The Sanitary District of Gary, Indiana, hired TMI Coatings, Inc. (TMI) to coat the interior and exterior of a 50’ ASME methane gas pressure vessel. Before accessing the sphere’s interior, the tank was purged of its methane gas. The interior’s coating included a two-component high-solids epoxy novolac amine designed for use in immersion services of methane gas.
Safety is first, #1, the most important priority for TMI its employees, and its customers. All tank lining installations follow strict guidelines due to confined space entry where TMI takes all precautions as required by OSHA.
• Removed the tank’s methane gas by pumping inert gas into the sphere, which dissolved and removed the methane atmosphere. We then vented the gas.
• Followed OSHA confined space regulations, including testing of the atmosphere prior to entry and continuously while occupying the tank.
• Continuous air exchanges of fresh assisted maintaining a safe work environment
• Supplied air respirators were used during blasting and painting to ensure the operators were receiving grade D breathing air
• Installed painter scaffold and sandblasted the inside of the tank sphere by using near-white metal blasting.
• Applied two coats of a high-solids epoxy novolac amine for superior corrosion protection.
• This specialty material required certified applicators to use highly technical plural component spray equipment
• The exterior was water-blasted, cleaned with power tools, and painted with a two-coat system that included a high-solids polyamide epoxy primer and a high-performance acrylic polyurethane finishing coat.
• Applied an environmentally themed logo on the sphere’s exterior.
Assistant District Engineer, Eric Tonk, told us that the district was pleased with TMI’s research of options for methane gas expulsion. He stated that “TMI provided research indicating the benefits of diesel exhaust in the application of purging a methane gas storage tank.” Mr. Tonk further noted, “The work was completed in a very safe manner, within budget and ahead of schedule.”