The Al Rayyan stadium

GERMANY’S Voelkel Industrial Products (VIP) says its polyurea protective coatings are proving their strength across the Middle East while setting new benchmarks in terms of ease of use, durability and protection.

Derived from a reaction of isocyanate and amine terminated resin, the pure polyurea coatings cure in seconds to form a seamless vinyl-like elastic skin that is said to be highly resistant to punctures, corrosion and abrasive environments. Described by Voelkel as a “revolution” in coating technology, the systems have been successfully used on a diverse range of structures in the Middle East, from shopping malls and stadiums to tanks and tunnels. 

“We have been active in the GCC for several years, supplying materials directly from Germany,” says Alexander Voelkel, managing director of VIP.

Qafco 5 accommodation

Now, with a production facility up and running at Dubai Industrial Park in the UAE since last year, and a distribution and applicator regional network in place, Voelkel is confident that VIP’s innovative two-part polymer coatings are destined for greater success in the Gulf.

Voelkel says polyureas represent a “dramatic advance” over polyurethane and epoxy technology. “A revolution in coating technology, polyurea coatings offer extremely fast curing times, while being free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Their excellent mechanical properties and high resistance to chemicals make them the perfect choice for various coating applications across all industries,” he says.

The Doha amphitheatre

“Pure polyurea creates a highly-resistant, durable coating on almost any surface. It is also insensitive to moisture and fluctuations of temperatures and has high elongation and superior tensile strength. This means there is little or no downtime lost during repairs or while applying coatings even outdoors under adverse weather conditions,” he continues.

VIP’s polyurea quickspray can be applied to concrete, metal or foam by simply using a double cartridge with mixer tips and a pneumatic gun. Within seconds, it builds a vinyl-like elastic skin that will resist punctures and is impact-resistant even in a highly-abrasive environment, Voelkel explains.

The Ras Girtas STP.

The coating has excellent resistance to heat distortion and sagging as it maintains its flexibility and shape. Also, it does not emit fumes or odours, which makes it ideal for applications in chemical and food and beverage industries. While cartridges are used for smaller applications, polyurea is spray-applied for larger areas, such as waterproofing the top of foam insulation. The system is designed to have a life of more than 25 years, which in turn reduces repair and maintenance to the minimum.

“There is no easier, faster or better way to repair or coat any surface than with VIP’s pure polyurea systems,” he says.

The water tanks

The advantages of the coating can be summarised as follows:

Extremely fast reaction and cure, in five seconds;
Almost immediate return-to-service times;
Very good adhesion to concrete, steel, aluminium, plastics, fibreglass, wood and foam;
Seamless and jointless coating and lining that maintains its flexibility;
High elongation at break;
Excellent tensile and structural strength;
100 per cent solids, with no solvents or catalysts;
Very good sound insulation;
Ultraviolet-, atmospheric attack- and saltwater-resistance;
Thermal resistance; and
Wide choice of colours (RAL). 

VIP’s polyurea coatings can be used for water and waste water infrastructure, petrochemical industries, roof coatings, on industrial flooring, car-parks, airports, in shipbuilding, on bridges, roads and tunnels,  in automotives, trucks, transport and heavy industries, in parks, for pools and ponds, and furniture, among others.

Middle East projects
In the Middle East, VIP’s coatings have been used by the Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco), the Ras Girtas Power Company, the Al Rayan Sports Club, and on the Doha amphitheatre, all in Qatar; the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and the Ibn Battuta Mall in the UAE; on a waste water tunnel in Iran; and at the Concord El Salam Resort in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Executed between 2008 and 2010, these projects have won the total satisfaction of its clients, says Voelkel.

The Ibn Battuta mall

For Qafco’s housing project at Qafco 5, VIP’s Quickspray Industrial was applied over a total area of 8,000 sq m by Hitech Projects – VIP’s exclusive distributor in Qatar – in January 2009.

The client wanted a fast-curing coating with high mechanical abrasion resistance, no VOC content, no cracking and stable features for its newly constructed kitchen and accommodation area, says VIP, adding that the complete process of surface preparation and application of the base coat was completed in less than three days.

The Adnoc containment bund

For Ras Girtas, VIP’s coatings were used on potable water tanks at a multi-billion-dollar desalination and power plant which is nearing completion and a sewage treatment plant, both in Ras Laffan.

VIP’s Quickspray Supreme W, which is certified by the UK’s Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS), was used to coat and seal potable water tanks over an area of 28,800 sq m by Hitech Projects, the coating contractor on the project. The tanks were ready for use within 24 hours of completing the work.

