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    07-03-2018KAEFER Energy challenges the myths around blasting grit in a large-scaled test[KAEFER ENERGY]
     In the oil and gas industry, surface protection is all about taking care of values. It is one of KAEFER Energy’s main disciplines and performs a lot of those kind of work on a regular basis. The company has now challenged the myths around blasting grit with its large-scale test, the largest in Norway for a long time and can save the company for millions. The result will generate a saving of millions this year, says Vice President in Business Development, Sigve Aabø.

    KAEFER Energy performs projects which are particularly extensive within surface protection. Most of the work is compensated by unit prices, where KAEFER get paid for each square meter performed surface protection, not directly for the hours that we have used doing the work. Based on this, it is important to work efficiently, and is also the reason to test the efficiency and quality of various blasting grits in an extensive test.

    “Increasing the efficiency through increased focus on pre-treatment’’
    KAEFER Energy provides services to the oil and gas industry in Norway, performing projects within insulation, access, surface protection, interior outfitting and HVAC. Aabø says that pre-treatment has the greatest potential of efficiency in all the processes that normally are included in surface protection projects.

    Normally KAEFER performs blast cleaning to a defined purity and roughness as described in the Norsok standard for the discipline. Looking of all the different activities performed from start to end in the projects, pre-treatment is the most intensive single process. When focusing on improved efficiency, the pre-treatment is obviously the process we want to study more closely.

    “The prohibition of sandblasting has changed the pre-treatment methods’’
    Choose of blasting grit is a key element for efficiency and costs related to pre-treatment. Sandblasting was a common method years ago, but this practice is now prohibited because of the content of quartz in the sand.

    Today other blasting grits are used, and the general term is “grit. As a result, we do not perform sand blasting any longer, but blast cleaning, which is an identical method except from the blasting grit itself. Different blasting grits give differences related to - efficiency, quality of the surface, use of blasting grit per square meter, and we also experience differences in concentration of dust produced during work. It was about time for a proper test to clarify which blasting grit it pays to use when it is wanted to use shortest possible time to achieve the best results.

    “Ensuring competitive advantage with an extensive test of blasting grit’’
    To ensure maximum efficiency and value in projects within surface protection, the extensive test of various blasting grit was carried out last autumn. Ten different types of blasting grits from five different suppliers were tested in probably the most comprehensive blasting grit test performed in Norway for many years.

     Following parameters were identified for each type of blasting grit:
    • Number of square meters cleaned per unit of time
    • Number of kg blasting grit used per square meter cleaned
    • Purity and roughness achieved
    • Amount of salt on the surface after blast cleaning (measured with method of Bresle and with E130-SPC Elcometer according to ISO 8502:6)
    • The impact of amount of blasting grit per unit of time supplied hose

    The test was organized and carried out by KAEFER Energy in Norway, but the specialist environment for purchasing in the KAEFER Group in Germany was also involved in the planning and accomplishment. The Kiwa Technological Institute Oslo participated throughout the program as an independent third party. The test was performed with accurately determined frames.

    In order to achieve comparable results, the test was performed on identical test pieces, with identical equipment (compressor, hoses, blast), the same operator during the same day. The experienced operator adjusted the sand valve for each new blasting grit he tested, for optimizing setting. The test pieces were blast cleaned and painted with System 1 according to Norsok M-501, fully cured, eight weeks earlier in a temperate place and the test itself was also performed indoor in a temperate plant for pre-treatment.

    The results of the test
    The results were in many ways not entirely in line with the expected, so therefore surprising.
    The conclusion is that more established myths need to be adjusted. To get the total picture of the costs, the various results are included in a calculation model which calculates the total costs of the pre-treatments for one defined project. The model calculates hours spend of pre-treatment-, costs of quantity of blasting grit, costs for disposal of used blasting grit – in short, all the costs related to pre-treatment.

    Millions can be saved in 2018
    Aabø emphasizes that based on the results of the calculation model, it’s now possible to make an optimal choice of blasting grit for projects within surface protection performed by KAEFER Energy, as well as taking great choices related to equipment for further optimizing.

    The 23 pages report concludes that the results will provide savings of millions already in 2018, concludes Aabø.