Overcoming corrosion challenges faced in alumina processing


Over the past 6 years Buel has performed a significant number of inspection, maintenance and repair projects associated with tank corrosion of various types in the Alumina processing industry. The majority of this work has been specifically focused around flat bottomed and cone bottomed precipitator tanks and their associated structures. The precipitator tanks are large, open topped tanks and either conical or flat bottomed and are used to generate alumina seeds from pregnant liquor by means of agitators of various design. The process requires these tanks to be cleaned at regular intervals with a strongly alkaline product to remove scale that builds up during precipitation. Over time these processes contribute to a loss of structural integrity that results in a number of generic failure mechanisms including; wall thickness loss / erosion, corrosion of floor (flat bottom tanks) and caustic embrittlement cracking. Due to the nature and size of these tanks, the safest and most time and cost effective method to deploy inspection and maintenance is with Industrial Rope Access.


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