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Surface coating to protect steel assets

Protection of steel assets is a priority running into billions of dollars
 Blastline is one of the world leaders in blasting, abrasives. Blastline India is an acknowledged leader and provides accessories for protective coating industries. Blastline India boasts of major international clients who have their base in India. Jolly Lonappan, Managing Director, Blastline India Pvt Ltd, shares his views on the status of the surface coating and abrasives industry in India.
Abrasive blasting is a cost effective procedureAbrasive blasting is a time-tested method of removing rust, old paint, foreign particles and other surface contaminations. This helps to achieve the right profile to ready a surface for coating. Abrasive blasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants. A pressurised fluid, typically air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the blasting material. The abrasive blast cleaning was first introduced by the Greeks who were the pioneers in the marine industry as we know it today, maintained a large fleet of vessels for transportation between their numerous islands. Subsequently, it was established as the most cost-effective and efficient cleaning procedure for coating applications. There are several variants of the process, such as bead blasting, sand blasting, soda blasting, and shot blasting.
Investment in infrastructure largely goes for steelIn every major project, whether it is an oil refinery, shipbuilding, petrochemical plant, pipeline systems or government infrastructure, 80 per cent of the investment is used to buy steel. So, safe-guarding such investment basically boils down to the protection of these infrastructures, which in turn, demands protection of steel. “Surface coating is nothing but asset protection as much as protecting steel from corrosion. Presently almost 5 per cent of the GDP in every nation is used for corrosion protection and the costs run into billions of dollars,” observes Mr Lonappan
New shot blasting technology reduces carbon emissionsOver a period of time, the abrasive media used in this process has undergone a sea change from sand – slag – garnet – steel grit as demanded by health reasons, economy of usage, pollution regulations and more stringent performance specifications. The 21st century slogan to protect the planet is ‘Reduce, Re-cycle and Re-use’. “It is our duty to adopt and innovate in all ways possible to protect the small blue pale dot in the galaxy of our planet ‘Earth’. This is where steel shots and grits become relevant. They can be recycled more than a 100 times, thereby cutting cost to such an extent that it becomes cheaper than the good old sand-blasting which made use of plain sand,” remarks Mr Lonappan
Steel grits and shots are now ‘Made in India’In order to use the steel shots and grits, the end-users have innovated and improvised on the conventional methods resulting in the creation of blast rooms, blast cabinets or blast chambers, coupled with air blasting or wheel blasting gadgets, this reduces the dust generation, noise levels and general pollutions.
“For years, steel grits and shots were being imported from Europe and the US. However, currently doing justice to the new government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these materials are now being indigenously produced at 3 or 4 factories in India, while there are more than 40 factories making the same products in China,” says Mr Lonappan.
Blastline India observes compliance set by international bodiesJolly Metal Abrasives located at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, is a subsidiary of Blastline India Pvt Ltd, and is actively involved in the manufacture and trade of steel shots and grits that meet up with international specification standards like SAE in both physical and chemical composition of the material. Mr Lonappan says, “Our products are quality tested in a state-of-the-art material lab before being sent to our clients in the market. The shots and grits can be used for various applications. These include shot blasting for corrosion protection, shot peening to increase the surface hardness to take cycle loads, foundry cleaning, for cleaning of castings, granite cutting, as an additive in concrete and to add weight, strength, hardness and to increase resistance of radiation in nuclear plants.” ____________________________________________________Presently almost 5 per cent of the GDP in every nation is used for corrosion protection and the costs run into billions of dollars.
Jolly Lonappan, Managing Director, Blastline India______________________________________________________

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