*** This article was published by Business Focus Magazine on August 9th 2021. Find a link to the original article here. ***
RAINSTORM DUST CONTROL – DUST SUPPRESSION SPECIALIST
Australia-based Rainstorm Dust Control provides a one-stop source of first-class dust suppressants and soil stabilisers to match clients’ specific conditions.
Established in Canada in 1983 by Greg Kerr, the company’s Managing Director and his partner, Tim Keenan, the company expanded the business to Australia in the early 1990s to develop high-performance dust control systems targeting four areas: roads, open areas, materials handling and site rehabilitation.
With a track record of three decades, Rainstorm builds speciality application equipment and products which optimise safety and dust environmental standards for clients from the mining sector, civil contractors and local governments.
“Rainstorm’s professional service approach has allowed both customer satisfaction and our reputation to flourish. We are the number one dust suppressant company, with our DustMag product being the leading road dust suppressant in Australia,” says Greg Kerr.
Rainstorm’s key market remains Australia, although the company has ventured into export markets also and currently operates a small office in China, where progress is steady and offers significant opportunities for massive growth.
The whole package
The company’s flagship product is Dustmag™, a hygroscopic liquid solution applied to unsealed road surfaces. It is an extremely durable dust control treatment and a very effective stabilisation and compaction agent. Dustmag™ has been applied to over 10 million square metres of road in the Pilbara and across western and southern Australia over the past two decades.
Dustmag™ consistently delivers a 90-95% reduction in dust levels on roads and requires no watering for up to 100 days after application (an important environmental and sustainability consideration) which is proving extremely effective for remote area roads. It improves free-rolling resistance, fuel efficiency and gear life for tyres, filters, and engines by reducing dust and maintaining optimum surface conditions. The solution is easy to use and environmentally benign. “Water on dust control is water lost,” says Mr Kerr.
He emphasises that the company does not just sell a product. “Before application of our road dust suppressant onto mine haul roads, we work with the customer to determine their existing cost per square metre to lay the dust with existing technology such as water carts. We can then calculate the break-even number of days Dustmag™ needs to lay the dust and can usually guarantee substantial cost savings to the client. If there ever is some sort of problem, even due to inclement weather, we re-treat the affected area at cost or for free.”
“We work hand-in-hand with our customers throughout the entire dust suppression programme, monitoring the physical results after completion of the job. We then tally the results with the customer’s own monitoring programme.”
Effective and environmentally-friendly
Although Dustmag™ is Rainstorm’s biggest single product, the company has developed other solutions as well over the years, focused on the dust control, soil stabilisation and rehabilitation industries.
These include automated rail car veneering and ore conditioning products, along with dry fogging systems for crushers and ship-loaders. With the development of its own in-house engineering and construction capabilities, Rainstorm is now creating site-specific application units, including full automation and installation along with the attendant contractor services.
Mr Kerr points out that the company intends to increase its focus on large open-area dust control, handling a wide range of projects and site conditions with varying climatic conditions, which are exposed to wind and water erosion. “With the opening of a sales office in Queensland, we can now proffer our services to the Queensland and northern New South Wales market.”
Solutions developed for these specific environments include Hydromulch – an extremely effective and economical method of binding sand and soil surfaces to prevent erosion and dust emissions, at the same time providing an ideal environment for seed germination and growth; as well as Gluon™, a versatile water-bound polymer emulsion.
Applied as a surface veneer or soil stabiliser, the Gluon™ polymer bonds upon hydration creating a surface mesh and binding the soil/ore. Rainstorm is the inventor and proprietor of Gluon™, a co-polymer emulsion designed for heavier-duty and longer-lasting stabilisation against wind erosion. Gluon™ can be used as a stand-alone product or as an additive to the papier-mâché type Hydromulch.
The advantages of the product are widely recognised – Rainstorm received an Earth Award for Outstanding Product Performance from the Civil Construction Federation of Australia for a project in the Pilbara in Gluon™ was applied to sand dunes using helicopter applications as truck access was limited.
The right solution
“We offer a comprehensive range of rehabilitation services and can help with soil conditioning to prepare the area for hydroseeding within mine site rehabilitation projects,” says Mr Kerr, explaining that the hydroseed blend is added to either a Gluon™ or Hydromulch mix. The seed mix and selection of additives can be site-specific, based on the client’s geographical location in Australia. Rainstorm encourages native seed rehabilitation where possible.
Recent additions to the Rainstorm portfolio include another innovative product – Dustex™, a unique, bio-based road binder developed specifically for road stabilisation and dust control applications. Dustex™ can be applied as a spray-on/surface application or as a mix-in treatment. The product is compostable and biologically friendly while reducing road-water usage by up to 90%.
Speaking about the coming months, Mr Kerr affirms that the company is in growth mode. “We are expanding in a big way on the east coast, pushing for steep business growth. We have hired an east coast business development manager to focus on the mines, with a view to expanding the business with Dustmag™ and Dustex™ and exploring the opportunities in handling dust control in large open areas. Wind and sands, that is the environment we specialise in.”
He further revealed that the company is expecting to increase business by 30% over the next few months, a steep growth resulting from, amongst other things, a focused customer approach. “We strive to find the appropriate product for the client’s specific problem, i.e., the right chemistry for the solution. Then we oversee its successful application. That is what differentiates us from competitors and that is what our customers appreciate.”