Protection of assets at Queensland coal mining facilities
Coal mining is one of Queensland’s major industries, as sites in Middlemount, Moranbah and Mackay, produce high-quality coal for export and domestic power generation. Progress in the coal mining industry depends greatly on the protection of assets and facilities against corrosion. Corrosion management includes surface preparation such as abrasive blasting and the use of protective coatings applied by qualified painting contractors. On offer for coal mining services Mackay, Diamond Protective Coating Services Pty Ltd provide a complete corrosion control solution.
Introduction to corrosion
Corrosion is the process of gradual degradation or destruction of material, usually metals, caused by chemical reactions between a metal and the environment. Iron and steel, for instance, are susceptible to corrosion when exposed to water. In the coal industry, corrosion is a common challenge because the steel structures used in processing coal often come into contact with water.
Corrosion can cause damage to structures, valuable assets and pose health and safety risks to workers and the community. While corrosion may be a natural process, it may be managed through the proper selection of protective coatings, adequate surface preparation and the correct application of protective coatings. An integrated approach which incorporates corrosion protection at the design, fabrication, operation and where relevant, decommissioning phases provides long lasting results, protecting assets and structures for as long as 50 years.
Surface preparation is an important element of corrosion protection. It is essential in any corrosion protection system because it improves the coating’s ability to bond to the metal or substrate, effectively barring the passage of environmental fluids and moisture between the substrate and protective coating. Adequate surface preparation improves the lifespan of the protective coating. Corrosion protection systems can fail due to inadequate surface protection.
Abrasive blasting prepares a surface prior to applying the coating by cleaning the surface or structure using a stream of abrasive substances either as a wet or dry pressure stream. This process is used for cleaning various types of surfaces such as steel, bricks, cement and concrete, usually to remove scale, rust, old paint and other matter before applying the chosen protective coating.
Abrasive blasting involves a stream of abrasive material applied against a surface and propelled at high speed by:
- Compressed air
- Other abrasive material
Substances that can be used in abrasive blasting include:
- Copper slag
- Aluminium oxide
- Zinc slag
- Metal shot
- Metal grit
- Plastic beads
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Nickel slag
Existing laws require registration and other compliance with rules and regulations for the safety of workers and the community where abrasive blasting will take place. Choosing only qualified painting contractors who can also provide abrasive blasting services is essential.
Protective coatings or paintings are ordinarily used to prevent corrosion and degradation of coal mining assets and infrastructure which often come into contact with environmental contaminants. Protective coatings serve as barriers which prevent chemical compounds or corrosion current from getting into contact with the material or substrate surface. The selection of the right product and application method is important for maximising the protective life of the protective coating.
Polyurea coatings are advanced protective solutions that are used in a wide range of industries including the coal mining sector. These high performance coatings are used for waste and potable water systems as tank linings, pipes, processing plants, storage tanks, roads and other infrastructure related applications. Currently popular in coal mining establishments, polyurea is preferred for its:
* High abrasion and erosion resistance
* Fast reaction time and reduced down time
* Moisture and temperature insensitivity
* Excellent adhesion
* Superior elongation properties which help bridge cracks and gaps in faulty substrates
* Superior tensile strength
* Seamless applications
* Long-term stability and
* Environmental protection
Proper application of protective coatings
The right method of applying protective coatings is another element in the success of corrosion protection. The wrong coating or poorly applied protective coatings may fail and lead to more expensive maintenance works or the replacement of damaged assets. Experienced painting contractors will not only help business owners and managers determine the right protective coatings to use but can also apply the selected coatings following strict manufacturer instructions and health and safety and environmental regulations.
Corrosion prevention is a continuing strategy which also requires quality inspection services of the coating system to ensure its integrity, address early faults and recommend appropriate solutions for issues affecting the protective system.
The coal mines in Mackay, Middlemount, Moranbah, Tieri and Glendon contribute to the booming coal mining industry in Queensland. They require corrosion preventive solutions such as abrasive blasting and protective coatings which prolong the life of equipment, structures and facilities and the services of qualified and experienced painting contractors. Effective corrosion protection systems may entail additional costs but the resulting longer life spans for assets, structures and mining facilities make such solutions necessary investments for the success of the coal mining industry. Diamond Protective Coating Services are the only choice. Contact Dennis Eagers here for more information.