Biofouling Prevention - RMB Products
Biofouling Prevention2024-01-31T19:49:39+00:00

Antimicrobial Lining for Biofouling Prevention

Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) and biofouling, the fouling of pipes and underwater surfaces by organisms such as barnacles and algae, are a significant cause (30%-40%) of corrosion-induced failures, yet very few coating systems on the market provide protection from this type of corrosive attack.

Alone, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) liner has proven to last over 20 years in brine water services by providing long-term protection against aqueous corrosion in saltwater applications. Defects and microbial degradation of polymer coatings, however, can provide opportunities for localized biological attacks. Biofouling can also gradually build up on top of the lining system and decrease efficiency of the fluid delivery system.

Creating a homogenous blend of HDPE and antimicrobial powder gives the added protection against localized biological attacks and biofouling buildup on pipes. RMB BIO-ARMOR™ is a proprietary blend of HDPE and antimicrobial resin that is applied to the pipe and vessel by a rotational lining process. BIO-ARMOR protects against corrosion as well as 99% of the microbes that induce MIC and biofouling.

Prevent Biofouling With Antimicrobial HDPE Lining

Biofouling composition includes organisms, like bacteria, algae, and barnacles, that flourish in a marine environment, where noticeable aquatic growth appears on ships and underwater structures. Biofouling increases ship hull drag, corrosion, fuel consumption, and engine stress.

Industrial biofouling occurs in areas such as power plants, water treatment systems, and food/beverage industries. Problems include pipe blockage, decreased membrane flux, contaminated water, and reduced heat-exchanger efficiency.

Biofouling occurs in a wide range of industrial processes. The underlying problem is the same for all: biofilms. As collections of one or more types of microorganisms that grow on surfaces,

Another common term is MIC. Many industries are affected by MIC, ranging from chemical processing industries, nuclear power generation, water treatment, and more.

How Is BIO-ARMOR Different From Other Biofouling Control Methods?

Since MIC and biofouling are unavoidable in saltwater applications, some processors may try to control or remediate corrosion using a variety of methods. For example:

  • Adding a biocide. Processors may try to kill the bacteria that causes corrosion by using a biocide. However, this requires modifying the process and adding new tanks and injection ports. Chemical additives are expensive and known to be harmful to the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Using a coating system. A processor may use an immersion-grade antifouling coating system to keep the bacteria from coming in contact with the metal pipe. This will work only if the corrosion of the pipe isn’t very severe. Plus, the system must be able to be taken offline in order to be drained, resulting in downtime.
  • Rebuilding the pipe. Processors may choose to rebuild or reinforce the corroded pipe by adding a structurally independent pipe around the existing pipe. The new pipe is made of a composite material, such as carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, which is not susceptible to corrosion. This can be expensive since processors have to purchase new pipe lengths to add to the existing system where they suspect damage from biofouling.
    Additional methods include regular mechanical cleaning and complete drainage and dry storage of the system. However, these activities can be costly since they require extensive downtime and labor hours.

Compared to the alternatives, BIO-ARMOR is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent marine biofouling while safeguarding the surrounding environment. BIO-ARMOR does not employ the use of chemical additives to the process. Plus, it provides the strength and ease of design of the metallic equipment — unlike alternative composite-based solutions.

Custom Rotolining With Antimicrobial HDPE

To meet custom requirements, RMB Products can make the HDPE BIO-ARMOR liner white or black in color. We can also coat the exterior of the equipment using one of our standard topcoat systems or a customer-supplied paint specification and color.

BIO-ARMOR Properties and Benefits

  • Corrosion protection
  • Antifouling
  • MIC resistance
  • High strength-to-density ratio & chemical resistance
  • Protects against micro-biologically influenced corrosion & aqueous corrosion in brine & saltwater applications
  • By lining your pipe and vessels with BIO-ARMOR, your company will:
    • Lower the environmental impact; no biocide pipeline flushing is required
    • Lower your operational costs; less maintenance of the pipeline is required
    • Increase the life expectancy of your pipeline; a pipe with BIO-ARMOR should last 5-10 years longer than a pipe lined only with HDPE
    • Be able to customize solutions and sizes, including liners for pipe and vessels up to 9’ NPS and straight section spools up to 20’ long, as well as flange ratings of ANSI 150, 300, 600, 900, 1500, and 2500
    • Have the capability to protect equipment with complex geometries without adding more costs

Maximum Service Temperature

180° F / 82°C

Process

Rotational Lining

BIO-ARMOR Applications

Rotational lining-grade HDPE is a modified thermoplastic polyethylene-based rotolining resin. It offers exceptional stress-crack resistance and excellent adhesion to metals and selected polymers. With the anti-MIC additive in the resin, typical BIO-ARMOR applications include linings for pipes, drums, hollow vessels, and irregularly shaped parts. It provides resistance to microbial activity or resistance to biological fouling, particularly in offshore applications, including static, immersed seawater conditions.

Industries

  • Chemical processing
  • Nuclear power generation
  • Service water
  • Onshore and offshore oil and gas
  • Underground pipeline
  • Water treatment

Parts Applications

  • Piping systems
  • Caissons
  • Vessels
  • Other process equipment

Your Biofouling and MIC Prevention Partner

RMB provides highly engineered polymers and corrosion protection technology for demanding, mission-critical applications in aerospace, chemical processing, semiconductor, and biopharmaceutical industries. We offer a variety of superior rotational molding and additive manufacturing technologies that have proven reliable and indispensable to customers around the world. Our unique rotational lining capability provides seamless, bonded linings that offer superior corrosion protection for pipes, fittings, tanks, and vessels compared with competitive lining materials and methods. Since 2018, we’ve provided BIO-ARMOR lining services for corrosion protection in applications that are at risk for MIC. Looking for more information or a quote? Contact us or call us at 719-382-9300.

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