(19)
(11)EP 3 120 067 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.04.2018 Bulletin 2018/15

(21)Application number: 15711812.6

(22)Date of filing:  16.03.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F16L 59/02(2006.01)
B32B 5/32(2006.01)
B32B 15/04(2006.01)
B32B 15/085(2006.01)
B32B 15/098(2006.01)
B32B 3/06(2006.01)
B32B 3/30(2006.01)
B32B 5/22(2006.01)
B32B 7/08(2006.01)
B32B 15/08(2006.01)
B32B 15/095(2006.01)
B32B 1/02(2006.01)
B32B 3/26(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/GB2015/050758
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/140523 (24.09.2015 Gazette  2015/38)

(54)

COATING METHOD

BESCHICHTUNGSVERFAHREN

PROCÉDÉ DE REVÊTEMENT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.03.2014 GB 201404992

(43)Date of publication of application:
25.01.2017 Bulletin 2017/04

(73)Proprietor: Advanced Insulation PLC
Gloucestershire GL2 4PA (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • SHEPHERD, Simon Harry
    Gloucester Gloucestershire GL2 4PA (GB)

(74)Representative: Sales, Robert Reginald 
Swindell & Pearson Limited 48 Friar Gate
Derby DE1 1GY
Derby DE1 1GY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 253 896
US-A- 4 835 975
US-A- 4 673 102
  
  • DATABASE WPI Week 198044 Thomson Scientific, London, GB; AN 1980-78001C XP002740473, & JP S55 121035 A (MYOJO KOGYO KK) 17 September 1980 (1980-09-17)
  • DATABASE WPI Week 198729 Thomson Scientific, London, GB; AN 1987-204318 XP002740474, & SU 1 272 360 A (ATOMTEPLOELEKTROPRO) 23 November 1986 (1986-11-23)
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] This invention concerns a method of coating an expandable item, and typically for example coating a pressure or process vessel which may thermally expand and contract during use.

[0002] Pressure or process vessels which may typically be made of steel but can be made of other materials, can expand and contract quite significantly during use as a result of changing temperatures within. It is often desired or required to provide an insulating and/or fireproof coating on such vessels. As such coatings will not expand to anything like the same degree as the vessels during heating up and cooling down, it is generally necessary to provide an intermediate layer between the vessel and coating. Difficulties however can be encountered in adhering such layers together, and particularly the materials, used often have low surface energy and therefore do not readily adhere together.

[0003] D1 (JP S55 121035) discloses a method for applying thermally insulating foamed PU-coating(s) over metal (vessel, pipe) with resin sprayers first at low spray rate and then at high rate, yet does not disclose any anchoring, connecting or 'projecting members'. D2 (GB 2 253 896) discloses a hot water storage vessel of copper which is thermally insulated by a non-CFC-blown PU foam having in intimate contact with its external surface a separately formed, non-permeable membrane which may comprise a plastics or metallic sheet or film secured to the foam surface by adhesive or strapping. There is a reference to a sprayed membrane, but this is not a foam. In addition, this strapped membrane (hence not sprayed) is clearly not a connecting 'projecting member' in the sense of the application. D3 (US 4 835 975) discloses a transport container for cryogenic liquid coolant or gas under pressure in a pressure vessel in an insulated compartment. The pressure vessel has an inner liner made of metal wrapped by synthetic resin-coated filament windings. The liner has a coefficient of thermal expansion which is the same as that of the windings from room temperature down to cryogenic temperatures. The pressure vessel is insulated with PU foam. This document is silent about ribs (as projecting members). D4 (US 4 673 102) discloses a protective polyamide epoxy coating for steel vessels having PU insulation sandwiched between a vessel container and an outer shell, whereby said protective coating being able to withstand contraction and expansion of said container due to thermal variations.

