Acid Protection Engineering in China ThyssenKrupp Xervon’s Specialist Services are in Demand in Shanghai
One of the most sophisticated services provided by ThyssenKrupp Xervon in China is acid protection engineering. It includes the construction of production and storage vessels as well as the expert planning and application of industrial floor coatings.
The special materials ThyssenKrupp Xervon uses are designed specifically for applications requiring extremely high resistance to chemicals and mechanical stress. Two of Xervon’s biggest Chinese customers in acid protection are Bayer, through Bayer Technology Services and Bayer Material Science, and the Austrian company AT&S, one of the biggest manufacturers of printed circuit boards.
The AT&S plant in Shanghai is one of the world’s most advanced, and to satisfy growing demand it is being extended for the second time. During the first construction phase in 2001 and 2002, Peiniger International (now part of Xervon) applied all the floor and chemical protection coatings — a total of about 12,000 m² of conductive floor coatings, 8,000 m² of standard floor coatings and 9,200 m² of chemically resistant vinyl ester laminates. The quality of the work was such that AT&S subsequently awarded the maintenance of the chemical protection surfaces and various conversion tasks to Xervon. In spring 2006, AT&S placed an order for the second project phase, which involves the application of a further 10,750 m² of vinyl ester laminates.
In Shanghai Caojing, Bayer is building a large plastics plant (Bayer Integrated Site Shanghai) that will form the biggest foreign investment in the company’s history. Right from the start of the project, Xervon has been contributing various services, such as at the Makrolon plant, which was officially opened in September last year. The 7,000 m² of chemically resistant tiles and 6,000 m² of chemically resistant vinyl ester laminates have since been providing optimum protection from all kinds of corrosion.
Now the coating specialists from Xervon are working on the next two Bayer plants, which require several thousand square meters of acid protection materials. An MDI plant with a capacity of 350,000 t/y is due for completion in 2008, to be followed in 2009 by a 160,000 t/y TDI plant. MDI and TDI are used in the production of polyurethane foams, ending up in such products as mattresses, seat upholstery and thermal insulation.
Both AT&S and Bayer expect a quality of workmanship that is high by Chinese standards. The application of chemical protection coatings and chemically resistant tiled surfaces demands precise planning, job scheduling and programming — something to which European customers attach great importance. ThyssenKrupp Xervon even goes a step further by importing virtually all the materials that it applies. The bedding and jointing mortar and chemically resistant membranes are supplied from the USA, while the Asplit vinyl ester laminates and ceramic tiles come from Germany.
The delivery logistics for these materials pose a major challenge in China, where the import process is laborious and time-consuming. The shelf life of the vinyl ester material is only about six months, so with up to two months for delivery to the site and the usual delays in the building program, the material must be applied within a narrow time window as soon as it arrives. Reasoning that exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures, on the Bayer site Xervon has hired an expat site supervisor from Australia to coordinate the work.