Savage River was constructed and began operations in the late 1960s. However, Iron Ore deposits were discovered there as early as 1877. During construction the world's longest (at the time) suspended pipeline was build for the purpose of transporting iron ore slurry across a valley situated at the northern end of the mine.
This pipeline was coating using a lead-based paint which has remained there until the start of this project to remove and replace the toxic coating.
Working with Duratch, the ACR team put together a plan to remove this coating is the safest and most efficient way possible without the use of conventional coating removal methods such as abrasive or water blasting.
Due to the fact the pipeline is suspended 200m across a valley with national park and protected areas below, conventional methods of coating removal were out of the question as it would have been extremely difficult to contain any dust or fall out of toxic material.
This is where our heat induction technology came into play. We had a hanging basket engineered to connect directly to the pipeline which we were able to line with plastic sheeting. This allowed us to collect all material removed from the pipeline which we then contained and disposed of in accordance with health and safety procedures.
The project ran in 2 stages. We completed the southern side first. This stage ran over the course of a 4 week period in early 2022. We then returned in May 2023 to complete the northern side of the pipeline.
To remove the coating, we used a 2-stage process. Firstly, we removed the top layer of coating with then use of induction heating. This removed 95% of the lead coasting but some residue remained. We then lowered the current and removed the remaining 5% of the coating leaving a clean surface to work from.
As you can see form the pictures above, we were able to fully remove the lead coating without the need of any form of abrasive bating which saved us both time and money on materials and garget recovery. This also allowed us to avoid building encapsulation and instead line the basket with plastic which contained all martial being removed and allowed us to capture dispose of it correctly.
This project was a complete success. Had Duratec used traditional coating removal methods, it would have been extremely difficult to contain dust created from blasting this toxic coating. By using ACRs Induction heating technology we were able to successfully complete this project in a safe and timely fashion. There were no incidents while undertaking this project which is always our main focus here at ACR. Moving forward Duratec will proceed to use mechanical aids (MBX) to clean and profile the pipeline before applying a new coating.