tank lining and surface coating technology


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In the wine industry tanks are exposed to chemical attack from the acid and alcohol present in the wine making process. This causes severe corrosion and erosion, which leads to product contamination and, eventually, to tank failure.

To counteract these negative effects, preventative measures are taken, usually in the form of a coating or lining. The intention is to emulate the qualities of glass which is inert, chemically resistant, free of odour and taste, with a tough smooth surface that prevents retention of potentially harmful substances, as well as being is easy to clean and maintain.

The critical difference between coatings and linings……..

A coating is no more than a layer of paint applied with a brush, roller or spray gun, at room temperature. It is rarely applied at more than 120 microns thick per coat, because this is typically the specified thickness for this type of coating. A coating often contains a solvent, which must evaporate, leaving microscopic voids in the film layers. These voids eventually link up to create a cavity (pin-hole), exposing the tank surface to the product. There are no known coatings that have withstood more than 10 year's continuous exposure to alcohol concentrations above 12%.

Linings, on the other hand, are solvent free, more than 600 microns thick and have all the good qualities of glass.

Munkadur® is the leading product of this kind. After a high-pressure dry or wet (dust-free) cleaning process, Munkadur® is sprayed onto the host surface at 86° C at 250-bar pressure. This results in a seamless lining of between 800 and 1000 microns thick. Consisting entirely of solids, there is no solvent evaporation during the curing process and it has a high-gloss, hygienic surface that is easy to clean and maintain as well as having better impact resistance.

Tanks coated with Munkadur® shortly after its 1966 release are still functioning perfectly, 37 years later. Apart from the absolute peace of mind that such a product brings, one must consider the financial benefits, to say nothing of the inconvenience of having to re-coat tanks every five to ten years. In the medium to long term, savings in the region of 700% can be realised.

Emplast is the sole southern African licensee for Munkadur®. For technical details and other information about this essential process contact us

When a national monument was attacked by graffiti vandals, Emplast reversed a disastrous situation and restored the structure as a gift to the nation.

Graffiti has become the scourge of modern day suburbia. Apart from an ego boost for an offending vandal, it serves no purpose but to deface private property and damage beautifully maintained buildings.

Cleaning up afterwards is a problem. If handled incorrectly it can result in permanent damage.

A classic example is the Rhodes Memorial on Devil's Peak in Cape Town. When this structure was vandalised, the problem was particularly acute. The bronze bust of Cecil John Rhodes and the surrounding masonry was defaced with bright red paint. As the centre piece of the memorial, the bust is flanked by huge bronzes of lions and the statue of Physical Energy.

Stripping paint off bronze would only take a bottle of thinners. But the memorial was erected in 1912. The bronzes have been gathering a much valued patina for the best part of a century. Bathing Cecil Rhodes in anything that would remove oil based paint would also destroy the delicate patina and throw the bust into contrast with all the other statues for ever.

The stone work behind the bust posed another problem. Painting over the red paint was not an option and cleaning only the painted areas would result in unacceptable colour variation.

Emplast offered the best solution.

Jet Stripper. This state of the art equipment has an infinite range of dry or wet cleaning abilities. Using any abrasive from steel shot, through to bicarbonate of soda, it can blast thick residue off tanks and achieve a 150µm profile on steel, or it can delicately lift coatings only microns thick without harming the original surface.

Emplast undertook to restore the damaged monument as a contribution to the curators of the site and to the South African nation.

Using the Jet Stripper, Emplast returned the Rhodes Memorial to its former glory without damaging the patina on the bronze, or leaving any trace of the cleaning operation on the masonry.


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