Latest Case Studies & White Papers

Belzona Repairs Propeller Shaft on Ship Carrying Olympic Torch

On May 8th, 2024, the historic Ship the Belem navigated into the bustling port city of Marseille, marking the arrival of the Olympic torch in France. Over 150,000 spectators gathered to witness as the Ship sailed into the bay, accompanied by over a thousand boats. Last year, Alliatech, one of Belzona’s French distributors, was involved in the restoration of this historical Ship.

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The Belem arriving in Marseilles with the Olympic flame             Credit: Benoit Tessier / Reuters

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Photograph of spectators gathered in Marseilles, taken from the Belem as it arrived. Credit: Nicolas Tucat / AFP

The History of the Belem:

Considered to be the last great French merchant Ship, the Belem is an impressive three-mast Vessel reaching 34 metres (112 ft) tall and 58 metres (90 ft) long. As well as possessing an impressive 22 sails with a huge surface area of 1,200 m2  (1435 yd 2), it has two 575 horsepower diesel engines, blending tradition with modernity. Interestingly, carrying the Olympic flame has not been the first time the Belem has had a fire on board. The Ship caught ablaze during its maiden voyage in 1896, the same year the Olympic games were revived, on its way to Belem, a Brazilian port city and the Ship's namesake, but it was repaired and able to continue its visit.

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The Belem made her maiden voyage in 1896, the same year as the first Olympic games

The Belem’s Olympic Voyage:

On Saturday 27th April, once the Olympic flame was lit in Athens, it began its 2000 km (1242 mile) journey from the port of Piraeus to Marseille. The Olympic flame was watched 24 hours a day to ensure it stayed lit and twelve days later, it reached the French coast. A celebratory event anticipating the arrival of the Ship in France featured 800 luminous drones forming a torch in the air followed by a pyrotechnic show. As the Vessel docked, an Air Force flyover featured planes drawing the Olympic rings and the colours of the French flag as over 150,000 lined the streets of Marseilles.

Case Study: Propellor Shaft Suffering from Heavy Corrosion

The propellor shaft on this 19th Century Naval Ship was severely damaged, suffering from heavy corrosion and pitting. The Customer was keen to preserve the shaft, given its historical significance; replacing it would be extremely costly, and they were reluctant to lose a piece of the original Vessel. It was vital that the chosen solution could reconstruct the damaged areas of the shaft and protect it from future seawater corrosion.

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The propeller shaft showed heavy wear due to seawater corrosion

Alliatech, a Belzona-authorised distributor with over 40 years of experience, was chosen to carry out the repair. The application took place whilst the Belem was in dry dock in the Saint-Nazaire Shipyards as part of the Ship's extensive restorations. After grit-blasting and salt-washing the surface, the damaged propeller shaft needed to be reconstructed back to its original profile. Belzona 1111 (Super Metal), a repair composite for metal repair and resurfacing, was chosen for the rebuilding.

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Propellor shaft rebuilt using Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) after first coat of  Belzona 5821

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Final application with the second coat of Belzona 5821

Two coats of Belzona 5821 were then applied to protect the shaft from future seawater corrosion. This product was specially designed to offer long-term protection from erosion and corrosion under immersion, thus providing excellent defence against the effects of salt water.

The application of these two Belzona products allowed the original 127-year-old shaft to be retained, avoiding the costly replacement, and maintaining a piece of history.

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High-Performance Coating Protects Tanks at Biopolymer Production Plant

At a chitosan production plant in Scotland, UK, a high-performance, anti-corrosion coating was used to coat the internal lining of three tanks, protecting them against aggressive, acidic substances for the long term. Given the important role the tanks play in the process of turning large amounts of shellfish byproduct into the biopolymer chitosan, it was imperative that these assets were safeguarded against future damage with the use of a high-performance coating.

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Figure 1. High-performance coating required to protect tanks against corrosion

Production of Biopolymer from Shellfish Shell Byproduct

CuanTec has created a circular economic business model designed to mitigate the carbon footprint created from the unnecessary disposal of unused shell within the shellfish industry and converting it into valuable chitosan products.

Indeed, the carbon footprint of food waste is staggering. According to data from the UN, food waste contributes to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This means that if food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest emitting country in the world.

At COP28, negotiators from 200 Parties agreed on the science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that global greenhouse gas emissions need to ‘be reduced by 43% by 2030’, in order to limit warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement. With this in mind, circular business models such as that offered by CuanTec, play an important role in mitigating carbon footprints and limiting global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Safeguarding Key Assets

Considering the important role businesses such as CuanTec play in this decarbonisation and upcycling journey, it is absolutely fundamental that key assets within these types of businesses, such as machinery, equipment, buildings and structures, are safeguarded to an excellent standard. Otherwise, damage and wear can jeopardise the integrity of assets, and therefore this can undermine the environmental benefits these types of business models offer.

For example, the carbon footprint of steel is phenomenal: for every tonne of steel produced, nearly double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is released back into the atmosphere. Therefore, if a steel asset becomes damaged, not only can this lead to costly replacement fees, but this process can also incur a hefty carbon footprint as well.

As such, numerous industries invest in industrial repair composites and high-performance coatings in order to bypass this replacement process. In this way, polymeric technology mirrors the circular economic model of businesses like CuanTec, as this technology can repair, protect and even intrinsically improve assets that would otherwise be decommissioned and sent to landfill. Thus, it could be argued that polymeric technology has a critical part to play in the decarbonisation of multiple sectors, supporting a net zero by 2050 pathway.  

Pre-Used Tanks in Need of Rigorous Corrosion Mitigation Measures  

CuanTec wanted to deploy three steel tanks in their process of turning shellfish shell into high quality, traceable chitosan products, made to the exacting technical specifications of their customers. The tanks had already been in use elsewhere, but were otherwise still in good condition. In order to ensure the tanks were capable of withstanding the harsh chemicals they would come into contact with, the Customer decided to invest in some polymeric technology to protect them.

System Specification: High Performance Coating, Belzona 1391T

Following an inspection from Clive Leadbitter, Senior Field Sales Engineer at authorised Belzona Distributorship, Belzona UK, the high-performance coating, Belzona 1391T, was specified. As this system is capable of protecting assets against corrosion in extremely aggressive and acidic environments, this was the ideal solution for the steel substrate for this specific application.

In addition, as Belzona 1391T can be applied in situ without the need for hot work, this would ensure that the application was carried out as quickly as possible, whilst minimising the health and safety risks that can arise when hot work is involved.

Belzona 1391T has undergone direct food contact (FDA) testing, the results can be found here.

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Figure 2. Tank used in process of creating biopolymer, chitosan

Application Procedure

Commenting on the application procedure, Clive said: “Surface preparation was carried out by grit-blasting. Following this, using a stiff-bristled brush, two coats of Belzona 1391T were applied at a thickness of 450 µm (17.72 mil) per coat. Once the application had cured within the space of 24 hours, the application was complete.”

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Figure 3. Application of high-performance coating, Belzona 1391T

Polymeric Technology Supports Net Zero by 2050 Pathway

Considering the important role businesses like CuanTec play in carbon mitigation, it is absolutely critical that key assets are protected for the long term against damage such as erosion and corrosion. As such, polymeric technology plays an important part in safeguarding these assets, and therefore contributing to the net zero by 2050 pathway.  

