LYNGBY, Denmark — In just eight years, worldwide coating manufacturer Hempel has painted 20,000 mining containers for Intermodal Solutions Group (ISG). The milestone 20,000th coating was completed in January 2020. ISG is a global supplier of container rotation systems and container solutions for the mining, grain and ship-loading industries. During the eight-year partnership with Hempel more than 1.5 million liters of paint has been used to protect the containers against the abrasive and corrosive materials they carry as well as the external environment.

ISG’s patented maritime and mining containers are have a patented tippler operating system that rotates and tips the container to empty out the material being carried. This means they generally only need to be loaded and unloaded once to transport copper/nickel concentrate, iron ore, minerals and other commodities from source to ship. Previously, material was loaded and unloaded several times during transit to the final destination.

Hempel’s experience of delivering high-quality coatings solutions encouraged ISG to select the company to create a unique coating system to protect its assets against the harsh and abrasive operating environment.

Garry Pinder, Managing Director of ISG-Pit to Ship Solutions, said, “We have been working successfully with Hempel for many years and appreciate the high-level of service, top-quality coatings and experience the company offers. Our containers are designed to operate in challenging conditions and require a coating system that is robust enough to withstand these harsh environments. We were delighted with how efficiently our containers were coated and the high-quality protection that was the result.”

Various unique challenges were overcome during the coating process. ISG operates globally and so Hempel’s coatings had to perform in all geographical and environmental conditions. The units themselves are constructed of relatively thin steel and this caused an issue when preparing the surface prior to painting.

 “When starting this project, we realised that interior surfaces were not drying and curing quickly enough so we needed to use electric ventilators. But we quickly found an alternative solution, which has now become standard practice. We simply turn the containers on their side or upside down when we apply the coating. This allows the high solids to cure quickly and without the need for ventilators – saving time and significant costs,” said Kim Scheibel, Group Segment Director, Container at Hempel A/S.

Interior paint solutions used include Hempadur Multi-Strength 45751 and Hempadur Conterior 47751, both self-priming, high-solid, epoxy coatings that cure to a highly abrasion and corrosion resistant coating.

Externally, a three-coat system consisting of Hempatex Hi-Build 46410, a high-build acrylic topcoat was used to provide resistance to saltwater, splashes of aliphatic hydrocarbons, animal and vegetable oils. Hempadur Primer 1530C, an epoxy mid-coat containing zinc phosphate as corrosion inhibiting pigment, and Hempadur Zinc 1536C, a zinc-rich epoxy primer that cures to a hard-wearing and highly weather-resistant coating, were also used externally.