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Castagra Ecodur 201: Coating Baker Corp Tanks

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Mud tanks are typically made of steel and handle drilling mud, which is cycled to allow sand, rocks and sediments to settle out, so the mud can be re-used or disposed of. They are a totally vital part of oil drilling operations and have to be as tough as the environment they are in and withstand the throughput of highly abrasive materials.

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Problem
The problem of protecting mud tanks is three-fold. Most tanks are placed in open locations that experience weather extremes, from blazing summers to frigid winters or winters where the overall temperature fluctuations, while not necessarily dropping to freezing, are, nevertheless, very wide.

Second, mud tanks are exposed to mechanical shock from banging of other equipment and torquing movement when being moved.

Third, they are, of course, exposed to highly abrasive fluid containing everything from minute sand particles to rocks and stones, and chemicals picked up from the drill work and additives. Conventional epoxies are, generally, quite brittle and quickly micro-crack from the effects of metal expanding and contracting due to temperature changes, as well as from mechanical shock, which leaves the surface below exposed to chemical attack.

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Solution
Ecodur 201S was deemed the appropriate coating for 15 Baker Corp mud tanks in Ogden, Utah, and in Ohio. The 400-barrel tanks, made of welded steel, were basically brand new at the time of being sprayed on their interiors.

Some of the spray conditions were done in harsh and extremely low temperatures, which would have called a halt to the use of conventional epoxy coatings. However, by spraying a few degrees above the Dew Point and with wet weather protection, a number of tanks were successfully sprayed with Ecodur without delay.

In the case of these mud tanks, the spray thickness was raised to 30 mil to provide additional protection, which is well above the industry standards. Ecodur’s lifetime ability to re-bond to original Ecodur surfaces meant that spraying the extra thickness could be done with complete confidence that there would be no risk of delamination.

Ecodur is a non-toxic, VOC-free, solvent-free coating. While requiring industry standard eye, breathing and skin protection during curing, its use and rapid curing rate, allows tanks to be fully returned to service within 24 hours after final inspection with no post-toxic fumes to contend with or solvent clean-up which is becoming ever costlier and progressively more subject to onerous regulation.

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Application Results
The stand out feature of this case study was Ecodur’s successful application in harsh winter weather that typically would have stopped all, but a few specialized conventional epoxy coatings.

Downtime is serious business in the oil and gas fields where huge financial investments require that all equipment is working to full and productive capacity and for as long as possible. All equipment eventually wears out, but protective coatings can stretch out the lifetime horizon and the 30 mil thickness was considered the most expedient way of doing just that. Post application reports from the client were highly satisfactory with no anomalies cited.

- coating projects by AFC Tanks and Fox Chappel