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Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) Approved by Flour Mill for Dry Food Contact

Introduction:

In the pursuit of maintaining high standards of safety in the food and drink Industry Belzona is constantly seeking innovative solutions to address challenges related to equipment maintenance and corrosion protection. Recently, after undergoing rigorous tests to ensure its suitability for dry food contact, a breakthrough has been achieved with the successful application of Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade), a cutting-edge protection system, in a Flour Mill in Belgium.

Understanding the Need for Food-Safe Coatings:

The food and drink industry is bound by strict regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of products. Food comes into contact with many materials and articles during its production, processing, storage, preparation and serving, before its eventual consumption. The European Food Safety Authority state that Food Contact Materials (FCMs) should be sufficiently inert so that their constituents neither adversely affect consumer health nor influence the quality of the food.

Flour mills, being a crucial part of the food supply chain, must adhere to these standards. Equipment used in the milling process, such as storage tanks, hoppers, chutes, and conveyors, is prone to wear, corrosion, and degradation over time. Traditional coating solutions often fall short in providing a long-lasting, food-safe barrier.

What is the EU Food Regulation 10 2011?

EU food contact legislation covers the general rules applicable to all materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs (Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004). For specific materials such as plastics, more detailed legislation has been additionally in place for several years.

Regulation (EU) 10/2011 sets out safety requirements for plastic materials and articles intended to co­­­­me into contact with food. This regulation is a specific measure for plastic food contact materials as mentioned in the European Framework Regulation (EU) 1935/2004.

This Regulation applies not only to plastics food contact packaging but to equipment such as food storage tanks, pipes, pumps, containers, conveyer belts, etc.

Belzona 5811DWII (DW Immersion Grade) Approved for use on Large Storage Tank at a Flour Mill

Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) is a solvent-free coating initially designed for the protection of surfaces operating under potable water immersion or where potable water approval is required.

Reacting to customer demand, Belzona Distributor; Perspect Benelux recently invested in comprehensive testing to evaluate the coating’s suitability for contact with dry foodstuffs.

Their customer, a large Mill in Belgium who specialise in the production and development of physically treated wheat flour and mixes used as cake flour, sought a coating suitable for contact with flour which would provide long term corrosion protection. Building on the success of achieving WRAS approval for contact with drinking water, Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) was put forward as a possible solution.

Comprehensive Testing:

Confident in the performance of the Belzona, Perspect Benelux opted to have Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) tested by the Belgian packaging institute; IBE-BVI, who are an accredited independent laboratory according to ISO 17025, recognised throughout Europe. Their results confirmed the coating’s compliance with specific requirements of European Regulations No. 1935/2004 and No 10/2011 for prolonged contact with dry foodstuffs.

Perspect Benelux was able to provide tailored support to the customer, in collaboration with Belzona, by providing sufficient data and evidence to satisfy the customer that Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) is safe and suitable for their specific needs and service conditions.

The positive results were recognised on completion of the project, by the FAVV (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain) who confirmed application was completed according to the approved method, using Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade).

The unique formulation of this Belzona coating not only ensures compliance with food safety regulations but also offers outstanding protection against corrosion and abrasion. It has been certified as non-leaching, with no harmful emissions or influences on dry food products and flour based on this customer’s specification.

This future-proof coating was also found to conform to the maximum limits of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and Polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons (POSH).

The likelihood of these guidelines becoming a requirement in the near future is significant due to the new EU Food standards coming in place.

The results of the tests were not only promising but exceeded expectations, leading to the green light for the application to the internals of a 6000 sq. metres (7175.94 sq. yards) in total flour storage tank of 30 tanks.

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Original tank substate

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Due to the age of the installation, the original lining was blistering and there was a risk it could contaminate the product to be stored in the tanks. In order for the customer to re-use these old, out of service tanks, a new lining was required. Other linings were tested, however Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) was the only one approved by the QA-QC department. The alternative would have been to build a new silo complex which would have been extremely expensive.

Application Process:

The application of Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in the Flour Mill followed a meticulous process to ensure long-lasting protection. The steel surfaces of the tank to be coated were prepared, cleaned, and blasted to the recommended standard of cleanliness, Swedish Standard Sa 2½, SSPC-SP10 (Near-White Metal) with a minimum profile of 3 mils (75 microns). Two coats were then applied by airless spray in cream, to a Dry Film Thickness of 400µm (15.75 mil).

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Blasted surfaces  
 
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   Completed application of Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade)
 

Benefits of Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in Flour Mills:

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Coated tank internals

Tested in Accordance with Parts of the Food Safety RegulationsBelzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) meets some of the stringent requirements for materials in contact with dry foodstuffs, providing a reliable solution for compliance with regulatory standards.

Extended Equipment Lifespan: The robust nature of the lining enhances the durability of equipment, reducing the frequency of maintenance and replacement.

Solvent-Free Formulation:  The lining’s solvent-free formulation means it is not only food-safe but also environmentally friendly. This characteristic aligns with the Belzona’s commitment to sustainable practices, prioritising the safety of both workers and the surrounding environment.

Corrosion Resistance:  Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) acts as a barrier against corrosion, preventing the degradation of equipment and maintaining equipment integrity.

Improved Operational Efficiency: With reduced downtime for maintenance, flour mills can operate more efficiently, contributing to increased productivity and cost savings.

Future Potential for Food Manufactures:

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The successful lining of ten tanks (to date) with Belzona 5811DW2 (DW Immersion Grade) in this Flour Mill highlights the potential of this innovative lining being adopted into the maintenance practices of food manufacturers across Europe. As industries evolve, the implementation of such advanced solutions will become pivotal in ensuring a reliable and sustainable food supply chain

How Can Polymeric Solutions Support a More Sustainable Marine Industry?

The marine industry plays an essential role in steering the course of global commerce the total value of the annual world shipping trade has reached more than $14 trillion (US dollars). According to the United Nations (UN), a staggering 90% of everything we consume is transported by sea. Given the colossal size of the marine industry, it is essential to implement a range of strategies to enhance its sustainability. For example, it is imperative to discover a more sustainable fuel source, and finding solutions that enhance energy efficiency will be crucial.

Of these strategies, advanced coatings and repair composites play a significant role, offering not only the promise of efficiency gains and cost savings but also a seamless alignment with the broader goals of the Blue Economy. The UN iterates that the Blue Economy should “promote economic growth [...], while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas”. By simultaneously reducing costs and fortifying assets, these solutions, such as those produced by Belzona, echo these Blue Economy principles, steering the marine industry towards a more sustainable future.

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Boats new and old repaired and protected with Belzona

What is the Environmental Impact of the Marine Industry?

Climate Action Tracker reports that the maritime sector presently accounts for about 3% of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If left unregulated, projections suggest that this figure could surge to 17% by 2050. Thus, there is a pressing need for measures to curb and limit this escalation. Surprisingly, Brazil, the 5th largest country in the world, emits just 2.44%, underscoring the maritime sector's outsized role in global emissions.

To contextualise this further, marine transportation far surpasses both the carbon and total greenhouse gas emissions of international aviation. While aviation, a major emitter, contributes about 600 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) per year, marine transport creates a huge 940 MtCO2 annually. Notably, the maritime industry also emits more than twice the amount of total greenhouse gas.

These statistics reveal the mammoth role of shipping in global emissions compared to other industries. Comprehensive measures are urgently needed to address and mitigate the environmental impact of the marine industry in the pursuit of sustainable practices.

What Strategies Are Being Implemented to Address This?

In recent years, a number of new regulations have been created to reduce and prevent air pollution created by shipping. For example, Annex VI of the MARPOL treaty, set in place by the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) limits the sulphur content of marine fuels and regulates emissions of NOx. 

