allowing for better flow of some fluids and gases which raises the energy efficiency of the equipment.
In addition, their versatility is due to their adhesion to various metallic substrates: stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. They also adhere to natural and synthetic materials like wood and glass. Some products were designed to be suitable for application under immersion and are fully functional while submerged. Finally, these products reduce health and safety risks as they are solvent-free.
Chemical containment areas, including bunds, sumps, plinths, channels, and sluices are susceptible to deterioration through an attack from chemicals and mechanical or structural damage. If the deterioration is not addressed, the structural integrity of the containment area will be seriously undermined, with the potential for chemical leakage and structural failure, resulting in outages, environmental contamination, and safety hazards.
By utilizing Belzona’s cold-applied, cost-effective chemical-resistant solutions, chemical containment areas can be repaired and protected to resist chemical attacks. This results in the preservation and long-term protection of the containment area, eliminating leakage and environmental contamination as well as ensuring compliance with safety measures.
The Belzona 4000 Series is an appropriate answer to the problem. The products are engineered to resurface and repair concrete quickly. They are durable, able to resist a wide range of chemicals from acids to alkalis, and have high mechanical and impact strength. Certain products are flexible ensuring the integrity of the coating in case the concrete underneath cracks. Finally, as the solutions are non-porous, this guarantees that any chemical will not permeate into the environment.
If a containment area operates under immersion like tanks or bunds, then there are chemical-resistant coatings that can sustain submersion. Belzona 5000 Series includes products that are suitable for immersion. In return, they defend against chemical attacks, corrosion, and erosion. They are safe to use as they are solvent-free, and some variations are food and potable water-safe.
Shimming of Worn Equipment
Shimming, as used in the steel industry, is levelling equipment found over an uneven surface. The uneven surface can be caused by vibrations from motors or engines. Furthermore, the weight of materials from live loading and unloading can cause the surface machinery to become uneven.
Belzona has products with great load-bearing capacity and no shrinking. Belzona 7000 Series can be poured into the uneven surface to create the perfect support for all sizes of equipment and machinery. They can also be engineered for precise alignment of equipment that cannot tolerate movement greater than 0.005 inches. A product suitable for this process is Belzona 7111. It is a pourable chocking, cast-in-place backing, and leveling system developed to endure the harshness of marine and industrial environments.
In addition, it was designed to withstand pressure, impact, and vibration. Belzona 7111 can be used in conjunction with Belzona 7211 for deep pours. Belzona 7211 is a three-component, 100% solids grout designed to support large machinery and withstand high static and dynamic loads.
Abrasion Resistance and Solids Handling
Damage from abrasion can happen to any equipment especially if they hold, store, or transport solids. For instance, conveyor belts can become worn and torn by the iron ore or iron pellets they transport. These materials, among others, are highly abrasive and over time can cause tears in the rubber conveyor belts. These damages can trigger a shutdown for the repair of the conveyor belt. One repair method is vulcanization—when rubber is repaired by forming links between polymer molecules by heating.
However, environmental conditions must be right, heat must be used, and the conveyor belt must cool off, extending downtime in the process. Abrasion can also affect chutes, hoppers, pipes, and screw conveyors among others. Metallic substrates wear down over time due to the abrasive media and solids in the raw materials that they handle.
Regardless of whether the equipment and machinery are made of rubber or metal, Belzona has products to repair and protect these structures. Belzona 2000 Series is specifically designed to provide in situ repairs to rubber surfaces where rapid cure is essential. Belzona rubber repair materials excel in applications where durability, elasticity, high abrasion, and tear resistance are required. Not only are they abrasion resistant, but they are also chemical resistant. To add to their versatility, they adhere to many substrates including natural rubber, neoprene, polyurethane, PVC, steel, and concrete.
Equipment made from metal can benefit from Belzona 1000 Series. Within this Series, there are products designed with ceramic. The ceramic aggregates incorporated into the product boost the abrasion resistance and resist deformation damage, prolonging the service life of machinery and equipment.
Due to the nature of the steel industry, facilities might suffer from wear at a much faster rate. The main areas of concern are floors, walls, and roofs. Heavy haul transport and heavy equipment, constant vehicular traffic, presence of fuels, contaminants, and fluids might wear down and damage the surface of the flooring and walls.
Cracks, potholes, crumbled concrete, and slippery surfaces might present a slip-n-fall hazard to the personnel and potential damage to the equipment. Due to constant exposure to the elements, wind, UV rays, poor installation of roofing materials, structural movement, roofs might fail, and that can lead to extensive damage to facilities, from minor leaks to roof collapses.
Belzona has designed different series of products that take into consideration the common problems that affect steel mill facilities. For example, Belzona 5000 Series includes products that specialize in repairing floors and preventing the problems that commonly affect them. Flooring products part of the Belzona 5000 Series are chemical, abrasion, and slip-resistant due to the incorporation of durable aggregates. It can be used in conjunction with Belzona 5000 Series coatings which are suitable for internal and external applications. It is great for external use because it is UV-stable. Additionally, they are ideal for areas with high levels of vehicular and pedestrian traffic since they provide outstanding mechanical strength and abrasion resistance.
These are just a few examples of what Belzona has to offer as well as the Belzona 4000 Series. Some products in the 4000 Series were designed for the creation and repair of safety grip systems on walking surfaces. Perfect where slip reduction, adhesion, chemical or wear resistance are required. Moreover, the Belzona 4000 Series is great for concrete and masonry repair making it great for concrete floors and walls. If a wall is damaged, one of the many products can be applied to vertical and overhead surfaces internally or externally due to weatherproofing.
If a roof has sustained damage, Belzona 3000 Series flexible membranes are designed to provide seamless and long-term protection to roofs and roofing elements. The membranes are cold-applied, solvent-free, coatings that adhere strongly to various types of roofs and provide an excellent solution for prolonged waterproofing and weatherproofing.
Although it seems like the steel industry faces various problems regarding its equipment, Belzona can provide solutions. Many of the products are multi-purpose and durable, resistant to both erosion and corrosion, and long-lasting materials. Products can also be layered to create a more effective solution. An impressive benefit from the products is their fast-curing time which diminishes downtime. Additionally, most products do not require hot work or special application equipment. The list highlights the top five most common application areas; however, the biggest takeaway is that Belzona is one of the top five solution providers for the steel industry.