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Composite Tank Repair – Surface Prep Requirements

Effective surface preparation is crucial for composite tank repair, highlighting the need for near-white blast (SP 10) or bare metal cleaning (SP 11) and achieving the right anchor profile for bond strength. Additionally, chloride salt testing is recommended for long-term durability, adopting a standard to ensure minimal salt presence and prevent potential delamination. Environmental conditions must also be controlled to avoid flash rust and ensure the integrity of the repair, showcasing a detailed commitment to maintaining high-quality and durable tank repairs.


Don Cooper 0:05 Hello, everyone, this is Don Cooper. I’m the CEO of Innovative Industrial Services. And I’m your host today on this API 653 new repair methods webinar.

Olley Scholer 0:20
So we’re going to talk a little bit about surface prep requirements. As I mentioned, we do follow the industry standard. So sspc, and nays have put together these standards. Typically, with high volume applications we’re going to do at near White blast, that’s an SP 10. If it were a smaller localized area where maybe we’re doing a structural patch, then we can use SP 11, which is a power tool clean to bare metal. Now, in addition to the requirements of SP 10, or SP 11. The critical milestone we’re looking for is the anchor profile pattern that’s been reached on the steel. This anchor profile pattern contributes to a high strength bond and load transfer of that composite strengthening into into the tank. So we want to record that we can quantify it, we can take replicating film, take a reading, make sure we’re above three, and then continue forward in the process. So an additional requirement, we’re looking for a long term repair, we would say anything longer than two years is considered long term. We highly recommend performing chloride salt tests. soluble salts will the deposit themselves on the exterior of a tank or even on the inside of the tank related to phosphates, nitrates and sulfates. Those salts are not typically fully removed during the surface prep process. So we do recommend testing for that. We’ve set a baseline target for three micrograms per square centimeter of detected salts on the surface that was adopted from the US Navy when they looked at how coatings behave on ships in the ocean. We thought it was a good standard to replicate here. So we have to get that surface clean, that provides the long term bond adhesion without the possibility of delamination due to chloride attack and blistering. Now during the installation, the certified installer will make sure the environmental conditions are suitable for the repair. Primarily making sure that the measure dew point is stays below the skin temperature or surface temperature of the tank by at least three degrees Celsius or five degrees Fahrenheit that presents flash rust and condensation from being trapped between the composite and that steel surface.

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