A chapter of this treaty added in 2011 targets operational energy efficiency measures with the goal of diminishing greenhouse gas emissions. There is a growing emphasis on adopting cleaner alternative fuels, improving energy efficiency, and hull design modifications, to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry. In addition, steps are now being taken to minimise the impact of heavy shipping on sea life. Let's take a look at some of these strategies in more detail:

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Efficiency restored with Belzona for bow thruster of private yacht

The Marine Fuel Dilemma

In the pursuit of environmentally sustainable alternatives to Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Marine Gas Oil (MGO), various options, such as LNG, hydrogen, ammonia and methanol, have been explored - each with its own set of challenges.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has grown in popularity in recent years; however, it is not a viable alternative as switching to LNG would not create a reduction in total GHG emissions. Although LNG has a lower carbon content, it raises methane emissions, which are 80 times more potent than CO2. In fact, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), asserts that using LNG as a marine fuel emits over 120% more life cycle GHG emissions than MGO. It therefore must be acknowledged that LNG, despite its lower carbon content, remains a high-emission fossil fuel and falls short as a sustainable alternative.

Sustainably produced hydrogen, ammonia and methanol, when produced from renewable sources, are all good sustainable options but face challenges in availability, storage and flashpoint. For example, Hydrogen encounters storage challenges due to volume. Furthermore, most hydrogen produced today is grey hydrogen (not produced sustainably). If enough green hydrogen could be produced and stored it would make a great sustainable alternative. Ammonia boasts easier storage characteristics but would also need to be produced in a carbon-neutral manner and has a low flash point. Provided a sufficient quantity could be produced, green hydrogen, green ammonia or green methanol offer sustainable options. As the industry grapples with the marine fuel dilemma, it becomes evident that more work is required to find a truly sustainable solution to this complex problem.

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Historical and projected transport demand and GHG emissions from international Shipping| Source: UNEP, World Bank

Marine Cavitation

Thinking beyond greenhouse gas, the blue economy faces a host of other environmental concerns, including underwater noise pollution. Propeller cavitation leads to excess fuel consumption and can generate as much as 180 decibels of underwater radiated noise (URN) which can be heard by marine life over 100 miles away.

Propeller-induced cavitation is the formation and rapid collapse of bubbles, and this is the main source of underwater sound produced by ships. In fact, the propellor is responsible for about 80% of a ship's URN. The EU has already put in place thresholds to cut down on underwater noise and the IMO issued guidelines last year too. The UN has 17 Sustainable Development Goals and Goal 14, Life Below Water addresses the need to protect marine life. A recent study by the University of Victoria showed how beluga whales avoid marine noise even when many miles away as it masks their vocalisations. This can lead to chronic stress and the animals being displaced from their habitat. Reducing underwater noise footprint will help with species conservation.

Cavitation damage also reduces the propulsion efficiency of a propeller, incurring economic loss due to excessive fuel consumption and the requirements of frequent maintenance. It is clear then a long-term solution for propellor cavitation is required.

Case Study

One solution to reduce propellor cavitation, is to repair and protect cavitated propellers with Belzona. In the example below, Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) was used to build up the worst affected areas and then Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) was brush applied to provide overall protection. The customer opted for this solution after the failure of welding and inferior coatings. In a study carried out by Leeds University, it was found that Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide) was fifteen times smoother than polished stainless steel, making it ideal for reducing resistance and noise as well as increasing efficiency. The port now has the confidence to inspect on a less frequent basis meaning the vessel can survey the river for longer periods, saving time and money in a dry dock.

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After 10 years of service the hull of the vessel was suffering from cavitation around the propellor area. 

Engine Chocking

As well as repairing and protecting propellors from cavitation, engine chocking to reduce vibrations is key for noise reduction and safety. The essential role of engine chocks is to ensure the proper alignment and stabilisation of ship engines, promoting overall operational reliability.

This is crucial as, left unaddressed, loose bolts can lead to heavy engine vibrationmisalignmentbearing damage, and even crankcase explosion. Vibrations may also loosen torque on foundation bolts in crucial components like main engines, turbines, diesel-electric drives, gearboxes, and thrust blocks. Furthermore, if an engine is misaligned or chocks are incorrectly fitted, the overall life span is reduced, and replacement is costly from both an environmental and financial perspective.

Historically, metal has often been used for chocking, however, polymeric resin chocks prove to be a superior alternative. Compounds such as Belzona 7111 (Marine Grade), provide precise alignment with non-shrinking properties and, high impact and high compressive strength, saving time and manpower compared to conventional methods. Specifically designed to endure the physical and thermal shock common to marine environments. This makes it ideal for pouring foundations of heavy ship propulsion systems and other heavy equipment where alignment, and anchorage are essential.

Approved by the American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyd’s Register ClassificationBelzona 7111 (Marine Grade) assures lasting alignment and durability, underscoring its excellence in ensuring safety and longevity in maritime applications. Minimising marine noise and extending asset life through solutions, such as those offered by Belzona, are effective and cost-efficient methods for reducing the negative impacts of shipping.

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Belzona 7111 (Marine Grade) used to realign the main engine on a fishing boat with 500 tons of storage

Conclusion

A plethora of strategies will be necessary to achieve sustainable shipping. The quest for a sustainable fuel alternative, reducing underwater noise pollution, increasing efficiency, and the revolutionary use of coatings and composites are all integral strategies. Advanced polymeric solutions such as those produced by Belzona not only address critical issues such as cavitation and engine chocking but also offer a unique opportunity to revolutionise the industry. By simultaneously reducing capital expenditure, maintenance time and greenhouse gas emissions, these innovations play a pivotal role in steering the maritime sector towards a more sustainable and efficient future.

Using coatings and composites can revolutionise the maritime industry by simultaneously reducing capital expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions. Prioritising for the sake of the Blue Economy will propel the maritime industry into an era of environmental responsibility and economic resilience. Embracing these transformative solutions becomes not only a strategic imperative for the maritime industry but also a key enabler in realizing the holistic vision of a thriving Blue Economy that balances prosperity with responsible resource management.

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The Importance of Calibrating Fixed Gas Detectors for Safety

 

Fixed gas detectors play a critical role in safeguarding people, places, and the planet against potentially life-threatening gases in environments ranging from high value industrial complexes to laboratories and hazardous confined spaces. However, to ensure their accuracy and reliability, regular calibration is an indispensable practice.

Calibration is usually a two-step procedure – the zero and the span. In the first step, the sensor is zeroed using ambient air after confirming that the target gas is not present or by using a suitable gas from a cylinder. The second step is to expose the instrument to the calibration gas that contains a known concentration of the target gas the sensor is designed to measure. The readings are then adjusted to match these values.

Whether an instrument warns and/or alarms at the proper time depends on its ability to translate the detected concentration of a target gas into an accurate reading

During calibration, gas detectors perform relative measurements. Rather than independently assessing the quantity of gas present, they measure the concentration of targeted gas within a test gas mixture by comparing real-time sensor response to the sensor’s response to a known concentration of target gas that the instrument is configured to detect and measure. This “known concentration” test gas serves as the instrument’s measurement scale, or reference point.

So, why is this important? Here are a few reasons to consider:

1. Ensuring Gas Measurement Accuracy and Reliability

A gas detector that isn’t accurately calibrated can lead to mis-readings, false alarms, and inadequate responses to hazardous situations. Proper calibration fine-tunes the detector’s sensor(s) to maximise speed of response, measurement accuracy, and provide reliable information to personnel required to make informed decisions in critical moments.

