Maintenance Matters
Rust barrier saves money

A technique for protecting metal fittings on North Sea oil rigs from the corrosive effects of salt water is being offered by a New Zealand firm.
Integrated Maintenance Group (IMG), which has three sites dotted across the North Island, uses the Enviropeel thermo plastic system to spray a coating of hot plastic over almost any equipment to protect it from the weather and prevent rust.
IMG’s Gordon Bayliss says the thermo plastic coating features corrosion inhibitors and is designed to combat hot spot corrosion as well as mothballing and standby equipment storage.
“We are an engineering company, but see a need for Enviropeel as companies decide to take machinery out of use and place it outside to the mercy of the elements,” he says. “Spraying equipment with Enviropeel means this gear can stay outside.
“We first started using it when we were asked by NZ Steel to protect their equipment in long term storage.”
While the coating is often used to protect parts such as nuts, valves, bearings and shafts etc, it can also be used to make routine maintenance tasks easier.
“It can protect vulnerable parts so that cracking open or closing a valve once a year will be a lot easier as it won’t have rusted up,” says Bayliss.
He says the coating is 170 degrees C when it is applied, but quickly cools to a soft plastic that can be peeled away when engineers need to remove it.
“An oil residue leaches from of the coating to protect the item it covers,” says Bayliss.
He says the product’s built-in rust inhibitors are constantly released providing complete protection for the life of the component. The system has been proven overseas to provide protection for more than 20 years in the harshest of conditions.
The base colour of the coating is grey but different colours can be used to identify a particular component. Plus all coated items are tagged with the date and the person who applied the coating.
Bangs and knocks, that may cause the coating to snag, can be repaired with a small hand-held applicator.
“This can be useful if an inspection of the component is required without fully exposing the area,” says Bayliss.
The coating can also be melted down and sprayed again, so long as it is clean when removed – otherwise it could clog up the application machinery.
Bayliss says IMG can apply the coating to equipment delivered to any one of its sites, or its staff can visit clients to spray equipment at their premises.
“The good thing about Enviropeel is that the coating doesn’t break down under the sun,” says Bayliss.
He says the firm has talked with the military about using the coating to protect gear when it is sent abroad.

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