Industrial lining solutions providers Groupline Projects (GLP) – a subsidiary of Wonderstone, which forms part of the Assore Group of companies – now offer revolutionary alternatives to welding, in the form of Armasteel and Armacoat composite repair systems, in South Africa.
Since 2008, the systems have provided ultra-strong, resilient coatings and steel repair compounds, including structural composite solutions, which have – to date – proven to be durable, without a known failure.
The main purpose of Armasteel and Armacoat is to provide an ultrahigh-strength alternative to welding and most steel replacements. According to GLP, Armasteel and Armacoat repair systems are stronger than welding and resistant to fatigue, even under extreme vibration conditions.
Advantages of the Armasteel and Armacoat systems include that equipment and structures such as tanks, vessels, pipes and structures in general can be repaired in the field, while in operation. This means that manufacturing plants do not lose production time whilst been repaired. The systems can be applied in wet conditions. There are also no weld affected zones, and therefore, no subsequent cracking in weld affected areas. The product is quick to apply, with quick cure versions available if needed.
Tests with structural repair and coatings of concrete are also delivering positive results.
Industrial use of Armasteel and Armacoat means that ultrahigh-strength aviation resins were modified and remanufactured, at a reduced cost. The systems were developed from aerospace composite technology and adapted for industrial use. If ultrahigh-strength epoxies are used in conjunction with high strength fibres, tensile strengths of 550 MPA to 1200 MPA can be achieved, depending on requirements. The stiffness of such materials exceeds the stiffness of steel. There is an option to have Armasteel and Armacoat further strengthened, which is done by adding microfibers. If required, the system can then be further reinforced using small quantities of carbon nanofibre.
Extreme resistance to wear involves adding fine silicon carbide and fine ultrapure fumed silica. All materials for Armasteel and Armacoat have been tested and simulated in testing laboratories, as well as in the field. In every case, a high strength epoxy or fibre repair was found to be superior to welding. Armasteel and Armacoat also perform where other materials – such as rubber lining – tear or disappear owing to atmospheric degradation.
Solutions offered by Armasteel and Armacoat focus on cost-effective repairs, says GLP, and not only from a direct ‘saving over steel’ alternative, but also from a reduction in production downtime, with most repair work done while the plant is still in operation.
The company states that the products offer “the toughest solutions currently in existence in terms of tensile strength, bending strength, fatigue and impact resistance”, whilst simultaneously providing superior corrosion protection and/or chemical resistance, dependent on the application and process requirements.
In addition, according to GLP, tests done in the US proved that Armasteel and Armacoat wear resistance is 400% higher than that of a rubber lining. GLP concludes that over time, solutions such as this could save industries millions of rands.