2. Meeting Regulatory Compliance

Safety regulations and standards are in place for a reason – to protect people, property, and the environment from potential hazards. Many industries are subject to these regulations that dictate the calibration and maintenance of gas detectors.

3. Mitigating False Alarms and Detection Failures

A poorly calibrated gas detector can lead to unnecessary evacuations, disruptions, and complacency due to frequent false alarms. Conversely, improper calibration might render a detector insensitive to dangerous gas levels, leaving people and operations vulnerable to potential harm.

4. Accounting for Changing Environmental Conditions

Fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure can impact the performance of these instruments. Regular calibration adjusts for these variables, ensuring that the sensor maintains its accuracy despite ever-changing conditions.

5. Combating Sensor Drift and Aging

Just like any mechanical or electronic component, gas sensors can experience signal drift or degradation over time. When the detector’s current readings deviate from the known reference, proper calibration procedures enable necessary adjustments to the sensor’s output. This adjustment effectively brings the sensor’s response back in line with the original calibration reference, minimising the impact of sensor drift.

6. Upholding Record Keeping and Liability

In the age of accountability, maintaining thorough records of gas detector calibration is a prudent practice. It demonstrates a commitment to safety management and can serve as a valuable resource in case of incidents or accidents. Having well-documented calibration records can potentially mitigate legal liabilities and bolster an organisation’s credibility.

7. Fostering Confidence in Safety Systems

An accurately calibrated gas detector is not just a piece of equipment; it’s a testament to an organisation’s dedication to safety. Regular calibration instils confidence in employees and management that the safety systems are in optimal condition, ready to provide accurate information and timely alerts in case of emergencies.

Conclusion

Routine calibration helps ensure accurate measurements, regulatory compliance, and a reliable defence against hazardous gases. Onsite safety and instrument availability is maximised while mitigating against false alarms at the same time. In a world where safety is paramount, the simple act of calibration speaks volumes about an organisation’s commitment to the well-being of its people and the environment.

Download our whitepaper: https://gb.msasafety.com/trucal#whitepaper

 

Rezitech Combats Tank Corrosion Under Insulation with Belzona Composite Wrap System

At a major global blue-chip nickel Mine in Australia, authorised Belzona Distributor, Rezitech, provided a full turnkey solution to combat corrosion under insulation on an ammonium sulphate feed tank. Within the space of 24 hours, the 9.5 metre (31.2 ft) diameter tank (with a height of 2 metres (6.6 ft) from ground level) was repaired and protected against future corrosion with the industrial composite wrap system, Belzona SuperWrap II.

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Figure 1. Composite wrap system curbs corrosion under insulation at nickel mine

Protective Coatings and Epoxy Repair Systems Support Transition to Net Zero

The Mine refines granulated nickel matte from their smelter into premium-grade nickel powder and briquettes containing 99.8% nickel. Nickel powder is further processed into nickel sulphate at a Refinery in Australia. Nickel sulphate is an essential ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric vehicles (EVs). It could be argued that the increase in sales of EVs is one of the biggest climate wins of 2023. Indeed, according to the 2023 Report from Climate Action Tracker, of the 42 sectors which need

o achieve net zero status by 2050, the only sector which is on track is the share of EVs in lightduty vehicle sales. Considering how road transport currently accounts for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, EVs play a vital role in reducing these emissions.

As such, the polymeric technology required to repair and improve assets within the EV industry equally plays a vital role in supporting the transition to net zero. By repairing damaged assets instead of decommissioning and sending them to landfill, this significantly reduces the climate impact that would otherwise be incurred in this process.

Case Study: Feed Tank Suffering from Corrosion Under Insulation & SCC

The Customer’s stainless steel feed tank was suffering from corrosion under insulation and chloride induced stress corrosion cracking. They required a solution that would not only restore the integrity on the substrate, but also protect the asset against future corrosion damage. Not only this, but as the tank operates at elevated temperatures of approximately 70°C (158°F) and processes highly corrosive medium, the repair solution would need to be able to withstand these harsh conditions.

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Figure 2. Tank Contents

Rezitech Specifies Belzona Composite Wrap Solution

Having worked with Rezitech over the course of five years, the Customer had complete confidence in the range of Belzona metal epoxy repair composites and industrial repair coatings the Distributorship offers. As such, they decided to contact them again for their advice and system recommendation

Following an inspection by Heath Westell, Sales Engineer at Rezitech, the composite wrap system, Belzona SuperWrap II, was specified.

Commenting on this specification, Heath said: “This composite wrap system is comprised of a fluid-grade resin system, a bespoke hybrid reinforcement sheet, based on fibre glass and carbon fibre, as well as a release film to compact and consolidate the application. The system is specially formulated to restore the strength of holed, weakened and corroded pipe and tank walls, making it the ideal solution for protecting the asset against corrosion under insulation for the long term. In addition, thanks to the cold-curing properties of the composite wrap system, this mitigates the need for hot work, making it a reliable alternative to welding.” 

Application Procedure:

Firstly, all traces of oil and grease contamination were removed using a suitable Rezitech Degreaser. Following this, the surfaces were grit-blasted to provide a surface cleanliness compliant with ISO 8501-1 SA 2½ (ASNZ 1627.4 class 2.5) with a minimum 75 µm (3 mil) rough angular profile.

Once the surface was prepared, the Belzona 9381 reinforcement sheet was measured out and then wetted out with the Belzona resin system. The resin was then systematically applied to the areas to be repaired. Following this, the Belzona reinforcement sheets were then applied to the tank in three layers. The compression film was then added to the top of the application area. Next, using a roller, the Belzona SuperWrap II composite wrap system was then spread, rolled and compressed to the surface of the tank. The system was then left to cure for approximately eight hours.

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Figure 3. Stainless steel feed tank repaired and protected with Belzona SuperWrap II

Bypass the Need for Replacement with Polymeric Technology

By investing in the Belzona composite wrap solution, this enabled the Customer to successfully bypass the need to replace the corroded asset, and instead prolong the lifespan of the asset for years to come. Thus, this enabled the Customer to make significant savings in both time and money. In addition, given the important role EVs play in reducing global carbon emissions, it could be argued that polymeric technology also plays a fundamental role in supporting this transition by safeguarding the integrity of key assets within this industry.

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Figure 4. Mitigate the need for replacement with polymeric technology

About Rezitech: Established in 1968, Rezitech is the sole Australian Distributor for Belzona. Rezitech offers a comprehensive range of industrial protective coatings and epoxy metal repair composites to many different industries including: oil and gas, mining, power and facilities maintenance, amongst others. For more information, please visit: www.rezitech.com.au/products/belzona

Championing safety and efficiency in utility infrastructure

A focus on safety can expand work opportunities and open up a contractor to new and innovative business areas. KM Group, a prominent civil engineering contractor based across Wales and the South West of England, has carved a niche for itself in the industry through its specialisation in multi-utility mains installation, repair, and maintenance. Renowned for its commitment to safe working practices and ethical operations, KM Group partly puts its success down to its longstanding partnership with the supply chain risk management experts, Veriforce CHAS. 

In this case study, Murray Ambler-Shattock, Group Strategic Operations Manager at K M Group, explains how working with Veriforce CHAS has helped KM Group enhance its industry presence. He also discusses their shared objective to enhance safety and efficiency in the civil engineering sector, including through investment in the very latest technology.

