PERFORMANCE OF A POLYMER SEALANT COATING IN AN ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENT. Page: 3 of 9
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spraying operation, the mixer manifold and the spray gun must be flushed with a solvent (methyl
ethyl ketone, MEK). If this is not done within a few minutes of ceasing to spray, the residual
polymer will solidify in place and block this part of the delivery system. The conventional
Promatec spray unit normally relies on external sources for utilities. However, in order to meet
the Northern Navy specifications, two gasoline engines were added, one for an electrical
generator and the other for the hydraulic pump. Figure 1 shows the final unit being set up at the
Russian site prior to spraying operations.
Figure 1 Polymer spray equipment at the RTP Atomflot site in Murmansk
The Promatec technology has been proven to be effective in sealing concrete and metal
structures in several non-nuclear applications. However, the polymer had not been subjected to
environmental conditions as severe as those experienced at the Russian Northern Navy bases.
Consequently, the Russian Navy personnel met with the technical staff at the Interbranch
Coordination Scientific-Technical Center of Nuclide Production (ICC Nuclide) to develop a plan
to demonstrate that to qualify the coating for use in the Arctic marine environment. This plan
comprised both testing under actual field conditions at the RTP Atomflot site in Murmansk and
an extensive laboratory qualification test program, to be conducted at ICC Nuclide's research
facility in St. Petersburg. The field testing involved coatings deposited on concrete surfaces
exposed to both light and heavy duty use, and on the outside surfaces of a steel radioactive waste
container. The laboratory test program focussed on various physical and chemical properties of
the Polibrid 705 coating after deposition on both concrete and steel substrates. The properties of
interest, specified by the Russian Navy personnel, were: coating adhesion strength, moisture and
decontamination resistance, ease of decontaminability, wear resistance, resistance to low
temperatures and to thermal cycling, isolation properties, and flammability resistance.
The surface designated for the initial demonstration of the spraying equipment was an
approximate 50 m concrete area located just inside the main entrance to a high-bay area used for
handling and storing solid low-level radioactive waste. Later, the coating was applied to an
internal corridor and staircase, some room floors, some concrete and metal coupons (to be used
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MOSKOWITZ,P.; COWGILL,M.; GRIFFITH,A.; CHERNAENKO,L.; DIASHEV,A. & NAZARIAN,A. PERFORMANCE OF A POLYMER SEALANT COATING IN AN ARCTIC MARINE ENVIRONMENT., article, February 25, 2001; Upton, New York. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc723336/m1/3/: accessed April 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.