[0004] However there is only one PU foam, as the PA-epoxy-coating is not foamed and projecting members are absent as well. D5 (SU 1272360) discloses a pressurised vessel assembly which has guide ducts attached to inside surface of lining and featuring plates for anchoring of heat insulating blocks ; the lining (1) is subject to axial and radial shifts due to thermal expansion. The vessel is NOT coated, nor foamed and neither cured in-situ (because preformed insulation plates are mounted between ribs (coming directly from the metal vessel). Increased strength of the concrete body of vessel operating under pressure and faster exchange of the heat insulating blocks are due to the guide ducts attached to the inside surface of the outer lining.

[0005] According to the present invention there is provided a method of coating an expandable item, the method including forming a flexible intermediate layer, the intermediate layer including a support member located within a layer of a compressible flexible material, with a plurality of projecting members provided on the support member which extend out of the layer of compressible flexible material on one side thereof, mounting the flexible intermediate layer on the item, with the other side of the layer of compressible flexible material against the item and the projecting members projecting away from the item, and forming a coating layer on the one side of the flexible intermediate layer, with the projecting members extending into the coating layer, and the coating layer extending beyond the projecting members such that distal ends of the projecting members are wholly located in the coating layer.

[0006] The support member may include a base which may be in the form of an open framework, and may be generally planar. The base may be located in the layer of compressible flexible material, and may be located at least generally midway between the one side and other side of the layer of compressible flexible material.

[0007] The support member base may be made of a flexible material. The support member base may be made of a plastics material and may be made of PEEK or nylon. Alternatively the support member base may be made of metal and may be made of stainless steel.

[0008] In one arrangement the support member base and projecting members are integrally formed.

[0009] In a further arrangement the projecting members may be mounted on the support member base.

[0010] The projecting members may have formations thereon to enhance engagement with the coating layer. The formations may include any of a helical thread, ribs, barbs or other formations.

[0011] The support members may be formed in sections which can be connected together with adjacent such sections.

[0012] The compressible flexible material may comprise a foamed material which may be any of a polyethylene, polyurethane or silicone foam. The foamed material may be syntactic.

[0013] The compressible flexible material may be non-flammable.

[0014] The layer of compressible flexible material may be between 3 and 10mm thick.

[0015] The flexible intermediate layer may be formed by moulding the compressible flexible material around the support member.

[0016] An adhesive may be provided on the other side of the flexible intermediate layer, and the adhesive may be pressure actuable, and may be provided with a backing sheet prior to mounting on the item.

[0017] The coating layer may be thermally insulating and/or non-flammable.

[0018] The coating layer may be applied wet onto the flexible intermediate layer, and allowed to cure in situ.

[0019] The coating layer may be a foamed material and may be of any phenolic, epoxy or polyurethane. The foamed material may be syntactic.

[0020] The coating layer may be between 10 and 100mm thick.

[0021] The vessel may be made of metal or composite material. The vessel may be a pressure or process vessel.

[0022] The invention further provides an item coated with a method according to any of the preceding seventeen paragraphs.

[0023] An embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic cross sectional view through part of an item coated by a method according to the present invention; and

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of part of the coating shown in Fig. 1.



[0024] Fig. 1 shows part of an item 10 with a coating 12 applied thereto. The item 10 may be a pressure vessel or process vessel used for instance in the offshore oil industry. In use this vessel may experience a significant range of working temperatures, for instance between -196° and 250°. Such heating and cooling can cause the vessel 10 to expand or contract for instance by up to 1 mm.

[0025] The coating 12 comprises an intermediate layer 14 and a coating layer 16. The intermediate layer 14 comprises a layer of a compressible flexible material such as syntactic silicone foam, including compressible micro spheres, and may be 4mm thick.

[0026] A support member 18 is embedded in the intermediate layer 14. The support member is best shown in Fig. 2, and comprises a base 20 in the form of an open framework, and portions of the base 20 can be interconnected to adjacent such portions. A plurality of projecting members 22 are upstanding as shown in Fig. 1 from the base 20, and extend out of one side of the intermediate layer 14. The projecting members 22 have a formation thereon to engage with the coating layer 16. In this instance the formation is a helical thread 24.