CHAS accreditation and market access 

For several years, KM Group has been a proud partner of Veriforce CHAS, which has helped us to showcase our commitment to being a responsible and reliable contractor and enabled us to work with major contractors in our sector. Being accredited to CHAS Elite – which includes the Common Assessment Standard – shows we adhere to high standards across a wide range of risk areas, from health and safety to environmental management to equality, diversity, and inclusion. It also gives us a tool to set standards for our supply chain, so the contractors we work with are typically accredited to CHAS Standard or CHAS Advanced. Like Veriforce CHAS, at KM Group we are strong advocates of the Common Assessment Standard and its potential to improve efficiency and risk management standards in the construction sector. Veriforce CHAS was the first accreditation body to offer the assessment, and we were one of the first companies to complete it.

Accreditation isn't complicated - it's the golden ticket

Achieving accreditation is not a daunting task but a demonstration of our efficient business systems. In our experience, many organisations unknowingly already possess these systems in some form, and accreditation merely involves certifying their functionality.

Veriforce CHAS has been instrumental in conveying this message to our supply chain and supporting our contractors on their accreditation journey. This support is particularly beneficial for our smaller contractors, as CHAS Standard provides an entry-level accreditation that forms a solid foundation for future growth.

We view accreditation as the golden ticket, enabling business expansion and fostering collaboration with reputable employers. It establishes credibility and opens doors to valuable opportunities.

Raising industry standards 

Veriforce CHAS collaborates with clients like us to enhance overall compliance within supply chains. As contractors within our supply chains embark on their accreditation journey, they often aspire to achieve higher levels of accreditation, making them more appealing partners. This increased accreditation assures supply chain partners that these contractors are responsible businesses with effective risk management systems. This helps to raise standards overall and positively impacts the entire sector, creating a more conducive working environment for everyone involved.

Furthermore, there is a substantial effort through the Common Assessment Standard to enhance efficiency. This initiative aims to streamline the accreditation process, eliminating the need for contractors to undergo multiple assessments. Once contractors have completed the Common Assessment Standard through CHAS Elite, their certification becomes accessible through any of the accreditation providers, opening up even more opportunities for them. 

 

Innovation in utility infrastructure

In recent years, KM Group has embarked on a journey of innovation by investing in Vacuum Excavation, a revolutionary technique transforming the Construction, Utility Infrastructure, and Civil Engineering sectors. This non-destructive digging method uses compressed air and a high-powered vacuum to excavate soil and materials gently. This is safer for operators and avoids the classic challenge of damaging pipes and cables, which can be extremely dangerous, as well as both costly and disruptive to a project. KM Group's adoption of vacuum extraction aligns with the industry trend of adhering to PAS 128 standards, significantly improving utility detection accuracy in the UK.

 

Pioneering vacuum excavation

KM Plant Hire & Groundworks Ltd, a subsidiary of KM Group, stands out as a leader in innovation within the Utilities Sector. Successfully implementing Vacuum Extraction in various locations, we have been championing safety, efficiency, and reliability in utility detection processes. This forward-thinking approach provides exceptional value to clients and positions KM Group as a pioneer in adopting innovative practices for safer and more efficient operations.

Conclusion

The journey of KM Group serves as a compelling case study in how strategic partnerships, such as our relationship with Veriforce CHAS, can propel a company to new heights. Through accreditation, KM Group has not only gained access to major industry projects but also uncovered hidden efficiencies within our operations. The adoption of Vacuum Excavation further solidifies our commitment to innovation and safety, and we believe it establishes us as a trailblazer in the ever-evolving landscape of utility infrastructure.

Find out more at: http://www.chas.co.uk/ or call 0345 521 9111.

https://km-group.co.uk or call 01633 415321 

 

Fender Fortified with Polyurethane Resin on US’ First Zero Emissions Tugboat

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Figure 1. US’ first zero emissions, all-electric tugboat, the eWolf

In order to keep the planet on track for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, at COP28, negotiators from 200 Parties agreed on the science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that: ‘[…] limiting warming to around 1.5°C (2.7°F) requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030.’

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Figure 2. Image: IREANA

Prior to COP28, in July 2023, the UN agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), considerably vamped up its strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ocean freight. The Organisation’s revised targets aim to reduce carbon emissions from international shipping by 40% by 2030, and to achieve net zero by 2050, based on 2008 levels.

The Maritime Industry’s ‘Most Important Mitigation Measure’

One of the fundamental ways in which this sector can achieve this is through ‘scalable zero emission fuels’. According to a 2023 Report from one of the world-leading authorities on climate science, Climate Action Tracker: ‘To achieve full decarbonisation, the shipping sector will need to adopt alternative fuels, otherwise known as scalable zero emission fuels, to power vessels.’ The Report goes on to describe how: ‘This is the most important mitigation measure.’ Scalable zero emission fuels typically refer to hydrogen, ammonia, e-methanol and electric battery.

Considering the seismic reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions required by the maritime industry by 2030, advances in technology, such as the US’ first zero emissions, all-electric tugboat, the eWolf, is a huge step forwards in terms of decarbonising this sector.

The US’ First Zero Emissions, All-Electric Tugboat

Launched in 2023, the 25 metre (82 ft) eWolf is leading the way in terms of mitigating the

climate impact of the maritime sector. Over the first 10 years of its use, the operation of the new ‘eTug' will reduce 178 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), versus a conventional tugboat.

The eWolf is capable of speeds of up to 12 knots, and will be powered by a 6.2 megawatt-hour main propulsion battery and two electric motors. The electricity comes from a charging station that is part of a microgrid facility, equipped with two energy storage containers. Battery modules in each container have a storage capacity of nearly 1.5 megawatt-hours.

Bonding Solution Required for Front Fender

The front fender for the eWolf needed to be bonded together using a strong adhesive that would withstand pushing and pulling forces during the process of adhering the fender to the eTug. Having established confidence in Belzona technology from using their polymeric systems in previous applications, the Customer chose Belzona once again for the application.

System Specification: Elastomeric Primer and Polyurethane Resin

Following an inspection by Micah Heath, Technical Consultant at Belzona Distributorship, Belzona Alabama Belzona Alabama, the fast curing, one-part elastomeric primer, Belzona 2911 (Elastomer QD Conditioner), was specified. This conditioner is optimised for adhesion to a variety of substrates including rubber, as required for this particular application. For the bonding, the polyurethane resin, Belzona 2211, was specified. This flexible rubber repair material is optimised for applications where high build, durability and elasticity are required.

Application Procedure

Commenting on the application procedure, Micah said: “Once the required surface preparation was completed using grinding wheels and MBX Bristle Blaster, the conditioner, Belzona 2911 (Elastomer QD Conditioner), was applied. As soon as the conditioner was touch dry, Belzona 2211 was used to attach the plugs into the fender, and then attach the 3-part fender together. The application team used a manual cable puller to apply the necessary pressure to ensure the various surfaces were sufficiently pressed together. Once completed, the application was left for 36 hours to cure, achieving an excellent mechanical bond.”

Figure 3. Fender plugs prior to attachment

 Figure 3. Fender plugs prior to attachment

 

Figure 4. Polyurethane resin, Belzona 2211, applied to prepared surface

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Figure 5. Come-alongs used to hold the sections together during curing process

Policy is Key Driver in Roll-Out of Zero Emissions Technology

Over the past few years, numerous policies have been launched worldwide which have provided huge cash injections for technologies and industries that support the net zero by 2050 pathway. One of the world-leading policies is the US’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which includes $369 billion (US dollars) of investment.

