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Fuel Tank Refurbishment

Supablast is now offering a unique service to petrol stations across Ireland and the UK. Many petrol stations have their storage tanks underground and so are unable to assess their integrity. These tanks may be decades old and heavily corroded, even if the station operator knows that the tank is not currently leaking there is no way of knowing when it might start. 

The traditional method of avoiding an expensive bill for a leaking tank is to replace the tank at regular intervals.

Supablast can offer a much cheaper alternative. We can re-line the tanks in situ using a plural component coating. This effectively creates a new tank inside the original steel tank greatly reducing the risk of leaks and all without closing the petrol station.

What’s involved:

After the tank is drained the interior is blast cleaned. If the tank is heavily corroded it is possible that some areas will be perforated. This isn’t a problem as a compatible repair kit is available for the final coating. When blast cleaning and any minor repairs are completed the coating is applied at a high temperature direct to the inside of the tank. The coating is specially designed to ensures a quick curing time despite its 4mm thickness.

The new lining contains the fuel even as areas of the original tank rust away. 

This represents by far the most cost effective method for preventing leaks in underground storage tanks and avoiding the associated costs of cleaning up afterwards and paying any fines that might be levied against the operator.

All works are carried out while the station is still operating.

Peace of mind:

All our staff hold PIA Passports qualifying them to work on petrol station forecourts. All staff working inside the tanks have relevant confined spaces training, all necessary breathing apparatus and safety equipment. Supablast has many years of experience dealing with complex jobs on tight time schedules while working on both rail and road infrastructure projects.

Protect the environment and your profits by choosing Supablast.


  • Much cheaper than replacing tanks.
  • Far cheaper than cleaning up after a leak, paying fines and then replacing tanks.
  • All work carried out without removing or even digging up the tank.
  • No need to close the station while the work is carried out.
  • Peace of mind for station operators.

95% of Supablast staff now hold PIA passports

PIA Passports are a self regulatory scheme to ensure contractors working on petrol station forecourts have the necessary training to identify the unique dangers found in these locations.

Many supermarket and oil companies require contractors to be holders before contracts can be undertaken.

September 2011 News

September has been a busy month for Supablast. Our in-house grit blasting and spray painting facilities have been preparing lamp posts for the M1 Motorway while our on-site staff have have finished surface preparation on the Aynho fly-over.

The lamp posts were the latest batch destined for the major improvements being carried out on the M1 between juntions 10 and 13. They were grit blasted and coated with a 3 layer HAP approved system to help ensure that the disruption experienced by M1 users isn't repeated for many years to come.

The Aynho fly over crosses the main rail line north from London near Banbury in Northamptonshire. Supablast were required to mechanically prepare (mech-prep) the underside of the structure to ST3. This usually requires the use of hand tools to remove loose and flaking paint without stripping back to bare metal. Instead of taking the traditional hand tool approach Supablast have pioneered to use of precision Kwikblast blasting to achieve ST3 in a much shorter time for the rail industry.

Grit blasting usually cannot achieve ST3 as it removes too much of the old coating however Supablast's precision grit blasting allows very fine control over the blasting process. We feel this process is the future of mech-prep in the industry and that Supablast's pioneering use of it on main line structures confirms our position as a grit blasting innovator.

New Service: Precision Grit Blast Cleaning

Supablast can now offer high precision blast cleaning through the Kwikblast system. This combines the benefits of ultra high pressure (UHP) water jetting with a traditional grit blasting medium. The addition of water to grit not only increases the effectiveness of the grit, meaning less is needed for any particular job but it also helps contain what dust is produced. 

The key benefits of this system are:

  • Reduced grit use by up to 50%
  • High precision of blasting. Ideal for spot blasting to fix localised corrosion without repainting an entire structure
  • Reduced shot bounce. Each particle of grit is coated in a shell of water. When this hits the blast surface it holds the grit in place preventing bounce
  • Gentler than traditional grit blasting. The water shell around the grit not only prevents bounce but also has a hydrostatic action, penetrating the blasting surface through microscopic cracks and lifting contaminants off from below rather than smashing them off from above as traditional grit blasting does
  • Full containment not usually needed. The combination of reduced bounce and reduced grit mean that very little airborne dust is created. Not requiring containment means jobs can be done faster and cheaper
  • Quiet, below 90dBs, which is not only good for staff but also neighbours
  • Removes soluble salts better than dry blasting increasing the life of coatings

Supablast can use this system either as an alternative to traditional blast clean or ST3 surface preparation.
Typical applications include:

  • Blast cleaning and surface preparation of metal structures including bridges, pipes, tanks and ships
  • Cleaning masonry (including brick, stone and concrete). Ideal for graffiti removal, building refurbishment and cleaning floors
  • Removing old road markings in car parks and roads

NHSS 19a Accreditation

Supablast have achieved accreditation for NHSS sector 19a: the National Highways Sector Scheme for quality management of corrosion protection by industrial coatings.

The goal of this scheme is to create a common interpretation of EN ISO 9001:2008 for all industry members. It is hoped that this will benefit everyone by:

  • Providing an industry benchmark
  • Ensuring that all processes are planned
  • Providing a basis for continuous improvement
  • Focusing on quality as an objective
  • Reducing costs for client and contractor
  • Providing and maintain a properly trained and competent workforce
  • Involving all sides of industry in scheme ownership within a partnership framework
  • Providing the basis for the technical knowledge and experience that Certification Body auditors will use in the sector concerned
  • Promoting confidence in quality management systems through provision of a robust transparent system

Accreditation for NHSS 19a will qualify Supablast for Highways Agency contracts. Other transport infrastructure owners, including Network Rail and London Underground may also require their contractors to comply with this scheme.


