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Unconventional Oil Extraction Making Room For an Unconventional Coating

The US oil and gas industry is growing a rate a rate few could have imagined a few years ago, largely due to unconventional drilling techniques, most notably fracking.

Truck lots in small Oklahoma and Texas towns are brimming with new vehicles and life is coming real good for the tens of thousands of families who are deriving steady incomes from the new boom times.

With it has also come, a renewed impetus for re-mediating old tanks and tankers as the flush of money makes giving them an extended life good economic sense.

For those in that business, new, tough coatings are a standard solution after some aggressive sand blasting, as long as the corrosion has not proven beyond the point welding restoration.

Up until the past couple of years, this has meant conventional epoxies from the global giant companies such as Sherwin Williams, AkzoNobel and DuPont.

They do a good job, but Castagra’s modified urethane, essentially a plasticized gypsum, is taking the industry to even more distant corners of what is now possible in terms of corrosion protection and at even more extremes of temperature, vibration and mechanical shock resistance. Many epoxies are brittle have a tough time resisting vibrations and mechanical stress caused by temperature changes over time, spawning micro-cracks that let in corrosive vapors and liquids.

From its humble creation as a flexible molding nearly a quarter of a century ago, the evolved plastic is now working in some of the toughest environments on the planet – protecting frac tanks against acid attack and large stationery tanks against the corrosion effects of chemicals contained in the sourer oils that are now being extracted from formerly uneconomical wells.

It is called Ecodur 201. It is non-toxic, VOC and solvent free, and the specially designed spray equipment also does not require solvents for use or post spraying clean up. This, in itself, is a major breakthrough too as, globally, authorities crack down progressively harder each year against toxic VOCs and solvents.

Ecodur 201, being made principally of castor oil and gypsum, is also ANSI/NSF 61 rated for use with tanks containing potable water, so its use is also extending into the municipal water business in the US.

More than two decades of testing have shown no measurable deterioration in seawater. It is still on the floors of buildings and ship decks after 20 years, but not always pretty as its ability to re-bond to itself for an indefinite period makes the temptation to re-patch areas of mechanical damage, all too irresistible.

“In all but the most extreme acidic environments, it only just seems to dull, a cosmetic effect whereby there is a molecule depth of so of oxidation on the surface if it is not subject to cleaning. A small price to pay for longevity I would say,” commented Castagra CEO Peter Roosen. “Frankly, in a stable indoor environment for sure, it will almost certainly outlast the person who applied it!”