According to the Climate Action Tracker, ‘[…] thanks to the passage of the IRA in the United States, companies are announcing hundreds of clean energy manufacturing facilities, turbocharging battery and electric vehicle production and creating tens of thousands of new jobs.’ A continued investment will continue to ‘[turbocharge]’ advancements in technologies such as the eWolf. In turn, technology like this will help the sector to achieve its decarbonisation targets.

Decarbonising the Marine Sector with Polymeric Technology

In addition to pioneering technology like the eTug, polymeric systems also play a key role in the decarbonisation of this sector. Belzona’s circular economic business model is grounded in the practice of repairing and improving damaged assets, rather than decommissioning and replacing them. Not only does this allow the asset owner to make considerable financial savings, but it also mitigates the carbon footprint incurred during the process of replacing damaged assets. In turn, this supports a net zero by 2050 pathway, in line with the Paris Agreement. Maritime Approvals In addition, Belzona systems are manufactured according to the ISO 9001 quality management systems and are approved by classification societies from all around the world including: Lloyd's Register, American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, RINA Services, DNV, China Classification Society and the Korean Register of Shipping.

For more information, please visit: www.Belzona.com

Case study: Embracing the new era of connected safety

When your business involves sending hundreds of workers out to disconnected sites where they could be exposed to dangerous gases, safety should be a top priority. But how can real-time insights and actionable data help enable you to offer your workforce enhanced protection? This was the challenge facing Cappagh Browne Utilities Limited, a company specialising in repairing and maintaining wastewater networks across the southeast of England. Learn more about their experience.

 

 
     
     
   
     
     
 

As managing director of Cappagh Browne, Jeff Birtwhistle plays a key role in helping to keep the sewers of south-east England flowing. With over 30 years’ experience in heavy civil construction, nuclear energy, and utilities, he’s always looking for innovative solutions to help the company improve the service it offers customers – and protect its workforce. So when we introduced our latest generation connected gas connector, the ALTAIR io™ 4 Connected Gas Detector, Jeff was keen for Cappagh Browne to be able to reap the benefits.

“When it comes to innovation and new technology, MSA Safety is one of our key and invaluable partners,” he says.

 

The gas detector that is redefining safety management

Cappagh Browne was already using a previous generation connected gas detector from MSA Safety that provided certain data for remote monitoring to help protect workers and respond to emergencies.  After experiencing those benefits, he wanted to enhance them even further with real-time data. The ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector does this, helping to give Cappagh Browne the chance to leverage new MSA Safety technology, improve overall business efficiency and response times, and significantly improve safety for workers.

 

Offering immediate, on-site connectivity

The power of the  ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector lies in its combination of built-in cutting-edge, CAT-M LTE cellular connectivity and integration with the MSA Grid. Part of MSA Safety’s Connected Work Platform, the ALTAIR io4 Connected Gas Detector can be deployed in seconds, right out of the box. What’s more, no IT is required for updates because they are delivered securely from our cloud to your fleet. When the device is in its dock, it knows when it needs a bump test or calibration to be compliant and immediately starts to run the relevant test.

And with industry-leading XCELL® sensors it can stand up to tough use in challenging conditions, resistance to extreme temperatures, the ability to withstand a 25-foot drop and a dust and waterproof IP68 rating.

 

Real-time insights

Matt Reid, Head of Fleet for Cappagh Browne, says they are already experiencing the benefits of upgrading to the ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector. “We have over 350 employees working across various remote sites in potentially hazardous environments. So real-time safety monitoring is important,” he explains. “Now, with the ALTAIR io 4, we’re able to use real-time data to establish who to use on a particular job because we can see what exposure they’ve had over the last week.”

 

“We can send one person out to a job and then, if they need help, we can send another person out with an ID tag to ‘fob on’ to the same device. We can then track both people safely within the seven-day period to make sure they don’t exceed their exposure limit.”

 

Keeping workers safe throughout the day

Managing Director Jeff Birtwhistle adds that it’s the ability to get immediate feedback when a worker’s exposure limit to dangerous gases has been reached that is taking the company’s safety management to new levels. “Being able to intervene on a worker’s behalf and pull them out of a job to protect them is fantastic. It means we can keep our most valuable asset –our people – safe,” he says.

 

Improving compliance

The real-time data and actionable insights offered by the ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector are also helping to simplify regulatory compliance for Cappagh Browne and enabling supervisors to identify behaviors that don’t meet safety standards, which can help make workers more accountable.

 

Since introducing the solution, the company has experienced zero safety alarms. However, as Matt Reid explains, a worker was able to use the inbuilt alarm to call for help in an unusual situation.

 

“We had an instance where a guy became physically locked out of his vehicle and didn’t have his phone on him. He pushed the alarm button to call for help and we were able to get a second set of keys over to him to unlock the vehicle and get him on the road again.”

 

The partnership with MSA Safety continues

Both Jeff and Matt know that at some point in the future they will inevitably be looking for new safety enhancements that they cannot envisage right now. But they are confident that when that time comes, MSA Safety will be there, just as it has been for real-time gas detection monitoring. For now, they are enjoying the enhanced safety that the ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector offers their workforce.

 

Fleet manager Matt Reid sums up the benefits. “Using ALTAIR io 4 means we can send our employees home safely to their families every night and that Cappagh Browne can see them again every morning when they turn up for another day’s work.”

Keen to see what this technology can do for safety management at your business too? Watch our case study video and find out more about how the ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector is redefining safety.

 

Watch the video to find out more about Cappa Browne's experience using MSA Safety's ALTAIR io 4 Connected Gas Detector.

Cutting Costs and Carbon Footprints with Polymeric Technology

For over 72 years, Belzona polymeric technology has helped numerous asset owners across a myriad of industries to not only make seismic financial savings, but this technology has also enabled them to considerably mitigate their carbon footprints as well. This latter benefit is particularly paramount when considering the drive towards a net-zero by 2050 future for the planet, as outlined in the Paris Agreement.


At the COP28 Summit, negotiators from nearly 200 Parties came together in Dubai with a decision on the world’s first Global Stocktake. The Stocktake recognises the science that indicates global greenhouse gas emissions need to ‘be cut by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F).’

However, the Stocktake notes that Parties are off track when it comes to meeting their Paris Agreement goals. As such, the Stocktake has called on Parties to take actions towards achieving, on a global scale, a ‘tripling of renewable energy capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030.’

The Belzona Solution: a Circular Economic Business Model

Amongst the ever-growing arsenal of carbon mitigation technologies and initiatives, industrial coatings and repair composites can help numerous industries to significantly reduce their carbon footprints, in line with Paris Agreement targets.

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Figure 1. Established in 1952, Belzona is a global leader in polymeric technology

With a comprehensive range of polymeric systems such as epoxy repair composites, high-temperature coatings, liquid waterproof membranes, flexible roof coatings and pipe wraps, amongst others, these systems have been proven to not only repair and protect damaged assets across many different industries, but to also intrinsically improve them for the long term as well.

The environmental implications of this circular economic business model are astronomical. By bypassing the need to replace damaged assets and instead actively improving them, industries can make great strides in minimising their environmental impact.

In addition, by investing in these systems, this mitigates the fees that can accumulate in the process of asset replacement. These fees include: the cost of the asset being replaced, the labor required during the removal, disposal and installation process and also the downtime that can be incurred during this procedure. 