Nursery Footbridge

This article was published in ICORR's quarterly magazine:

Supablast have recently enhanced their reputation to be more than just a gritblasting and painting company. Having been awarded an 8 week in-situ gritblast and painting project using valuable major civil's and craneage experience, they have successfully removed, repaired and replaced the superstructure within a 4 week period.

The Nursery Footbridge which is located over the Manchester to Liverpool line was lifted out using a 350 tonne crane and transported by specialist haulier utilising rear wheel steer extendible articulated trailer, to Supablast's Head Office in the West Midlands where all the major work was undertaken. The project comprised of a grit blast to SA21/2 and applied RT98 protective coating system, with 3.5 tonnes of steelwork repairs and new deck plates installed. 

The original scope of the works involved approximately 140 hours of possessions incorporating a lot of risk and disruption.  Supablast removed and reinstalled the bridge using only two 24hr possessions therefore significantly reducing the risk and disruption. The project was delivered to the original tender cost with additional steelwork repairs being completed within a 4 week period.

ELF Renault Clio Cup

Here at Supablast we would like to congratulate Momo UK / Supablast sponsored  Renault Clio driven by 'Five Star Hodgetts' who clinched his fifth ELF Renault Clio Cup Victory during the last round at Thruxton circuit on Sunday 14th October.

Hodgetts scored more wins than anyone else and although he did not compete in all rounds this has secured him third overall in the drivers standings, with Robert Lawson finishing just in front in overall second and Martin Byford taking first.

Network Rail

We have been sponsored by Network Rail for our Principle Contractors Licence. This allows Supablast to work directly with Network Rail.

Allied Tanks

We have been sponsored by Network Rail for our Principle Contractors Licence. This allows Supablast to work directly with Network Rail.

This partnership will enable us to offer the following services:

  • Footbridges
  • Access Platforms
  • Stairways
  • Support Structures
  • Ladders

In addition to our existing expertise in the following areas:

  • Shot Blasting
  • Painting
  • Protective Coatings
  • Steelwork Repairs
  • Scaffolding
  • Encapsulation
  • De-vegetation
  • Concrete and Brickwork Repairs

For further information please contact us or visit our websites

www.supablast.co.uk and www.alliedtanks.co.uk

Knutsford Underbridge

Originally published in the ICORR quarterly news letter.

Supablast Nationwide limited based in the Midlands has successfully completed a project on an underbridge at Knutsford Station, King Street, Knutsford. Cheshire.

Knutsford railway station serves the town of Knutsford in Cheshire, England.  The station is 36km (22 miles) south of Manchester Piccadilly on the Mid-Cheshire Line to Chester. This track runs over a public road, King Street.  The main lines were reconstructed circa 1905 and the siding span was reconstructed in 1934.  It comprises single steel span decks. Knutford station opened to passengers on 12 May 1862 with a service between Knutsford and Altrincham.  Trains to Northwich commenced from 1 January 1863.  Services were operated by CLC until nationalisation on 1 January 1948. Passengers numbers at Knutsford are currently increasing by as much as 27% per annum.

Description of works: Grit blast and paint and general civils:
Due to the fact that the bridge ran over a main road, the safety of the public was paramount to Supablast.  

June 2008 6 week programme.

The timing of this job was crucial as it had to be completed in readiness for the Royal Horticultural Society Annual Flower Show at Tatton Park, this ran from Wednesday 23rd Sunday 27th July 2008.

  • Replacement of existing cast iron parapet with Steel.
  • All exposed metal works to be shot-blasted and painted with XM92 system.
  • Carry out masonry and drainage repairs to both abutments and wing walls.
  • Install new ballast retention plates.
  • Pigeon protection.
  • Herbicide treatment.

Scaffolding  This included a Birdcage scaffold, set up under the bridge on a half closed section of road.  The scaffold incorporated a central opening to allow passage of road traffic. Additionally a pedestrian walkway was incorporated in to the abutment scaffold on the footway side.

Herbicide treatment  Herbicide treatment to trackside in the CESS adjacent to the parapet walls, abutment walls and wing walls to remove all weeds.

Grit Blast and paint  Unsound paint and corrosion was removed by grit blasting.  All existing parapets and central section of soffit. Carried out all tests required by Network Rail for the XM92 paint system.  XM92 is a protective treatment used on steel strictures that have been prepared by dry abrasive blast cleaning.  It includes a surface tolerant epoxy primer which is suitable for application to gingered or flash rusted areas, all in accordance with Network rail Line standard NR/GN/CIV/002  giving a service life of 25 years.

Colours specified for the bridge were: 00 E 53 Black, 04 D 45 Maroon and 10 C 31 Ivory.

Cast iron parapet removal and reinstatement The cast iron parapet removed and replaced with bespoke steel parapet.  This was painted in our works to N1 specification prior to installation.  The top coat then applied on site.

All reinstating works were carried out during full road closures.  This was co-ordinated with the track possessions.  Relevant and adequate scaffold and sheeting used to reduce dust and noise. All local residents kept fully informed of the plans.  Brickwork and masonry repairs  extensive repairs together with pointing and grouting.  Pigeon Protection  This was sourced and erected to the underside of the structure to prevent  re-infestation.