When the freezing weather hits, it can put a chill on facility operations. Fluids in non-insulated lines or tanks can freeze, ice build up can cause corrosion pitting and personnel safety concerns, and small parts can freeze up and corrode.
The good news is that there is generally plenty of time to prepare your plant and equipment before the subzero temperatures strike to reduce downtime and keep your plant operating.
Winter Preparation Solutions
With proper planning and prep, you can minimize any downtime or safety concerns and sail through the winter months productive and safe.
Preventing Freezing with Heat Trace & Insulation Coating
Water freezing in storage tanks or water lines can cause significant damage. If you’re in a cold climate that can stay below freezing for days at a time, just insulating that outdoor equipment often isn’t enough.
A heat trace can be an inexpensive way to prevent freezing of liquids in tanks and pipes, and they can be easily combined with a thermal insulation coating, like our Heat Shield™ EPX-H2O. The heat trace is put into place first, then the coating can be applied over it to prevent heat loss and the risk of freezing.
Improve Safety & Prevent Damage with an Icephobic Surface Coating
Ice build upon on surfaces in the winter can create safety hazards. Icicles forming on overhead equipment and falling are a serious personnel safety issue.
Synavax™ Translucent PT coating (metal surfaces) and Energy Protect™ (non-metal surfaces) are both thermal insulation coatings that are hydrophobic, which also makes them icephobic. Painting them onto surfaces can help reduce the chance of icicle formation.
(Check out this case study from railway tunnels)
There are multiple areas of facility where reduction of ice build-up on surfaces can improve safety, including:
- Elevated walkways
- Pipe bridges
- Roof edges
When it comes to ice on metal tanks and pipes it can cause damage in a couple of ways:
- Excess weight on tank roofs and other structures can cause additional stress and, in some cases, cause roofs to cave in.
- Thermal stress and the moisture that comes from the ice can cause pitting corrosion of metal surfaces.
Rusting and Freezing of Gears, Bolts, and Parts
The combination of moisture and freezing temperatures can cause smaller parts that are vital to equipment operation to quickly become rusted and freeze up. By using plenty of grease and lubricants on parts like bearings, gear teeth, shafts, bolts, and other parts, you can keep them in good operating condition and prevent rust.