For these reasons, an increase in investment into these technologies would help many different industries in the process of ratchetting up their 2030 emissions reduction plans, in line with the net-zero emissions by 2050 scenario, in a way that is also financially advantageous.

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Figure 2. Corroded and eroded pump repaired and protected with Belzona 1111 (Super Metal) and Belzona 5821

Conventional Protective Coatings Won’t Survive

At the core of Belzona technology is polymer chemistry. In the Company’s laboratories located in Harrogate, UK and Miami, US, the Company designs, formulates, and manufactures a comprehensive range of polymeric solutions. These systems enable their industrial customers to repair and protect assets that would otherwise be damaged by aggressive service conditions.

For example, slurries and strong chemicals cause abrasion and corrosion as they pass down pipes and through production equipment. Factors such as these as well as elevated temperatures mean that conventional protective coatings won’t survive. As such, companies must turn to a high-performance polymer technology to protect their assets to an appropriate standard.

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Figure 3. Pipes in Oil Refinery coated with Belzona 1593


The Evolution of Belzona


The Company was established in 1952. The Founder, Jorgan Svendsen, was fascinated with the mechanisms of corrosion, and how to repair, protect and improve assets against corrosion damage. Initially utilising a flame-spray method to protect fire extinguishers against corrosion, the Business moved away from hot work applications and developed a pioneering cold-applied, zinc-rich corrosion protection technology. This technology could be applied to a variety of steel structures. It worked by creating a polymer-zinc barrier that would resist aggressive corrosion and also protect the integrity of the steel beneath it.

Following on from this, Belzona then developed a range of polymer coatings and repair pastes. The original being Belzona 1111 (Super Metal), which has since been widely replicated over the years. This system was specifically designed for the repair and rebuilding of assets, before then coating and protecting them against any future damage. Applied onto damaged or worn surfaces in thick layers, these Belzona 1000 Series metallic pastes allow the substrate to be reshaped and reformed back to its original profile. The paste then sets, almost like the steel itself, and gives the original asset a new lease of life.

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Figure 4. Damaged ship caisson repaired and protected with Belzona 1111 (Super Metal)Belzona 1331 and Belzona 5811 (Immersion Grade)

Since then, Belzona has gone on to develop a range of high temperature immersion linings. These are widely used in the oil and gas industry on structures that are subjected to water, steam, oil, sand, and aggressive chemicals throughout their processing life. Belzona has also developed composite repair systems made from densely woven structural fabrics made from glass fiber or carbon fiber, that can be used to return strength and fortify compromised pipes or other structures.


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Figure 5. Desulfurisation unit rebuilt with Belzona 1511 (Super HT-Metal) and protected with high-temperature lining, Belzona 1593

The Company has found the composite repair method to be a rapidly growing market. For that niche, Belzona developed a brand called Belzona SuperWrap, now known as Belzona SuperWrap II. This system is comprised of a fluid-grade resin system and a bespoke hybrid reinforcement sheet, based on fibre glass and carbon fibre. The major benefit of the Belzona SuperWrap II system is its ability to re-instate/restore strength to the original substrate.

When a steel pipe is damaged or corroded, through chemical attack for example, then it will ultimately lose strength and can even leak. This can mean that entire plants or facilities will be shut down for lengthy periods of time. This is clearly a major issue as it could result in millions of dollars being lost every day. In addition, this system can be applied as a composite patch, pad or plate, bringing increased rigidity, corrosion resistance and chemical resistance to the asset.


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Figure 6. Pipe strength restored using Belzona SuperWrap II

Design, Develop, Manufacture

Belzona’s Chemists are involved at all stages, through design, development and manufacture. The Chemists work at the metaphorical drawing board, all the way through to supervising the first batch of a new polymer solution being made. As part of the development and manufacturing process, the Company focuses on sourcing materials that are commercially available, can provide the requisite performance, are of the highest quality, and which are as safe and sustainable as possible. By working with different chemical manufacturers, who create the building blocks of these solutions, the Chemists are able to apply their scientific knowledge and expertise, creating an easily appliable, safe, high-performance polymer product.

Testing is another key step in the development process. Belzona has fully equipped testing laboratories at their UK and US sites. These facilities allow the Company to study and characterise the performance of its products, and thereby optimise the formulations. Every solution undergoes an extensive programme of testing, the majority of which is carried out in-house. The testing is defined by the intended end-use for the product; for example, weathering testing for an exterior anti-corrosion coating or abrasion resistance testing for a slurry pump lining. It is Belzona’s investment in this testing capability which sets the Company apart from most competitors.

While the UK and US serve as the two core bases for Belzona’s global operations, the Company also has a global Network of 159 Distributors in over 120 countries. It also has corporate presences in the form of training and support centers in Thailand, Canada and China. Increasingly, Belzona is turning its attention to expanding its portfolio of sustainable solutions.

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Figure 7. CEO, Barry Nisill, presenting Belzona solutions at Belzona’s Asia Pacific Office

Polymeric Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Repairing damaged assets instead of replacing them has always been fundamental to Belzona’s philosophy. This is encapsulated in the Company’s strapline ‘Polymeric Solutions for a Sustainable Future’. Originally, though, that philosophy was primarily driven by cost: it’s considerably cheaper to repair an asset than to buy a new one, so the asset owner can make significant financial savings.  

For example, over the course of several years, a Steel Fabricator in the UK’s East Coast managed to save millions of pounds by deploying polymeric repair and protection systems onto more than 2,000 metres of its gas pipeline. This included epoxy repair mortars and stainless-steel protective coatings.

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Figure 8. Steel Fabricator saved millions of pounds thanks to Belzona technology

To this day, this philosophy of repair instead of replace remains. However, the need for industries to reduce their environmental impacts is more pressing now than ever before. As such, Belzona polymeric repair materials and protective coatings have an important part to play in supporting this net-zero journey. They can help to reduce the carbon footprint across many different industries such as (amongst others):

Petrochemical, Oil and Gas:
Belzona has a wide range of epoxy-based metal repair composites and high temperature coatings and linings which have been used in the petrochemical and oil and gas industries since the late 1970s. These materials are specifically designed to provide outstanding erosion and corrosion protection, as well as chemical resistance for equipment operating offshore and onshore at various pressures and temperatures.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the petrochemical and oil and gas industries (amongst others): internal and external of process vessels, pipework, cold bonding, splash zones, storage tanks and secondary containment areas, carbon capture, decommissioning, fenders and hoses, heat exchangers, seawater filters and separator vessels.



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Figure 9. Flange protected against corrosion with flange encapsulation system, Belzona 3412

Marine:
Belzona's comprehensive range of cold-curing marine coatings and metal repair composites has been used by the marine industry for over 60 years. These products have been specifically designed to withstand harsh offshore conditions as well as provide exceptional resistance against erosion and corrosion.

Providing metal repair composites to shipyards around the world, long-term protection is proven by years of successful experience with ships and offshore structures. Manufactured according to the ISO 9001 quality management systems, Belzona materials are approved by classification societies from all around the world including: Lloyd's Register, American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, RINA Services, DNV, China Classification Society and the Korean Register of Shipping.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the marine industry (amongst others): rudders, shafts, engines, shimming and chocking applications, rubber components, at sea repairs, storage tanks, exhausts, turbo blowers, stern tubes, auxiliary diesel engines, alternators/generators, tank cleaning systems, oily water separators, steering gears, pumps, heat exchangers, pipework, deck winches, lifeboats and access ladders.

