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Coatings technology enables battery raw material processing

Coatings technology enables battery raw material processing

The new Kemerton Lithium Plant is positioned to play a big role in the manufacturing of electric vehicles as the Australian uptake continues to rise. Tasked with processing raw materials for specialist batteries, the plant’s hardworking infrastructure will face years of exposure to acidity, alkalinity, abrasion and caustic splash.

Crucially, the protective coatings used at the Kemerton Lithium Plant need to withstand widely varying pH environments while ensuring long term surface durability. In all, 15 schedules within the specification were used on various components on site, with the processing chutes requiring the most robust of all.

Dulux Protective Coatings Consultants, Nathan Hines and Joel Bock, used their technical expertise to recommend a specification that was up to the task. After an abrasive blast to Sa 2.5 with garnet, the chutes were primed with an airless spray of Durepon EZP at 75 microns for corrosion protection. Explaining the choice, Nathan said, “A zinc phosphate primer is more suited to varying pH environments than a zinc rich product.”

High performance barrier protection was achieved with a 150 microns topcoat of Durebild STE MIO - an epoxy formulated with micaceous iron oxide as a barrier pigment, and no aluminium.

“The chutes were designed to have mined mineral pass through them,” Nathan continues. “We provided coatings with no presence of aluminium pigmentation as it’s susceptible to attack in highly acidic or alkaline environments.”

Dulux Protective Coatings' advanced coatings technology ensured a specification that was fit for purpose.

"We also provided on-site guidance and support to ensure correct application of the coatings. Importantly, we helped our client, Polaris, meet strict deadlines with same day delivery service from the Dulux Rockingham store."

“This project shows we have a customer-centric approach,” said Nathan. “We’re focused on understanding our customers and their specific needs before making recommendations.”

“This was our first project with Polaris and the successful outcome has already led to more collaborations.”

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