Atlas Group is one of the largest conglomerates in Pakistan with one of the most renowned battery brands.

Project Requirements

  1. Protective Coating of 50% Sulfuric Acid tanks: Sulfuric Acid was a common raw material used in their production process, which was diluted to 50% concentration, having a pH value of 1.0. The client had storage tanks, which needed a protective coating to withstand the highly corrosive material for a prolonged period.
  2. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Floor: Sensitive electronic equipment requires the most sophisticated of floors to ensure their integrity, to ensure no measurement disruption due to static charge.

Proposed Solution

In a manufacturing company like Atlas, time is of the essence and our team understood that from the beginning. The client could not afford to have shutdowns to maintain the plant, which incurred tremendous costs, and needed a solution that would require minimal maintenance. The client had already tried numerous resin-based solutions and had gotten used to reapplying epoxy coatings after every 3-4 months, while also incurring damage to the concrete tanks. After analysing the tanks, instead of the acid contained inside, our engineers deduced the use of a mineral-based product, rather than a resin-based system. Our team proposed the use of Koster PSM, which is a silicate mortar designed for highly acidic environments. The material was tested by the client for 3 months, completely immersed in 50% sulfuric acid and no weight loss was identified by the client.

Due to the client’s busy production scheduling, our team was offered very little downtime. We leveraged our in-house application team and vertical grinding machines to ensure that the deadlines are met. Since the material was applied at a thickness of 6mm on a vertical surface our team had to ensure that there is no sagging. For this purpose, we devised a layering method with comb-like ridges between each layer to ensure optimal adhesion, through the increase of inter-layer surface area in contact. The project was finished within the deadline and subsequent tests proved that the use of Koster PSM was the right choice. 

As for the ESD floor, Vertex applied its tried and tested EPOCRETE 119 ESD floor to ensure that the stringent requirements of the client’s Japanese consultant are met. Just like the acid tanks, downtime was crucial and our team leveraged Klindex grinding machines to ensure that the work is completed on time. The system is applied in a total of 5 layers, with each layer playing a vital role in the dissipation of the charge, proper application is very important to comply with ASTM F-150 and a single deviation from protocol can result in the entire floor failing. Another challenge our team faced was the level of the floor. To ensure the optimal discharge, it is absolutely important to ensure that the last 2 conductive layers are completely levelled and homogenous. Our team decided to level in parts, first by using a higher degree of mechanical grinding, followed by the application of a thicker leveling layer. The levels were then meticulously checked and conductive tape and final 2 layers were x   applied once the level requirements were met. The final floor was first tested using our own apparatus, followed by the consultants and both results conformed with the requirements.