Thanks to the growing demand for petrochemical products — such as natural gas, refinery products, plastic, rubber and raw materials — the global petrochemical industry is expanding exponentially.
According to the International Energy Agency’s ‘The future of petrochemicals’ report, the petrochemical sector will account for one-third of oil demand growth by 2030, increasing to nearly half by 2050.
But what are some of the key challenges facing the industry when it comes to protective coatings?
Petrochemical facilities are subject to some of the most corrosive and volatile working conditions in heavy industry. Both the equipment and structures at these facilities are under constant assault from oil, gases and chemicals such as ethylene, propylene, methanol and benzene.
Protective coatings are essential to keep concrete, steel and other substrates free from corrosion. These versatile solutions can also protect secondary containment areas from chemical leakage and spill-over or be used to line storage tanks or fuel trucks to protect them from the chemicals they contain.
Spillages are also a common problem in the petrochemical sector, which can easily lead to an accident. Anti-slip flooring is, therefore, crucial — particularly in high-traffic areas such as warehouses or petrol station forecourts. Due to the nature of the spillages, floor coatings must be highly durable and able to withstand extreme chemical abuse. Equally, the coating solution must have excellent cleanability and remain intact even when subjected to a high-pressure jet wash, for example.
Without the proper protective coatings in place, corrosion and other damages caused by the chemicals and materials used in this industry can create costly and disruptive maintenance problems for site or facilities managers.
The petrochemical sector has also embraced the sustainability challenge, meaning many companies are looking to minimise waste and operate a more eco-conscious business. However, when trying to protect equipment and structures from such corrosive and harsh substances, finding environmentally friendly solutions that are up to the task can be difficult.
An instant, seamless solution
Pure polyurea combines isocyanate and polyamine to create a molecular structure and substance that is completely insensitive to moisture — ideal for applications involving water and chemicals, such as the inner lining of tanks and petrochemical facility floors.
Hotspray systems are increasingly being used to apply these types of products as a coating or liner to provide an instant and seamless waterproofing solution.
Prokol’s Pure Polyurea Hotspray is the ultimate fast-setting spray polyurea waterproofing and fire-retardant protective coating. This hotspray technology rapidly applies a coating or liner only a few millimetres thick and dries in up to 20 seconds, making it highly suitable for large square footage areas and large-scale industrial applications like petrochemical facilities.
The Rocathaan Hotspray PA 136-T offers 330% elongation and is typically used for structural waterproofing solutions such as flooring, where minimal flex is required. This coating takes just six seconds to cure — helping to minimise downtime, particularly in public spaces — and create a durable, anti-slip surface. Kiln-dried sand can also be added to the product to improve grip if desired, although this is not usually necessary. For roofing, Rocathaan Hotspray 260FR provides 1900% elongation and a good amount of flex, as well as a 20-second cure time.
Both products come with a regulated fire certificate, are highly cleanable and chemically stable and can withstand a significant amount of chemical spillage — even from engine or jet fuel! With a primer available for different substrates — including concrete, bitumen (asphalt) and steel — these products can be used to waterproof and strengthen a range of structures and equipment within petrochemical facilities.
When applied by approved, trained technicians, Prokol’s Pure Polyura Hotspray products include a 50-year manufacturer’s warranty (one of the highest warranties available on the market). Prokol is also the only CE Certified pure polyurea manufacturer in Europe. These highly effective waterproofing and fireproofing coatings can, therefore, help to eliminate costly and disruptive repeat maintenance issues by providing a long-lasting, one-time-fix solution for the petrochemical sector.
As Prokol systems are recyclable and free from solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they can also help facilities and site managers meet sustainability targets by ensuring projects are delivered with minimal to zero waste.
London Waterproofing Specialists is an approved applicator of Prokol’s Pure Polyurea Hotspray technology and other waterproofing and fire-retardant coating solutions. Get in touch today to speak to one of our technicians about your next project.