Fast and reliable renovation of a concrete storage tank

Merck & Cie in Altdorf/Switzerland is a chemical production facility owned by the multinational group Merck KGaA, Darmstadt (Germany). It manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients for the Merck Group and its licencees as well as things like process media for biochromatography. These are used to purify active substances produced using biotechnology.

For Steuler Linings, the job in Altdorf involved the renovation of an existing concrete storage tank with a diameter of 12.50 metres and sidewall height of 4.80 metres. The job was to better protect the already heavily worn internal walls and floor of the vessel, a surface area of roughly 310 square metres, against the fluids stored in it and ensure it remains absolutely leakproof. The corrosion specialist chose a 5-mm-thick Bekaplast PE100 lining for the purpose.

A screed coating was applied to the bottom of the tank according to best practice. The recently developed BEKAPLAST Spot Weld installation method was used for the walls. First, prepared special battens are screwed a fixed distance apart to the walls being lined. The BEKAPLAST lining sheets are then spot-welded to the battens using our special Spot Weld procedure. Finally, the joints where the sheets butt together are welded tight. The end result is a verifiably leakproof, highly resilient thermoplastic lining composed of a single material. All of the work steps were carried out from a simple mobile scaffold and a work platform. Cracks and surface irregularities were irrelevant, and it was unnecessary to perform time-consuming cleaning and stabilisation work on the existing concrete wall as with other renovation techniques.

In order to thoroughly prepare for the job, a sample tank section was constructed, and the application simulated under controlled conditions at Steuler`s factory. Prior to this simulation, the Plastics Technology Division's Development and Process Engineering Department carried out the decisive development work and the installation technicians received intensive training and preparation too.

The renovation of the tank was performed by seven technicians and took just four weeks. BEKAPLAST Project Manager Marvin Kragt supervised the work on site from start to finish. The job was successfully accepted by the customer.

BEKAPLAST Spot Weld works perfectly and, after almost two years in development, is now available and represents a new, innovative and above all fast method of installation: This success is the product of good ideas, intensive, focused development work as a team and systematic project supervision through to acceptance.


Timelapse BEKAPLAST Spot Weld