[0027] The coating layer is for instance around 16mm thick and may be made of a thermally insulating material which may also be non-flammable. In this instance the coating layer 16 is a syntactic phenolic foam.

[0028] In use the item 10 can be coated as follows. Firstly the intermediate layer 14 is formed. This is formed by moulding the compressible flexible layer around the support member 18, such that the base 20 of the support member 18 is generally in the middle of the intermediate layer 14, with the projecting members 12 extending outwardly therefrom on one side.

[0029] A pressure sensitive adhesive may be applied on the side of the intermediate layer 14 through which the projecting members 22 do not extend, and this can be provided with a backing paper. The intermediate layer 14 can be mounted on the item 10 using the adhesive following removal of the backing paper, and sheets of the intermediate layer 14 can be cut to size and shape as required.

[0030] The coating layer 16 can then be applied wet onto the outside of the intermediate layer 14. The projecting members 22 help to bond the intermediate and coating layers 14, 16 together, which otherwise would not form a strong bond therebetween.

[0031] In use as the item 10 expands or contracts due to different temperatures, the intermediate layer 14 can be compressed between the item 10 and coating layer 16, or in some instances extended, thereby absorbing the different rates of thermal expansion between the item 10 and the coating layer 16, which layer 16 would generally have a relatively low coefficient of thermal expansion.

[0032] There is thus described a method of coating an expandable item with for instance insulating and/or non-flammable material which provides for an advantageous arrangement, and particularly readily permits the intermediate and coating layers to be interconnected to provide a strong bond therebetween which otherwise can be difficult to achieve. As the coating layer is applied wet, this can be applied around different shapes, and in situations where access may be limited.

[0033] Various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance, the support member may take a different form, and the base and projector members may be integrally formed, or can be separate components mounted together. Different formations may be provided on the projecting members such as ribs or barbs. The coating layer may be made of different material and could for instance be an epoxy or polyurethane based foam.

[0034] The method could be used to coat different items, and these items could be made of a composite material rather than metal. Different materials may be used in the intermediate layer and these could comprise non syntactic foams, polyethylene or polyurethane foams.


Claims

1. A method of coating an expandable item, the method including forming a flexible intermediate layer, the intermediate layer including a support member located within a layer of a compressible flexible material, with a plurality of projecting members provided on the support member which extend out of the layer of compressible flexible material on one side thereof, mounting the flexible intermediate layer on the item, with the other side of the layer of compressible flexible material against the item and the projecting members projecting away from the item, and forming a coating layer on the one side of the flexible intermediate layer, with the projecting members extending into the coating layer, and the coating layer extending beyond the projecting members such that distal ends of the projecting members are wholly located in the coating layer.
 
2. A method according to claim 1, in which the support member includes a base, the base may be in the form of an open framework, and the base may be generally planar.
 
3. A method according to claim 2, in which the base is located in the layer of compressible flexible material, and may be located at least generally midway between the one side and other side of the layer of compressible flexible material.
 
4. A method according to claims 2 or 3, in which the support member base is made of any of a flexible material, a plastics material, PEEK or nylon, metal, stainless steel.
 
5. A method according to any of claims 2 to 4, in which either the support member base and projecting members are integrally formed, or the projecting members are mounted on the support member base.
 
6. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the projecting members have formations thereon to enhance engagement with the coating layer, and the formations may include any of a helical thread, ribs, or barbs.
 
7. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the support members are formed in sections which can be connected together with adjacent such sections.
 
8. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the compressible flexible material comprises any of a foamed material, polyethylene, polyurethane, silicone foam, a syntactic material, a non-flammable material.
 
9. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the layer of compressible flexible material is between 3 and 10mm thick, and or the coating layer is between 10 and 100mm thick.
 
10. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the flexible intermediate layer is formed by moulding the compressible flexible material around the support member.
 
11. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which an adhesive is provided on the other side of the flexible intermediate layer, the adhesive may be pressure actuable, and the adhesive may be provided with a backing sheet prior to mounting on the item.
 
12. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the coating layer is thermally insulating, and/or non-flammable.
 
13. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the coating layer is applied wet onto the flexible intermediate layer, and allowed to cure in situ, the coating layer may be any of a foamed material, phenolic, epoxy, polyurethane, syntactic.
 
14. A method according to any of the preceding claims, in which the vessel is made of metal or composite material, and/or a pressure or process vessel.
 
15. An item coated with a method according to any of the preceding claims.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zur Beschichtung eines ausdehnbaren Gegenstandes, wobei das Verfahren das Ausbilden einer flexiblen Zwischenschicht umfasst, die Zwischenschicht ein in einer Schicht eines komprimierbaren flexiblen Materials angeordnetes Stützelement umfasst, mit einer Vielzahl von auf dem Stützelement vorgesehenen vorstehenden Elementen, die sich aus der Schicht aus komprimierbarem, flexiblen Material auf einer Seite erstrecken, wobei die flexible Zwischenschicht auf dem Gegenstand angebracht wird, und wobei die andere Seite der Schicht aus komprimierbarem, flexiblen Material gegen den Gegenstand und die vorstehenden Elemente von dem Gegenstand weg vorstehen und wobei eine Beschichtung auf der einen Seite der flexiblen Zwischenschicht ausgebildet wird, wobei die vorstehenden Elemente sich in die Beschichtung erstrecken und die Beschichtung sich über die vorstehenden Elemente hinaus erstreckt, so dass die distalen Enden der vorstehenden Elemente vollständig in der Beschichtung angeordnet sind.
 
2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, bei dem das Stützelement eine Basis umfasst, die in Form eines offenen Gerüsts vorliegen und im Allgemeinen planar sein kann.
 
3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, bei dem die Basis in der Schicht aus komprimierbarem, flexiblen Material angeordnet ist, und zumindest im Allgemein in der Mitte zwischen der einen Seite und der anderen Seite der Schicht aus komprimierbarem, flexiblen Material angeordnet sein kann.
 
4. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 2 oder 3, bei dem die Basis des Stützelements aus einem flexiblen Material, einem Kunststoffmaterial, PEEK oder Nylon, Metall oder rostfreiem Stahl hergestellt ist.
 
5. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 4, bei dem entweder die Basis des Stützelements und die vorstehenden Elemente einstückig ausgebildet sind oder die vorstehenden Elemente an der Basis des Stützelements angebracht sind.
 
6. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei denen die vorstehenden Elemente Strukturen aufweisen, um eine Bindung mit der Beschichtung zu verbessern, und wobei die Strukturen ein schraubenförmiges Gewinde, Rippen oder Widerhaken aufweisen können.
 
7. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem die Stützelemente in Abschnitten ausgebildet sind, die mit derartigen benachbarten Abschnitten verbunden werden können.
 
8. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei den das komprimierbare, flexible Material ein aufgeschäumtes Material, Polyethylen, Polyurethan, Silikonschaum, ein syntaktisches Material oder ein nicht entflammbares Material umfasst.
 
9. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem die Schicht des komprimierbaren, flexiblen Materials zwischen 3 mm und 10 mm dick ist, und/oder die Beschichtung zwischen 10 mm und 100 mm dick ist.
 
10. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem die flexible Zwischenschicht durch Formen des komprimierbaren, flexiblen Materials um das Stützelement herum gebildet wird.
 
11. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem ein Klebstoff auf der anderen Seite der flexiblen Zwischenschicht vorgesehen ist, der Klebstoff durch Druck betätigbar ist, und der Klebstoff vor dem Anbringen an dem Gegenstand mit einer Trägerfolie versehen wird.
 
12. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem die Beschichtung thermisch isolierend und/oder nicht entflammbar ist.
 
13. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem die Beschichtung nass auf die flexible Zwischenschicht aufgetragen wird und ein situ Aushärten erlaubt wird, wobei die Beschichtung aus aufgeschäumten Material, Phenolharz, Epoxid, Polyurethan oder syntaktisch ist.
 
14. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem das Gefäß aus Metall oder einem Kompositmaterial hergestellt ist und/oder ein Druck- oder Prozessgefäß ist.
 
15. Gegenstand, der gemäß einem Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche beschichtet ist.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé de revêtement d'un objet expansible, le procédé comprenant les étapes consistant à former une couche intermédiaire flexible, la couche intermédiaire comprenant un élément de support situé à l'intérieur d'une couche d'un matériau flexible et compressible, avec une pluralité d'éléments en saillie prévus sur l'élément de support qui s'étendent hors de la couche de matériau flexible et compressible sur un côté de celui-ci, monter la couche intermédiaire flexible sur l'objet, avec l'autre côté de la couche de matériau flexible et compressible contre l'objet et les éléments en saillie faisant saillie depuis l'objet, et former une couche de revêtement sur ledit côté de la couche intermédiaire flexible, avec les éléments en saillie faisant saillie dans la couche de revêtement, et la couche de revêtement s'étendant au-delà des éléments en saillie de sorte que les extrémités distales des éléments en saillie sont entièrement situées dans la couche de revêtement.
 
2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'élément de support comprend une base, la base peut être sous la forme d'une structure ouverte, et la base peut être généralement plane.
 
3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la base est située dans la couche de matériau flexible et compressible, et peut être située au moins généralement à mi-chemin entre l'un des côtés et l'autre côté du matériau flexible et compressible.
 
4. Procédé selon les revendications 2 ou 3, dans lequel la base de l'élément de support est réalisée en l'un quelconque des matériaux suivants : un matériau flexible, une matière plastique, du polyétheréthercétone (PEEK) ou du nylon, du métal, de l'acier inoxydable.
 
5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 4, dans lequel soit la base de l'élément de support et les éléments en saillie sont formés d'une seule pièce, soit les éléments en saillie sont montés sur la base de l'élément de support.
 
6. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les éléments en saillie ont des formations sur eux pour améliorer la mise en prise avec la couche de revêtement, et les formations peuvent comprendre l'une quelconque des formes suivantes : un filetage hélicoïdal, des nervures ou des ardillons.
 
7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les éléments de support sont formés en sections qui peuvent être connectées ensemble avec des sections similaires adjacentes.
 
8. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le matériau flexible et compressible comprend l'un quelconque des matériaux suivants : un matériau expansé, du polyéthylène, du polyuréthane, de la mousse de silicone, un matériau syntactique, un matériau ininflammable.
 
9. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la couche de matériau flexible et compressible a une épaisseur comprise entre 3 et 10 mm, et la couche de revêtement a une épaisseur comprise entre 10 et 100 mm.
 
10. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la couche intermédiaire flexible est formée en moulant le matériau flexible et compressible autour de l'élément de support.
 
11. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel un adhésif est prévu sur l'autre côté de la couche intermédiaire flexible, l'adhésif peut être actionnable par pression, et l'adhésif peut être muni d'une feuille de support avant le montage sur l'objet.
 
12. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la couche de revêtement est thermiquement isolante et / ou ininflammable.
 
13. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la couche de revêtement est appliquée sur la couche intermédiaire flexible, et laissée à durcir in situ, la couche de revêtement peut être l'un quelconque des matériaux suivants : un matériau expansé, phénolique, époxy, polyuréthane, syntactique.
 
14. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la cuve est faite de métal ou d'un matériau composite, et / ou une cuve sous pression ou de traitement.
 
15. Objet revêtu d'un procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes.
 




Drawing











Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description