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Figure 10. Voith Schneider propulsion unit built up with Belzona 1311 (Ceramic R-Metal) before being overcoated with Belzona 1321 (Ceramic S-Metal)


Mining and Quarrying:
Belzona's wide range of polymeric metal and rubber repair composites and durable protective coatings and linings have been used in the mining and quarrying industry for decades. These materials are specifically designed to provide outstanding erosion, corrosion and abrasion protection, as well as chemical resistance, for equipment operating in highly aggressive environments.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the mining and quarrying industry: solids handling equipment, fluid and gas handling equipment, mechanical equipment, chocking and shimming applications and facilities maintenance.

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Figure 11. Expansion joint repair at Coal Mine using combination of Belzona systems

Steel:
From rolling mills to blast furnaces, critical equipment in the steel industry is susceptible to abrasion, erosion, corrosion and chemical attack. Belzona’s range of metal repair compositeserosion corrosion resistant coatings and durable linings have been engineered to meet the aggressive demands of this industry.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the steel industry (amongst others): fluid and gas handling equipment, solids handling equipment, storage tank and secondary containment areas, shimming of worn equipment and facilities maintenance.

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Figure 12. Tank and concrete saddles fortified with Belzona technology at Steel Production Site


Supporting Renewable Energy Industries  

Not only can Belzona technology help to mitigate the carbon footprint across multiple industries, but these polymeric systems can also safeguard valuable assets within the renewables sector. For example:

Wind:
For both onshore and offshore environments, Belzona solutions for the wind power sector can help to repair and protect assets from these problems, whilst simultaneously making wind farm maintenance procedures more efficient and less time-consuming.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the wind industry (amongst others): blade restoration and leading edge protection (LEP), nacelle and generating components, rebuild solutions for mechanical components, turbine base and tower, damaged concrete, corrosion resistant encapsulation systems, corrosion and erosion protection for splash zones, surface-tolerant solutions for transformer leaks.

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Figure 13. Emergency repair of leaking transformer at Wind Farm with Belzona 1212

Hydropower:
Within the hydropower industry, polymer technology can offer a plethora of benefits including resistance to cavitation, excellent resistance to erosion and corrosion and efficiency enhancement.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the hydropower industry (amongst others): Francis turbines, Kaplan turbines, wicket gates, inlet valves, switchgears and turbine casings, pipework, penstocks, dams/spillways and facilities maintenance.

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Figure 14. Corroded Francis turbine repaired with efficiency-enhancing coating, Belzona 1341 (Supermetalglide)

Biomass and Waste-to-Energy:
Belzona offers a wide range of epoxy-based repair composites and protective coatings to repair and protect biomass and waste-to-energy processing facilities and equipment from common problems occurring in the industry, including: abrasion, erosion, corrosion and chemical attack.

Belzona systems can be applied in the following areas within the biomass and waste-to-energy industry (amongst others): facilities maintenance, pipework, FGD units, chimneys and roofs.    

Range of Systems to Repair, Protect and Improve

For each of these industries and application areas, Belzona has designed high-performance solutions spanning across five product ranges:

Belzona 1000 Series - for the repair and protection of machinery and equipment.
Belzona 2000 Series - for abrasion resistant linings and the repair and protection of flexible components.
Belzona 3000 Series - waterproofing systems for the repair and protection of buildings and structures.
Belzona 4000 Series - for the repair and protection of concrete subject to abrasion, impact, and chemical attack.
Belzona 5000 Series - for protection from physical, chemical, or bacterial attack in a diverse range of environments.
Belzona 6000 Series - Zinc rich epoxy materials for corrosion protection to steelwork.
Belzona 7000 Series – for structural bonding, shimming and chocking.  



Sustainable Solutions

The focus on sustainability and conservation of the planet’s resources is informing much of Belzona’s future endeavors. For example, the Company has been supporting a UK-based Power Distribution Company and their customers whose assets are subject to SF6 leaks in their transformers. SF6 is described as the world’s worst greenhouse gas and is 23,500 times more potent than CO2.
 

In early 2022, Belzona created a tailor-made solution to stop leaks on a transformer owned by an electrical distribution operator. After several stages of prequalification, a trial repair was completed and has now been in service for several months. With Belzona’s support, the organisation is now achieving a 90-95% leak reduction rate, with an ambition to reach 100% in the near future.

The SF6 project reflects an increasingly important mission being adopted by Belzona: creating products that solve industrial problems in a safe and sustainable way.

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Figure 15. Belzona created a tailor-made solution to stop leaks on a transformer

Development of Products with High Levels of Renewable Carbon Content

Another important part of Belzona’s sustainability drive is its investigation into the efficacy of bio-based polymer solutions. One of the negative aspects of working with polymers is that the chemical building blocks used throughout the performance coatings sector are derived from oil - this means that an environmental impact is incurred.

However, Belzona has set out to address this challenge through its exploration and development of high-performance polymer solutions that use feed stocks derived from a renewable carbon source: plants. While bio-based chemicals have been available for low-performance solutions such as decorative paints for some time, the use of these types of chemicals has not previously been possible in the heavy industry market.

However, it is increasingly becoming apparent that chemical manufacturers are recognising the need for plant-derived polymers, in order to meet sustainability targets.

It is now possible to achieve very similar performance to oil-derived equivalents. Belzona is passionate about this ongoing change within the chemical industry. As a down-stream producer, the Company intends to work closely with manufacturers to encourage the adoption of more renewable-carbon solutions that don’t compromise on performance or quality.

Polymeric Systems: A Welcome Addition to the Arsenal of Carbon Mitigation Strategies

An increase in investment into industrial protective coatings and repair composites would help countries in the process of ratchetting up their 2030 emissions reduction plans, in order to achieve the net-zero emissions by 2050 target. Not only this, as discussed, these technologies are also instrumental in helping asset-owners across many different industries to make significant financial savings as well.

Indeed, Belzona recognises the critical role polymeric systems play in helping to support a more sustainable future for the planet in a way that is also financially advantageous. As such, they are committed to making ongoing investments into the development of polymeric systems that meet the ever-growing and changing demands of industries as they evolve towards a net-zero future.

About Belzona: Mission and Values

In April 2023, Belzona announced its new values – ‘Investment, Innovation, and Integrity’. These values are encapsulated in all five sectors of the Belzona philosophy - Corporate, Distributors, Consultants, Contractors, and Customers. These sectors work in harmony to provide the best products and services.

‘Investment’, the first of the new values, represents Belzona’s commitment to investing in its people, technology, and infrastructure. This includes investing in its employees’ training and development, as well as in the research and development of new and innovative products. Belzona’s focus on ‘Investment ensures that it stays ahead of the competition and continues to provide its customers with the best possible solutions.


Figure 16. Belzona invests in the ongoing training and development of its staff members

‘Innovation’ is the second value that Belzona has adopted. This value represents the Company’s commitment to continuous improvement and finding new and innovative solutions to its customers’ problems. For example, Belzona’s focus on ‘Innovation’ has led to the development of cutting-edge products, such as our range of high temperature linings.

The third and final value that Belzona has adopted is ‘integrity’. This value represents the Company’s commitment to honesty, transparency, and ethical behaviour. Belzona’s focus on ‘integrity’ ensures that it operates with the highest standards of conduct and maintains the trust and respect of its customers and partners. Strong work ethic and education across all areas ensures that the Business gets it, as best they can, right the first time from products to marketing, to technical support.

For more information, please visit: www.belzona.com