It doesn’t take but a small wind gust for paint overspray to find an unsuspecting home or vehicle. That lesson has been learned the hard way by maintenance engineers for leading petrochemical companies throughout south Louisiana, when the coatings they were specifying for tanks and piping oversprayed onto cars in nearby parking lots and neighboring property. “If you spray with an epoxy or urethane, the coating can be caught up in the wind and carried for half a mile and stick to things you don’t want it to stick to,” according to Tnemec coating consultant Eddie Borne. “And the alternative of coating large 300-foot diameter tanks with rollers is too time consuming and expensive.”
Beginning in the mid-1990s, several petrochemical companies started using an advanced technology, hydrophobic acrylic polymer coating, Tnemec’s Series 30 Spra-Saf EN, as a solution to the overspray issue. The tanks and pipes were prepared for overcoating by using a high-pressure wash at 3,000 psi. Rusted areas were spot abraded and primed with Series 18 Enviro-Prime, a hydrophobic acrylic polymer coating. The entire structure was then coated with one coat of Series 30 at 2.0 to 4.0 mils.
“Using the Spra-Saf system, maintenance managers were able to spray as many as five tanks for approximately the same application cost as rolling one tank,” Borne noted. “At Marathon Ashland Petroleum Refinery in Reserve, Louisiana, the plant’s maintenance manager was so pleased with the results that he approved its use on dozens of tanks and miles of pipe racks throughout the refinery during the mid-1990s. The coatings have continued to hold up very well after more than ten years of service.”
In addition to providing long-term corrosion protection, the Spra-Saf system is formulated to resist mold and mildew growth on the paint film while providing good gloss and color retention. “These coatings lend themselves very well to the moist, humid, hot weather we typically have in south Louisiana,” Borne acknowledged. “The Spra-Saf system is one of the best systems on the market for resisting organic buildup like mold and mildew. Tanks at dozens of refineries have stayed very clean-looking after many years of service.”
The Spra-Saf system is one of many protective coating systems from Tnemec that have been successfully used at facilities owned by Exxon/Mobil, Citgo, Shell, ADM, Monsanto, Conoco, Bunge Grain, and a number of other chemical plants and industrial facilities. “Literally millions of square feet have been coated with this system throughout the deep South,” Borne added.