Protecting Emsworth Locks and Dam on the Ohio River

Metallisation’s Arc170 equipment has been used in a challenging project to protect the Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River from corrosion.

METALLISATION Arc170 equipment has been used in a challenging project to protect the Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River from corrosion.

Metallisation’s North American distributor, TMS Metalizing Systems Ltd, worked closely with its customer, Oregon Iron Works (OIW) who has metal sprayed six dam gates with zinc aluminium alloy.

The gates make up the bulkhead, which raise and lower the sluice gate on the dam.

This was part of an overhaul project to rehabilitate the dam’s gate and mechanical electrical systems. OIW secured the project with Pittsburgh’s District Office of the Corps.

The aim of the project was to metal spray the gates with zinc / aluminium coating to protect them from corrosion. Each of the six gates measured 115 feet long and 12 to 14 feet high (35m long, 3.65 to 4.25m high). Consisting of steel t-bars and angle iron, they created approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of surface area to be sprayed.

The job specifications required 85/15 Zinc/Aluminium material with a minimum thickness of 16 mils (400 microns).

The sheer size and shape of the structure presented OIW with a number of challenges, not least access to all surfaces to be sprayed.

As this was OIW’s first metalizing project, Dave Wixson of TMS Metalizing Systems Ltd, conferred with Ray Coury, Superintendent at OIW and Project Engineer, Devlyn Kozol, to identify the challenges and advise on the best possible approach to the project.

The outcome was to opt for two Metallisation Arc170 systems, as it’s the only 700A, high production arc spray system on the market with the required supplies package reach of 33 feet (10m).

Once the decision was made to use the Metallisation Arc170, TMS Metalizing Systems arranged on site training to ensure the metalsprayers were fully prepared prior to the project starting.

During the length of the project Steve Barker, Metallisation’s Operations Director, made several visits from the UK, to provide ongoing support and guidance to OIW.

This is part of Metallisation’s commitment to its global distributors to ensure a trouble free transition and installation of new equipment for all companies choosing Metallisation equipment.

To coincide with this training and preparation, OIW also enlisted the help of SSPC, the Society for Protective Coatings, to conduct the ‘SSPC Thermal Spray Inspection Training Course’.

This supported OIW’s ongoing commitment to quality and training of its staff. The push / pull design of the Arc170, allows a 33 feet (10m) supplies package, which enabled OIW to coat the top surfaces without rotating the gate.

The long supplies package meant that the metalsprayers only needed to bring the spray gun to the top, as the metalspray wire and the combined drum dispensers and push unit remained on the spray booth floor.

This provided valuable access to all areas of the gates, without the need for expensive, time consuming and potentially hazardous manoeuvring of the gates during spraying. The drum dispensers also resulted in lower material costs, as spooling was not required.

To protect the gates from corrosion, as a result of the harsh environment in which they are located, they were metalsprayed with 1/8” (3.2mm) diameter, 85/15 zinc / aluminium alloy wire.

The use of this diameter wire also has the benefit of providing a good quality coating at high throughputs with increased deposit efficiency.

While remaining flexible and manoeuvrable over large components, enabling OIW to complete the job in a timely and cost efficient manner.

Oregon Iron Works is a steel fabricating company, founded in 1944. They began by fabricating in the demanding hydroelectric, bridge and civil construction industries.

They now fabricate and metalspray a range of surfaces from complex bridges to sophisticated military patrol craft, and work within the marine, aerospace and nuclear industries. Ray Coury, superintendent, with OIW, said the company chose to work with TMS Metalizing Systems because of their relationship with Dave Wixson.

“Dave and the UK Metallisation team know the metalspray process inside out and both were a great support to us in approaching the challenge of the Emsworth Locks and Dam project,” Wixson said.

Now we have demonstrated our success at metalspraying, we will definitely be doing more of this type of project.”

For more information email Metal Spray Supplies Australia kevin@metalspraysupplies.com