The Iran tunnel

Quickspray Industrial, meanwhile, was used on the digesters at the Ras Girtas sewage treatment plant (STP) over an area of 18,000 sq m. To reduce surface preparation and application time to a minimum, a geotextile was fixed directly to the concrete as a base, after which a 3-mm-thick polyurea coat was sprayed onto it to form a lining. After a curing time of seven days, the tank was activated.

Hitech Projects also undertook refurbishment work at the Al Rayyan Sport Club’s main stadium in Doha between July and August 2009, applying Quickspray Industrial over an area of 6,500 sq m on behalf of the client Qatar Olympic Committee and maintenance contractor Emcor Facilities Services.

And at the Doha amphitheatre, Quickspray Industrial was put to good use by Hitech Projects, which had to execute the waterproofing work within a tight deadline for the client, Private Engineering Office.

The Egyptian resot

The concrete surfaces were first sandblasted and epoxy primers and fillers applied before a 1.5-mm-thick coating was sprayed using Graco XP-2 high-pressure spray units over an area of 20,000 sq m, with the work completed between November and December last year.

Meanwhile in the UAE, VIP’s waterproofing expertise was used to refurbish the landmark Ibn Battuta mall in Dubai, which had been plagued by leaky roofs for several years and in turn had led to damaged stock, slippery floors and the risk of structural damage.

A system comprising a tightly-weaved polypropylene geotextile with a 1.5-mm-thick coating of Corroprufe Quickspray was proposed to provide a tough, seamless waterproofing layer that would neither need further protection nor removal of the existing membrane, therefore, minimising disruption to the mall’s operations. Corroprufe was supplied by Corrotech Construction Chemicals, VIP’s exclusive distributor for the UAE, and applied by specialist applicator Anticor, who understood the complexities involved in detailing difficult areas of the roof, particularly around the M&E (mechanical and electrical) equipment, says VIP.

Undertaken in October 2009, the refurbishment over the roof of the health club at the mall was executed in three steps. First, the failed membrane was well cleaned, and then the new geotextile was laid over the existing membrane, overlapped and cut to detail. Corroprufe was then applied using plural component heated mixing equipment, over an area of 1,100 sq m.

A flood test conducted 36 hours after application showed no more water ingress, says VIP.

The application for Adnoc, meanwhile, involved the use of VIP’s Quickspray Industrial over a floor area of 400 sq m in a primary containment bund being built by Aldar Laing O’Rourke. Successfully executed by coating contractor APS Coating Systems in less than 24 hours in October 2008, the work has received no complaints from the client, Aldar Properties, to date, says VIP.

In Iran, the country’s Water Authority chose four of VIP’s products – Quickspray Industrial, Quick Block moisture barrier, Quick Fill epoxy filler and Quick Prime epoxy primers – to repair a seven-year-old concrete tunnel, which lies southwest of the capital Tehran.

Zharf Kar was the contractor on the project which involved waterproofing and repairing 90,000 sq m of tunnels and pipes between April and September 2010, while the coating contractor was Dubai’s Anticor.

The work was carried out in four steps: The concrete surfaces were first pressure-washed and cleaned of all residues, before the Quick Block vapour barrier was applied to reduce extremely high concrete substrate moisture. Quick Fill and Quick Prime primers and fillers were then applied, followed by a 1.5-mm-thick polyurea coat using four Graco XP-2 high-pressure spray units. The work was successfully completed in four months despite the extreme conditions inside the tunnel. VIP’s materials were supplied through Shimiya Beton, its exclusive distributor in Iran.

And in Egypt, VIP’s systems were most recently (November 2010) used to bring back the sparkle to a massive pond and water feature at the Concorde El Salam Resort and Spa. A five-star property overlooking the Red Sea, the Concorde El Salam Resort and Spa boasts a rear landscape that includes 5, 000 sq m of ponds set against a backdrop of the mountains. However, since its opening, the property had been beset by the problems of keeping these pools pristine, due to water leakage and surface discolouration.

With the resort being overbooked for most part of the year, it turned to VIP for a quick and effective solution.

The contractor, Batiment De Specialite Industriel (Batsi), adopted a five-step approach. First, the concrete surface was ground to remove existing coats, and then cleaned of any residue that might affect bonding. The surface was next primed, sealed and its adhesion improved before a basecoat of Quickspray Industrial was applied using heated mixing equipment. Finally, 24 hours later, a blue pigmented polyurethane top coat was applied. The entire job was completed over four separate periods in order not to disrupt the hotel’s operations, and client has evaluated the work as “excellent”, says VIP.