Cold temperatures limit contractors’ abilities to apply protective coatings. In late fall of 2022, a biodiesel manufacturer needed TMI Coatings, Inc.’s (TMI) assistance lining an outdoor 35% hydrochloric containment dike. TMI worked with Dow Chemical technical support to confirm that vinyl ester FIBERLIFE is suitable for splash, spill, and short-term acid immersion. However, the protective coating required a minimum 60° F substrate temperature. With help from the owner, TMI set up temporary construction heat to enable the work area to be 70° F with a substrate temperature of 60° F.
- TMI began by setting up scaffolding platforms and running wire/ropes between them to act like supports for the tarps/heavy-duty plastic.
- The tarps/heavy-duty plastic were hung and reinforced to the ground with straps, sandbags, and large water totes from the customer.
- An indirect diesel heater with large-diameter ducting was utilized to provide temporary construction heat into the containment. TMI allowed the heater to run 24/7. There was no fire/explosion hazard with this type of heater.
- To ensure the containment met the minimum requirements, the crew took multiple temperature readings of the substrate. TMI also readjusted the containment as needed to ensure proper temperatures during work performance and between coats and ensure the final cure.
- TMI began work by mechanically abrading 100% of the concrete floor, side walls, and curb tops with diamond grinders to create an anchor profile.
- FIBERLIFE, a vinyl ester chemical-resistant system that includes two mat reinforcement layers with several coats of resin, was applied. The floor also received a non-slip finish to allow traction in wet or icy environments.
The customer was happy we completed the containment even with 20+ mile-an-hour wind gusts and 20° F outside temperature. The crew worked safely and completed the work in a quality manner.