Improve Asset Reliability With Industrial Coatings

Finishes are often overlooked from the Asset Reliability Manager’s perspective.  But if you learn the many benefits of industrial and commercial coatings, you can see how they can improve some of the most important assets in any facility.

When a company or facility thinks of their assets, their first thought is typically production machinery.  Which makes sense.  It gets used daily, to produce the product that the company is selling.  And if that machinery goes down, then that product is no longer being produced.  There’s not a lot of degrees of separation between the machinery and money.

Which is why it’s perplexing that so many facilities overlook a vital component to sustaining their productivity: their facility.

Steel is susceptible to corrosion.  In many food plants and facilities, corrosive chemicals and ingredients are used daily.  It gets converted or mixed with steam or hot water, which then contributes to exposure.

Here’s an example of a facility ceiling that was exposed to excessive butter vapor.  The facility was producing popcorn in large kettles, which required vaporized butter.  That vapor contaminated the ceiling above the kettle, corroding the ceiling.

In this project, we used hot water power washer, with a degreaser detergent.  It’s unknown how hot the water was, but an industrial thermometer could have informed us of its exact temperature.  That degreaser helped remove all the contaminants and grease that left a heavy residue on the ceiling and ceiling steel.

The hot water power washing took a considerable amount of time and effort.  The largest challenge is making sure all sides of the open bar joists get cleaned.

Ordinarily, a clean ceiling would only need to be coated with an alkyd dryfall.  Alkyd dryfalls are commonly used because they “dry” in the amount of time it takes them to fall from the ceiling to the floor.  Therefore, there’s no need to cover the floor, and all the installer has to do is sweep the floor at the end of the project.

The alkyd is a preferred application because it typically has greater adhesion than an acrylic paint.  Additionally, its oil base will prevent the further corrosion, unlike a water based paint.

However, aside from these typical benefits, due to the challenges presented by how the area is used, the project manager decided to use a more industrial coating;  Sherwin Williams Opti-Bond. 

This product offers excellent rust inhibitive properties.  This is imperative. considering the already corroded substrate.  Additionally, it offers excellent adhesion, and corner retention, which can be a problem when dealing with oil paints.  But overall, the final result was an excellent finish, that prevented further corrosion to their valuable ceiling.

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Commercial Coatings for Asset Reliability

Overall, although the machinery and anything involved the company’s product line is commonly the first asset considered, there’s still much to consider when you look at the facility.  A majority is concrete, and structural steel.  And if those go down, then there’s nowhere else for the equipment to perform its duties.

So although it’s overlooked, it commercial and industrial coatings need to be considered to emphasize the longevity for the facility’s structural steel, and concrete slabs.