News Article

MesoCoat's promising new pipe-cladding technology is igniting interest from gas and oil companies and business media.
Author: By Sarah Filus
Source: ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: MesoCoat Inc of Euclid, OH

The buzz is building. Forbes has called MesoCoat, a Northeast Ohio-based pipe coating and cladding company, one of the nation's most promising companies. The Wall Street Journal has named MesoCoat's cladding technology, CermaClad, the No. 1 new manufacturing technology in the world.

All that's left is for the technology to start producing revenue. That begins this spring, as MesoCoat's new 11,000-square-foot cladding facility in Euclid debuts using extremely high temperatures to clad pipes 40 times faster and 20 percent cheaper than its competitors, according to Anupam Ghildyal, the company's manager of strategy and finance.

MesoCoat uses the heat in a plasma arc lamp to melt corrosion-resistant protective metals and attach them to the inside of oil and gas pipes at temperatures of up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2010, the company bought the exclusive global commercial license for the arc lamp technology from the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"We call it a mini-sun because the heat generated by the lamp is equal to the heat generated by the spectrum of the sun," says Ghildyal.

Proprietary metal powders are pushed into the heat, melted within seconds and dispersed onto the pipes. MesoCoat's cladding technology, CermaClad, sprays the protective metals in about 12-inch swatches. It's a huge improvement over similar technologies, which disperse the metal in swatches that span several millimeters, and could save companies significant time and money.

Potential customers are mounting. Brazilian oil and gas company Petroleo Brasileiro SA invested in the product when it financed part of the Euclid facility's technology development. MesoCoat is working with the government of Alberta, Canada, to qualify the products and set up a facility there, which Ghildyal expects will be by late 2014.

MesoCoat's plans for international expansion in Brazil, Canada and Indonesia will allow it to take on larger projects, closer to the source of oil and gas. Pipes will be shipped from pipe manufacturers to MesoCoat, cladded and shipped to the project site.

"We are seeing single projects that each require more than a billion dollars of clad pipe," Ghildyal says. "Corrosion is a huge problem, especially in the oil and gas industry." Much of the oil and gas available today is crude and highly corrosive when extracted, he says.
MesoCoat has tested CermaClad on 6-foot sections of pipe, but when the Euclid facility opens, the technology will be tested on 40-foot pipes.

Andrew Sherman founded MesoCoat as a spinoff of Euclid-based Powdermet, his nanotechnology research and development company. Sherman developed the idea for CermaClad after working on a project for the U.S. Navy to find a faster way than traditional cladding to coat ship decks. MesoCoat commercialized the materials for use in the oil and gas piping industry. JumpStart gave $350,000 to launch the idea in May 2008. MesoCoat has also received funding directly from state and federal agencies.

The 32-person company (which already has a metal coating arm that uses technologies available since 2011) plans to employ 60 by the end of the year. Most of the employees will be in the Euclid plant. If all goes according to plan, the company should be selling the CermaClad service later this year.

While cladding pipes is the main focus, Ghildyal sees uses for the CermaClad technology in shipping, building infrastructure, roads, and transportation and aerospace.

"We are limited in terms of resources," he says. "But anywhere metals are used, there is an application."