Automatic Aluminium Spraying on Riser Pipes

Reason for use: Rugged corrosion protection of oil and gas riser pipes (splashzone)
Metallisation’s Arcspray 528 equipment has proved to be a business success for Gemini Corrosion Services Ltd of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. Gemini purchased a turnkey package of pipe manipulation equipment and two Arcspray 528 systems last year and has seen a number of improvements resulting in benefits to the customer and to the environment.

Gemini Corrosion Services Ltd

Gemini provides high quality, cost effective solutions to the oil industry for surface preparation and coating protection of pipes and fabrications, both topside and subsea. Metallisation provided two 528/S450 systems, dispensing 2.3mm aluminium wire from 60kg production packs (drums), giving the advantage of longer spraying times, therefore reducing stoppages to changeover wire. Metallisation also provided the complete pipe handling system that rotates and traverses the pipes past the pistols and the acoustic spray booth, which contains noise and spray dust.
 riser pipes
Using the Metallisation Arcspray equipment has meant that the quality of the surface coatings has improved with less porosity and a consistent film thickness. This is due to the automated process where the pistol is now retained in one position and the pipe-spraying machine accurately rotates and traverses at the same time in front of the stationery pistols. This means less dust inclusion and results in a smoother finish. This subsequently gives benefits to the post process sealing and painting operations.
The simplicity of the new equipment means a much speedier surface coating and excellent turn around times for the customer. Gemini’s production capacity has doubled since the purchase and installation of the new Arcspray 528 systems and pipe manipulation machine. A typical pipe of 1.16m diameter and 12m length will only take around 110 minutes to spray a coating with a nominal 220µm thickness coating. This includes 15 minutes handling time for loading and unloading. Approximately 39kg or aluminium would be used. The superior control over coating thickness also means less raw materials are used, which has a positive impact on the utilities used and the volume of waste going to land fill.

Arc Spray

The new Arcspray systems have been installed within a new acoustic spray booth and connected to an existing extraction system. The design of the system with stationary pistols means that the extraction is more efficient. The surrounding environment is much improved, particularly the quality of the air in which the coating technicians are working.
Peter Taylor, Director at Gemini Corrosion Services, says: “We know that Metallisation is an expert in the field of surface coatings and we are pleased to see real, measurable results from the new equipment. Production levels, the environment and the health and safety of our staff are key to the business objectives of Gemini. Metallisation’s Arcspray 528 has delivered what we expected.”

Automatic Aluminium Spraying

The Metallisation 528E/S450 Arcspray system consists of a 528E servo driven pistol, 5m supply package, a 450 amp switched voltage energizer with inbuilt closed loop wire speed control unit and wire dispensing cones to dispense aluminium wire from production packs. The main benefit of the Metallisation 528E system is its proven reliability in a wide and varied number of production applications including pipe and tube spraying where consistent operation is paramount to maintaining production throughput.
The Arcspray 528E/S450 system is a heavy duty, high performance, production environment system that is being used to spray aluminium pipes from 4 inches to 48 inches (102mm to 1.22m) in diameter and from 6.6 feet to 50 feet (2m to 15.24m) in length. The pipe manipulation machine has a control box that allows the operator to store up to 20 preset programmes with RPM and Carriage Traverse Rates to ensure an even coating thickness.
In the Arcspray process, the raw material, a pair of metal wires, is melted by an electric arc. The molten material is atomised by a cone of compressed air and propelled towards the work piece. This spray solidifies when it hits the surface of the work piece to form a dense coating, which protects against corrosion or reclaims/repairs components. Sprayed coatings may also be used to provide wear resistance, electrical and thermal conductivity, or for freestanding shapes.
Major advantages of the Arcspray process are that the coatings are available for almost immediate use, with no drying or curing times; there is no risk of damaging the component; the deposits possess a higher degree of bond strength than most other thermally sprayed deposits; the use of only compressed air and electricity mean more economic coatings.