Every company wants its equipment to look good. Air pollution control equipment is no exception, considering it is outside and visible to the general population.
Over time and under the difficult high-temperature environment, coatings can eventually fail, providing an opportunity for oxidation and corrosion of the surface metal. This occurs because thermal oxidizers operate at extremely high internal temperatures — up to 1650°F, in some cases. The skin temperatures are kept to a minimum or protected to prevent employee injuries.
After years of operation, however, a thermal oxidizer may develop “hot spots” on the external skin. These hot spots indicate a failure, or partial failure of the internal insulation. This should be addressed as rapidly as possible to prevent further, more expensive repair challenges, as well as production downtime.
Repainting an area without fixing any internal insulation will result in the new coating quickly burning off, with no positive result achieved. Most high-temperature paint manufacturers have a range of coatings, some of which can be applied directly to hot surfaces, as long as the safety protocols are strictly followed.
It’s advisable to keep the following information in mind when repainting surfaces:
- When applying coatings, product specifications and safety protocols should be reviewed. Select coatings can be applied to hot surfaces, but the surface temperature must be confirmed to be below the auto-ignition temperature of the paint.
- The surface should be prepped to ensure appropriate coating adhesion to the equipment.
- There are several critical steps to painting high temperature equipment:
- Assess your equipment to determine the current operating surface temperature and amount of paint required.
- Select the appropriate coating- review specifications.
- Complete pre-project safety assessment, including fire safety, fall protection, lock-out-tag-out review. Also, confined space, inhalation and heat-stress risks should be identified and addressed. PPE requirements should be reviewed.
- Complete any repairs that can be accomplished safely under you current operating requirements.
- Apply the coating per the manufacturer’s directions.
Following the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations and the paint supplier’s instructions will help you keep your thermal oxidation system looking good for years.