CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2013

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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CoNTRACToR'S CoRNER Cold Climate Steel Tank Coating: Bringing the Heat By Russ Brown M ark Twain once said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." True enough: rain, snow, humidity, extreme cold, and heat sometimes seem a unpredictable as… well, the weather. But for many involved in wintertime steel tank interior coating projects, the ability to complete the work on time and profitably hinge on "doing something" about the "weather" inside the tank. And although advancements in coatings technologies over the years have made cold weather tank coating a little easier, creating an application climate conducive to a longer coatings life helps reduce warranty claims in the long run. When the weather turns cold, cure times, comfort heat, and schedule completion all begin to become part of the coatings contractor's thought process. Providing temporary heat for steel tank projects can be challenging. These challenges are often exacerbated by cost concerns, site logistics, and specifications—and of course, by the need to do it in a safe manner. The following checklist underscores basic, yet important things to take into consideration when planning to use a temporary heating system for a steel storage tank project. Tips are sprinkled in along the way to help ensure success—and avoid pitfalls. Understand Coating Specs It is important to fully understand the coatings you will be using during cold weather conditions. Pertinent application and curing details are listed on the specification sheets provided by most coating suppliers. Many of today's tank linings and chemical coatings require heat to 24 CoatingsPro g January 2013 1.2 million BTU indirect fired heaters are good choices for large tank heating knowing what temperatures are required to get full cure is critical to correctly sizing the heater. complete their curing process. Knowing what temperatures are required to get full cure is critical to correctly sizing the heater. Is there a "winter cure" additive available that will allow full cure at a lower temperature? Is there a schedule for elevating or decreasing steel temperature over the curing cycle? Tip: Knowing the product's limitations can help lower the operational costs of the heating system. Selecting the Correct Heater Among prime considerations are the type and size of the heater. Type of Heater: To eliminate safety hazards within the tank, the heater must be of an indirect nature and cannot produce carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, nor can air pass through a flame. The standard heater can be fuel-fired electric coil or steam coil, but it must meet the safety conditions set forth by the owner (e.g., non-spark or no open flame). It is also important to utilize heaters with high static pressure to effectively deliver the heated air into the space. While a million BTUs (British Thermal Units) may be adequate to maintain the temperature in a space, having enough static pressure within the heating system is critical. Finally, understanding what the owner requires within his or her plant is essential to designing the correct heater solution for the project. It is important to remember that the heater you select must

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