There are many different technologies that can be utilized to provide surface protection solutions for mission-critical equipment. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be well understood by customers so they can make the best decision for their unique facility. Most of the world’s largest energy and power companies partner with IGS to benefit from our unique Metalspray™ technologies, industry experts and decades of experience to make better decisions on what technologies to use for their mission-critical process equipment.
On-site applications provide a different set of challenges than those of shop applied solutions, as most shop technologies are not easily transferred into a challenging site environment. IGS excels at the successful application of its proprietary and robust application technologies and materials in the field, and in the most difficult environments. Integral to our success is a large, highly trained and experienced full-time workforce that can be deployed around the world at short notice to meet our customers’ needs.
Corrosion occurs in installed, brownfield, and other equipment in many different environments and industries. Finding a solution to protect this equipment is the best way to maximize ROI. Replacing equipment is a costly undertaking, requiring significant planning, work hours, and a full assessment of various factors such as lost generation time, new equipment, installation and breakdown costs. IGS believes that corrosion solutions need to be easily applied to existing equipment before replacement becomes necessary. We have the technology and infrastructure to make this happen.
The majority of the global thermal spray market is primarily shop based where equipment and technology are designed for automated, clean and open workspaces. Working on-site is the opposite. You are often faced with confined spaces, dusty environments, and a manual workforce with equipment that needs to be robust enough to withstand the harsh environment.
IGS equipment is specifically designed to operate in small confined spaces with a 100% duty cycle for continued use during a customer’s turnaround. By far the biggest operational challenge for working in-situ is the workforce and rapid mobilization needs. We optimized IGS’s global infrastructure for it and our ability to respond to customers’ needs wherever in the world they may be is very important. Our teams undergo industry-leading training and certification to prepare them for working on some of the largest kraft mills, coal, and oil companies around the world in some of the harshest environments imaginable. Our teams are experts at working in confined spaces to address some of the most severe corrosion and erosion challenges.
Measuring thermal spray thickness depends on the substrate material and the thermal spray alloy. The thickness of non-ferrous alloys applied to a ferrous substrate can be directly measured using a magnetic lift-off (MLO) gauge. If the applied alloy is ferrous or the substrate is non-ferrous then the thickness can’t be measured and can only be controlled with a suitably engineered application process.
You need to maintain the wall thickness which acts as your pressure boundary. You can do this by applying a protective barrier if the vessel is suffering from wall thickness loss or metal wastage caused by erosion, corrosion, or a combination of both.
Thermal spray alloys are deposited onto the surface by melting a wire or powder (or a combination of both) feedstock in the spray gun and projecting them at high velocity onto a suitably prepared substrate where the droplets form splats and interlock with each other to form an impermeable barrier.
Thermal spray is hot work, however, for the substrate, it is a cold process. In other words, it does not induce or create thermal stress, e.g., heat affected zones (HAZ).
Thermal spray can stop or prevent a variety of corrosion mechanisms including pitting (H2S, CO2), hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC), stress corrosion cracking (SCC), and choline or sulfur-induced (H2SO4) corrosion, among others.
Weld overlay is the application of metal using a welding process. Welding requires fusion of the metal substrate with the weld bead, a metallurgical bond that induces thermal stress, heat affected zones (HAZ) and requires pre- and post-weld heat treatment (PWHT).
Integrated Global Services (IGS) High Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) cladding is deposited using a high velocity process which creates a mechanical bond to the prepared substrate without inducing any thermal stress.
Most alloys can be applied using a thermal spray process, however, to create an impermeable corrosion barrier the correct process and alloy composition must be selected. Integrated Global Services (IGS) typically uses a proprietary High Velocity Thermal Spray (HVTS) process with a nickel-chrome-molybdenum-based alloy to stop erosion and corrosion in heat exchangers, boilers and process vessels.
Thermal spray can be applied to any substrate which can be suitably prepared.
Typical preparation requires abrasive blasting to generate the specified surface profile and cleanliness.
Process vessels corrode when the substrate is chemically attacked by the process environment. This can occur when there is a change of use or operating conditions, due to a poor design or the failure of the installed corrosion barrier.
Thermal spray will freeze the condition and maintain the existing mechanical strength for the long term, but it will not add mechanical strength. For the application of thermal spray to be considered, the process vessel needs to pass a Fitness For Service (FFS) test.
Yes, you can apply stainless steel using a thermal spray process and you can also apply a higher nobility alloy onto suitably prepared stainless steel.