Mining and Industry

TMT Descale Rig

The TMT Descale Rig is used to remotely position a high-pressure water blasting head within a variety of closed top tank sizes. These tanks are typically in excess of 20m in diameter, however access is generally via a standard manhole-sized opening.

Imagine you have to clean the inside of a large bottle that has a neck through which your arm can fit. Through the bottleneck, you can use the dexterity of your arm to reach all of the surfaces inside.

Now imagine you have to do this in a 26m diameter tank but the material you have to clean off is 100-300mm thick, rock-like scale.

Aluminium is one of the cornerstones of modern life. Abundantly available, low cost, high strength, lightweight, easy to machine and highly resistant to corrosion. Bauxite ore is the main source of aluminium. To produce aluminium, the ore has to go through several complicated processing steps. At one point in the process, hot caustic slurry containing ground-up bauxite is stored in the huge tanks. Over time, the thick heavy scale builds up on the inside of the tank. This eventually risks tank structural stability and the scale has to be removed.

The descale rig is used to do just that!

Once the tank is emptied for maintenance, the remotely operated descale rig is lowered into the tank and secured in position. Then, with the great strength and dexterity of its arm holding a high pressure waterjet, the operator methodically follows the inner surfaces to blast away the built-up scale.

Now, imagine again that you have to clean the bottle without looking – relying on the muscle-memory and experience of a routine job you have done many times before. This is the next evolutionary step for the descale rig: autonomous operation with the operator merely monitoring the progress.

Some features of the TMT Descale Rig:

  • Designed to fit through a 2m x 1.5m opening but can also be sized to suit
  • Designed to fold down so that it fits through the personnel accessways
  • The integral stiffness of the tool is built to withstand significant reaction force from a 1000hp water blasting pump, with minimal deflection
  • Can cope with both the combination of a high velocity rock like particle impacts and the corrosive tank residues

TMT has had multiple units at various sites since 2014 and continues to provide maintenance to these machines on an ongoing basis.

The TMT Descale Rig can be customised to suit most applications and client needs.

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