The Voice of Experience: Hot Water Tank Repair

Henk Guther, known in the industry as "The Forefather of Tank Lining" has been relining storage tanks and instructing others in his techniques of applying protective coatings since the early 1960's. There is no doubt that Henk Guther's tank lining knowledge, innovation and training techniques have heavily influenced all of today's professional tank liners and manufactures across Canada including the largest manufacturer of hot water storage tanks, "Clemmer Steel Craft".

Henk Guther found his niche while working at Bigelow Liptak, a leading supplier of engineering, equipment and materials for high-temperature equipment in mineral processing, petrochemical, high rise commercial / residential, and many other industrial facilities. As General Manager, Henk discovered a multitude of corrosion problems concerning hot water storage tanks in both Industrial and residential applications. The first tank he lined in Ontario was a 2000-gallon domestic hot water storage tank located at a Niagara Falls Commercial Facility in 1964. Henk was asked how to repair the large vessel that was severely corroding on the interior due to lining failure. Henk began to search out internal coatings that would protect the structure and would also be safe for potable water applications. Researching the industry and speaking with tank manufacturers across North America, he found that almost all were using specialty cement based coatings, many of which were there own special blend. He was eventually introduced to Pocono Fabricators where he assisted in product marketing of a lining material called Prekrete, a calcium aluminate cement based material being manufactured largely for gunite applications. After a successful installation, he took the initiative to send out literature to buildings that may also be in need of this service throughout Ontario. Within several months Henk started a company called "CreteLine" and had began projects at Pulp and Paper Mills, Hospitals, Apartment Buildings and Universities to name a few. The word was getting out that these massive tanks could be relined for a fraction of the cast to replace with new.

By the late 1960's and early 1970's, CreteLine was completing several tank repairs and relinings a week and lined 1 – 2 new tanks weekly for Clemmer Industries, the largest DHW tank manufacturer in Canada. Although Henk eventually trained an on site liner for Clemmer, he continued to reline tanks and continued completing field applications for years to come.

After many years of in-field testing, alongside a variety application difficulties, Henk's continuing endeavor for the perfect tank coating lead him to the discovery of "Alkrete". "Alkrete" Aluminate Cement Lining was developed by the Arthur S. Leitch Company in 1962 specifically designed for potable hot and coldwater storage tanks. With assistance from North America's largest cement supplier "The Lafarge Group", Lafarge's most recognized engineer and source of technical information was enlisted to research and develop a potable lining material that would offer both, long-term protection for steel surfaces against corrosion and be suitable for hand application. End result was a high performance lining that could bond to steel surfaces at the necessary thickness offering corrosion protection and prevention of premature tank failure.

Henk Guther has now joined, the already thriving tank lining company, "Hydrastone Inc." as of the year 2000 and together they have established the CSA / NSF certified "Alkrete tank lining" as the #1 tank lining material used by all professional tank liners across North America for the application. Together, HydraStone Inc. has become the largest tank lining company in Canada today.

History of Mortars & Masonry
Founder's Edition: April, 2008