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Tank OEMs Benefit From Ecodur When It Comes to Expansion Time


Times are very good indeed for US oil storage tank builders, particularly those manufacturing for the booming frac industry. With shale oil and gas reserves continually climbing the overall forecast for those good times to continue appears to be well over the distant time horizon of decades to come.

Stepping up capacity often throws up some unexpected problems. Tank OEMs found that increasing throughput was not as easy as just erecting more space. Tanks need to be coated and given plenty of time to cure.

You increase output and suddenly you have a critical space shortage for curing times. Most conventional epoxy coatings take a lot of time to cure and can’t be overly hurried otherwise the protective qualities and longevity becomes adversely affected.

Castagra’s Ecodur 201S is not a typical epoxy. It is composed of castor oil and gypsum that, through a proprietary chemical mix, becomes a highly robust plasticized gypsum that is VOC-free, solvent-free and BPA-free.

But, those qualities aside, in this case study the feature of the product that is critical in solving the problem at hand is the fact that it sets up generally within 30 minutes and full cure is within 24-36 hours depending on the ambient temperature which can vary extremely widely and still not affect the curing process.

The Ecodur coated tanks are moved outside once ‘tacky touch free’. Ecodur retains its elasticity for the life of the product – roughly twice as long as conventional epoxies – and it does not become an issue with the ultra-high UV resistance being exposed shortly after painting. What this does mean is that expanding tank OEMs has an option to avoid the considerable expense of providing what is essentially ‘shelter’ for conventionally coated tanks during curing. In the case of one world-class oil field services company which now exclusively uses Ecodur, they have dramatically increased their productivity while avoiding what would have been a considerable expenditure in constructing buildings to house newly sprayed tanks had they stayed with conventional coatings. Expenditures do not just include the fabric and bases of the buildings but also the additional cost of ventilation systems, particularly where solvents are encountered.

Application Results

With more tanks being produced in the same period, the company in this case study has reported satisfaction with the cost savings and increased productivity. With no solvent use either in the content of Ecodur, its application or post cleanup, there are no solvents disposal issues, which are normally very expensive and labor intensive. Solvents are a health hazard and workforces and enlightened managements know that they are best avoided entirely. Ecodur’s total absence of solvents is further made possible by the proprietary spray head system, which allows for a simple router tool to be used to clear the head of the spray gun. Full safety protection during spraying is mandatory, as airborne uncured Ecodur must be avoided from contacting exposed skin or eyes.

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