Effective Dust Suppression System for Frozen Ground

Treatment area at Qingdao Wuchuan McDermott site

Rainstorm on Site: McDermott Marine Engineering Co, Qingdao Wuchuan, China

Specific Site Challenges:

– Frozen dry ground producing fine fugitive dust
– Damage to the yard surface caused by movement of heavy, tracked vehicles

In December 2023, Rainstorm answered the call to tailor a dust suppression system for McDermott Marine Engineering Co at its Qingdao Wuchuan gas module construction facility in China.

Summers in the region are hot and wet, while winters are typically dry with often sub-zero temperatures and consequently, frozen ground. While you might typically think of dust being generated in hot dry conditions, freezing dry conditions can present the same degree of fugitive dust and pose the same kinds of health and safety risks.

Specifically in this case, the treatment area is a large-scale modular construction and assembly facility, plus raw material storage yard. It is built and operates on unsealed ground comprising sand and gravel. The site is located on the waterfront and dockside with a total area of approximately 200,000m2.

On a daily basis, the site is highly trafficked by construction workers on foot, a large range of 700-2000 ton track mobile tower cranes as well as various special track and tyre construction transportation vehicles. The movement of the tracked vehicles in particular, had been causing regular damage to the ground’s surface. During wet weather the surface was boggy, and during dry weather, was generating significant fugitive dust. The dust was in turn posing a serious threat to the health and safety of the company’s 4,000 on-site workers whenever conditions were dry and windy.

Prior to Rainstorm’s involvement, dust was being unsuccessfully managed using regular water applications which were lasting two hours at best – often just half an hour. It was ineffective and unsustainable and a long-term dust suppression solution was required.

Qingdao Wuchuan McDermott site before dust suppression system applied.
Qingdao Wuchuan McDermott site before dust suppression system applied.

Tailoring a Dust Suppression System for Extreme Conditions

After careful consideration of all the client’s concerns and relevant external factors, The Rainstorm team devised a tailored dust-suppressing surface treatment using DustMagTM and DustLigTM. It was a condition of the project that application not interrupt the day-to-day operations or movement of vehicles on site. The Rainstorm team tool-boxed the client’s key staff involved in the project, from the water cart operators through to supervisors, ensuring everyone was aware how the project was to roll out and the outcomes to be expected.

DustMagTM was applied to an area of approximately 10,000m2 and followed immediately by a coat of DustLigTM. This was done once a day for three days using the client’s own water cart, to build up product volume, ensure liberation of water from the frozen ground and to allow DustMagTM to be drawn into the running course. No pre-application preparation was required.

Immediate Results with Long-Lasting Effect

The dust control results were immediate and have continued through 120 days of both dry and wet conditions, with just one top-coat of product applied a month in. Visually, the ground changed from light and dry, to dark, holding moisture and bound. While tracked vehicles still disturb the ground’s surface, it now self-heals within a few days under usual tyre traffic.

Taking the project’s primary goals of suppressing dust and strengthening the surface to withstand heavy track-mounted vehicle movements, the long-term results have far exceeded expectations. The site’s ongoing dust management plan has been dramatically simplified so that it is only necessary now to periodically spray a small amount of DustMagTM dust suppressant, diluted with water, to maintain effective dust control.

McDermott’s are more than satisfied with the results and have earmarked June 2024 to apply product to newly exposed areas of the site.

Qingdao Wuchuan McDermott site days 3 and 93 after dust suppression system application.
Days 3 and 93 after dust suppression system application.

Dust Suppression Systems Designed to Succeed

Rainstorm can tailor a similar dust suppression system at any site no matter the climactic conditions. If you have a dust challenge that water is just not managing well, contact the expert team at Rainstorm Dust Control today and we’ll solve it for you.

Qingdao Wuchuan McDermott site 87 and 129 days after dust suppression system application.
87 and 129 days after dust suppression system application.