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Ecodur 201: Shell Cold Weather Tank Coating Application

Cold weather, especially severe conditions, present problems on two fronts for the oil industry. Firstly, oil has to be kept at a working temperature for transportation and storage, and secondly, coating maintenance work needs ‘ideal’ conditions where conventional epoxies are concerned..

Problem
The problem for a major oil and gas exploration company, at a tank farm in Wyoming, was that cold weather makes it extremely difficult to apply conventional epoxy coatings in anything but ideal temperatures, typically at 55 degrees Fahrenheit due to lengthy curing times and the need for the coating liquid to be applied efficiently.

The coating also needed to be able to protect steel against the ravages of produced water which often has a relatively highly corrosive acid content. Typically, epoxy coatings have a high failure rate due to brittleness and failure to withstand significant contraction and expansion of metal surfaces.

Solution
Colorado Lining International provided the ideal cold weather solution with Ecodur 201 which can be applied down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit and sets up in seconds and is fully cured within 30 minutes. Ideally, the application of Ecodur 201 should be at least 3 degrees C or 5 degrees F above the dew point at the time of application onto a dry surface to avoid the potential of trapping moisture.

Ecodur also remains highly flexible over its entire lifespan which can be several decades under average atmospheric and weather conditions, as evidenced in its use as a marine deck coating on large ferries.

Application results
Ten tanks of 400 barrel capacity each were given an inside coating, even during snowy, freezing weather. Typically, a conventional epoxy coating would have required the tank surface to be kept at a constant 55 degrees F for 24 hours until the epoxy was fully cured.

Not only is this a very expensive process, it is also a hard one to manage in order to maintain ideal conditions, particularly during severe wintry weather as can be commonly encountered in the northern parts of the US.

The customer reported the average time to coat the tanks from start of spraying to finishing, was 7 minutes.

With no solvents either in Ecodur 201, or used in the application or clean-up, there were no expensive solvent disposal issues, or health risks associated with solvents which can enter the body through the lungs and skin. Applicators are required to wear the normal eye, hearing and breathing protection you would find in a wood shop or a maintenance shed for instance.

The customer reported high satisfaction with the coating results. Because of the unique properties of Ecodur 201 being able to re-bond at the molecular level with an original Ecodur coating, the customer will be able to do any touch ups with the full confidence that full integrity will be maintained with their tank coatings.

• Supreme versatility under wintry application conditions compared to conventional epoxies.
• Considerably quicker application and radically reduced ‘down’ time.
• Non toxic, no solvent use whatsoever.
• Long term integrity against corrosive tank contents.
• Long term robustness due to maintaining their flexibility in wide temperature ranges.