„When it comes to large thermal stresses combined with extreme physical loads and aggressive chemicals, no other floor-lining material is as durable as stainless steel.“
(Mathias Haungs, Steuler Surface Protection Linings)
Since its foundation in 1947, the Talke Group has grown to become one of the world‘s largest providers of logistics solutions in the chemical and petrochemical transport sector. Virtually every imaginable acid, caustic solution and solvent is transported. Meticulous cleaning of the tanks is critical for safe and efficient day-to-day operation. Each day, company-owned and third-party road tankers are purged of all manner of aggressive substances via a special cleaning process.
At the company‘s headquarters in Cologne-Hürth, Talke operates six cleaning bays that are constantly subjected to extreme stresses. Around 23,500 tanks pass through the six bays to be cleaned each year. This corresponds to roughly 80 to 110 washes a day. Around 70% of them take place in cleaning bays 4 to 6, which were scheduled to be re-lined at the start of 2020. Damage to the floors of the cleaning bays (which have to bear loads of between 8 and 13 tonnes per truck) due to the extreme chemical and physical stresses, was severe. Systems from a variety of suppliers have been installed over the past 30 years, but none has been able to withstand the stresses over the long term; in some areas, the underlying structure had suffered damage too.
A tour of a current BEKASTEEL construction site in the ChemPark Dormagen during the tendering stage gave the client the decisive push. The BEKASTEEL system and its implementation in practice impressed and convinced the decision-makers at Talke, and the order worth 600,000 euros was awarded to STEULER-KCH.
The drainage system for the three cleaning bays, comprising around 55 metres of drainage channels that were integrated with underground drainage pipes, were laid while undertaking a complete renovation of the severely damaged substrate. This preliminary groundwork was performed with the utmost care and precision in order to ensure the best possible basis for anchoring the stainless steel lining afterwards. What made this project special were the drainage channels, which exit the building and transport the aggressive chemical wastewater outside to be collected in a pump sump.
The combination of BEKASTEEL and STEULER-KCH Oxydur lining system used in the outside area was a successful first for the experienced project manager, too. With a surface area of around 305 m² of three-millimetre-thick stainless steel sheet, the BEKASTEEL lining system was securely anchored to the substrate at approximately 7,700 points using patented Steuler plate screws, which equates to at least 20 fixing points per square metre.
The preliminary planning work and implementation of the project was successfully accomplished between March and May 2020, despite the corona lockdown conditions, so that the re-lined cleaning bays could be handed over to the client on time on the 11th of May after around 6,000 working hours.
Thanks to meticulous project planning combined with the advanced technology of the STEULER-KCH BEKASTEEL system, which has been continuously improved since 2012 and is engineered to cope with SLW 60-class loads (corresponds to 60 tonnes per truck) and withstand temperature changes of up to 80 K thanks to its sophisticated attachment system, the operator can now look forward to many years of safe, reliable operation. Reference facilities that were lined with BEKASTEEL over ten years ago have been running without interruption ever since.