COVERING

ALL THE ANGLES

Thanks to Its many years of service, L&L Coatings understands and services the tobacco industry by making warehouses more efficient

BY TOM SOSNOWSKI

For more than 25 years, L&L Coatings has provided much needed products to the tobacco industry. The latest innovation, the Fumigation Containment System, is believed to provide savings in the area of labor costs and to improve the performance of existing tobacco protection systems.

With the cigarette beetle being one of tobacco's most voracious enemies, making sure tobacco is treated properly to defeat this pest is paramount to a company's bottom line. For example, according to entomologist and toxicologist Dr. Herman J. Benezet, the average tobacco warehouse that stores 10,752 bales and is not properly fumigated has a potential financial loss of $1,780,000 in tobacco during a two-year storage period. That's the area of expertise at L&L Coatings.

"We've had so many years of experience working with the tobacco industry specifically sealing warehouses for containment that we've accumulated the knowledge to handle just about any project," said Terry Linville, president of L&L Coatings. "We've been in business for 26 years and prior to that my father worked for a coating company that regularly did business with Philip Morris and R. J. Reynolds. I was in junior high school at that time and one of the first projects I can remember working on was an R. J. Reynolds project."

L&L can basically provide anything a warehouse may need to become more efficient. Initially, a facility inspection takes place from the ground up. During this process, all areas that are not airtight are identified. Special attention is paid to transitional areas such as foundation to metal panel areas, metal panel to soffit, and metal panels to firewalls, skylights, and roof penetrations. Also, missing or damaged building components are noted, as well as deteriorated areas of the building.

"I guess you can say from years of trial and error, we are capable of servicing all the needs of the tobacco industry. I grew up with it and understand the industry's needs," added Linville. "Yes, we do manufacture the products used for fumigation containment, but we also offer engineering expertise to the companies."

Specifications then come into the equation. A detailed spec is generated based on all the data gathered during inspection. Nearly a quarter of a century of solving problems in sealing tobacco storage warehouses gives L&L the know-how to address typical recurring sealing problems. The company mantra is to find the most cost-effective solution for hard-to-seal surfaces unique to its customers' facility and to correct these areas and provide a gas-tight building.

Before any work takes place, a complete list of materials and cost is provided in writing. Finally, L&L provides a list of contractors who have the training and practical experience installing the L&L Permanent Sealing System for Fumigation Containment.

GLOSSARY OF KEY MATERIALS EMPLOYED BY L&L

Warning signs in the warehouse

L&L 300 Mastic - A high build, waterborne, elastomeric barrier coating. Its unique blend of premium acrylic resins and pigments combine to form a durable, mildew-resistant film with outstanding adhesion and flexibility. L&L 300 is a breathing mastic that allows damaging substrate moisture to escape while protecting against ultra-violet rays, water, and air-flow intrusion

L&L 163 Primer/Sealer - A multi-function, elastomeric, waterborne, acrylic primer/sealer. It is manufactured to provide optimum adhesion and flexibility. The substance penetrates and seals, leaving an adhesive "tacky" that promotes maximum bond with the substrate and subsequent coat. Seals, joints, seams, cracks, roof, and wall penetrations and skylight perimeters con be reinforced with L&L Polyester mat, Polyester mesh, or Dynel cloth.

L&L Tri-Clad Polyester Tape - A pressure-sensitive tape used to bridge seams in roofing insulation and construction materials. This material creates a watertight seal, eliminating damage due to roof leakage. L&L Tri-Clad Polyester Tape is a vapor barrier that makes it an excellent choice for permanent sealing projects in controlled-atmosphere environments such as those employed in fumigation containment, air-flow management, coolers, and freezers.

L&L Polyester Reinforcing Fabric - Made of stitchbonded polyester, this is considered one of the strongest and most versatile cold roofing polyester materials available for use in the reinforcement systems. Stitchbonding offers an unusual combination of high-strength properties with good elongation providing an excellent thermal stress force. The parallel fiber structure allows roof coatings to saturate quickly and totally. These properties ensure a true monolithic membrane that remains intact even under their shock conditions. This fabric, between layers of acrylic, creates a membrane of superior strength, low vapor permeability, and excellent heat reflectivity, all of which are critical in maintaining a trouble-free, economical roof system.

4 Storage of tobacco demands that fumigation be administered to reduce the loss and containment of tobacco due to cigarette beetles and other pests.

4 The fumigant, in order to be effective must maintain a certain concentration (PPM) over a determined period of time.

4 A typical tobacco storage warehouse is a metal building. Metal buildings are usually constructed by fastening 24-inch-wide metal panels to the structure's internal frame. Where each of these panels overlaps a seam is created. Over time and due to expansion and contraction, these seams tend to open, which breaks the temporary seal installed during construction.

4 The average-sized tobacco storage warehouse has approximately 36,500 feet of seams. If the air space between the panels were only 1/32 of an inch wide, the net effect is an efficient ventilation system whose total open surface area is 95 square feet - an opening large enough to drive a tractor-trailer through. Thus, the extremely flexible coating from L&L, when coupled with a bridging fabric covering the seams, creates an airtight seal.

 

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