Once a year, XERVON’s surface technology experts travel to the German town of Bottrop-Kirchhellen to carry out one of their more unusual tasks: with all the rides at Movie Park Germany needing to be prepared for their annual TÜV inspection at the beginning of the winter season, the corrosion specialists are called in to service the rides’ steel supports and remove any corrosion that may have appeared over the previous twelve months.
“The environment is a bit more colourful than usual but the job we have to do is the same as anywhere else,” was the general opinion of the XERVON team responsible for the project at the Movie Park. Last year, the “Bermuda Triangle” water ride was at the top of the list of attractions needing to be serviced. Hardly a surprise really considering that the ride’s steel supports are permanently exposed to high humidity levels, making them more vulnerable to corrosion. A very careful eye is, therefore, kept on the steel beams and maintenance work is carried out as soon as any rust appears. This is essential work as they have to be able to support the weight of the tracks, the cars and the water. It doesn’t bear thinking about what might happen if a corroded steel beam failed: parts of the track that rise steeply through the inside of the volcano in the dark and surrounded by fog could then collapse.
As the name “splash” suggests, up to 800 guests an hour end up getting pretty wet when they travel through this part
The surface technology experts from XERVON Oberflächentechnik carried out extensive maintenance work on two areas of the ride: the sides of the track in the “splash” section and three horizontal steel girders in the “exit lift” section. As the name “splash” suggests, up to 800 guests an hour end up getting pretty wet when they travel through this part. The final highlight of this really fast ride is when the car shoots out of the volcano and ends up in a pool filled with water. The first thing that had to be done before work could begin was to completely empty this pool. As soon as the water had been removed, the XERVON specialists carried out blasting work on the surface of both sides of the 15-metre track to determine the exact extent of the damage caused by corrosion. After the operator had completed some welding work in close consultation with the TÜV inspection agency, XERVON then blasted the surface again to ensure it was not only clean but also had the right degree of roughness. This is vital as the anti-corrosion coating can only provide long-lasting protection if the surface has been prepared properly.
The guests expect the rides to be safe – this is always the case here thanks to XERVON
Each coating manufacturer stipulates how and under what conditions their material should be used. XERVON’s corrosion protection experts not only have this specialist knowledge but also the know-how to analyse the environmental conditions and so determine which coating system will deliver the best results. Here in Movie Park Germany, for example, they chose a special damp-resistant coating that was applied in several layers.
The same method was then carried out on the three steel girders in the “exit lift” section – although an additional step was needed here: the horizontal steel beams had been so badly damaged as a result of being permanently exposed to water, that the operatives had to first remove the corroded steel by hand using hammers and chisels before the blasting work could begin. This was no problem for them at all, though, as such projects are always prepared meticulously beforehand so that they can deal with all eventualities and complete the task in hand efficiently and according to schedule.