2012 – Corrosion Institute Annual Award

Winner : Southey Contracting (Pty) Ltd; F.E. Powders ; SAPREF Refinery

Year : 2012

Award Type : Corrosion Institute Annual Award

Achievement :

The Aluminium Metal Spraying undertaken during a shut down at the SAPREF refinery from June to August 2011.

Project Title: SAPREF 2011 Turn Around, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Scope of Work: The application of Thermal Metal Spraying (more specifically Thermal Spray Aluminium – TSA)

Southey Contracting (Pty) Ltd - Contractor

F.E. Powders - Raw Material Supplier

SAPREF Refinery - Asset Owner

To Southey’s knowledge this was the largest TSA project to date in the Petro Chemical Industry in South Africa


Degrease and Fresh Wash the spools (Ranging from ½” to 36” diameter)
Dry Blast the spools to Sa 2.5
Perform a ‘Bend Test’ before the applicators can commence with coating the spools
Apply 1 coat of 1100 Grade Aluminium wire at 250microns
Perform the ‘wet down test’ to detect ‘holidays’ (missed areas) and low Dry Film Thicknesses (DFT’s)
Do a final Inspection with SAPREF QC
Hand Over to Client
Southey was then requested to assist with the field welds in the refinery units themselves. This was an involved task as it required mobile units as well. This additional process consisted of the following specification :

Degrease and Fresh Wash the spools
Bristle blast the welds to ± 45microns
Pre-heat the spool to a minimum of 90 degrees Celsius
Apply TSA in a specialised manor, building up 4 to 5 thin coats of TSA not exceeding 50microns per coat and a total of 250microns
Do a final Inspection with SAPREF QC as well as a 3rd Party Inspection Authority
Hand over welds completed


1429.60m² of different bore spools to be coated and handed over in 72 days. If this deadline was not met, the entire shut down would be held up.
Establish a temporary blast yard, TSA yard & a QC yard adjacent to each other with its respective challenges
Based not even 1.5km from the sea we were in a very corrosive environment – with inclement weather adding to the pressure on site in terms of flooding of yards etc.
To contain the blast dust as well as contain the sparks generated from the TSA application was probably the biggest challenge
All personnel operating the TSA equipment had to undergo stringent Fire Safety training by the SAPREF EMERGENCY SERVICES to ensure they were competent to operate this “hot work” equipment within the refinery
Many reworks due to revisions/alterations of the spools at the very last minute
Numerous logistic movements like;
moving spools from the off-loading bay into the blasting bay
then out the blasting bay into the TSA bay
again out the TSA bay into the QC bay
then finally moving them into the completed zone where they could then be collected.
Southey was complimented on a number of occasions on the exceptional quality and service delivery by SAPREF Senior Management, and we sincerely believe that this SAPREF TSA project is unique and challenging enough to qualify as a potential Project of the year, for the Corrosion institute of South Africa.