Please fill out all the fields marked with an asterisk * and then click on "Send form".
The article has been sent
Thank you for your recommendationClose window
Disused mines, idle furnaces, decommissioned gasometers: historical industrial plants are much more than just relicts from the past. Renovated and retrofitted for new tasks, they can be turned into sites that are fit for the future. XERVON is helping to bring about this conversion work, particularly by making the most of its surface technology expertise. The services required are similar to the company’s wide-ranging portfolio and yet in many ways very different – renovating industrial monuments has its own set of rules.
The Ruhr region is undergoing a structural change. Areas that used to be dominated by coal, coke and steel are gradually turning to services and tourism. And more often than not, it is the industrial sites from the past that have been providing the momentum for this transformation. They have been given a breath of new life and help make the region even more attractive – as museums, event locations, business start-ups and much, much more. Before this change of use can be brought about, however, they must first be renovated. A task for XERVON, as professional corrosion protection, specialty coatings and concrete repair work are all really important to shield monuments from the ravages of time.
Frank Dörnemann, Managing Director XERVON Oberflächentechnik GmbH
Practically all historical industrial buildings have constructions made of iron and steel. If these are to be protected long term, then the surfaces – many of which are beginning to look the worse for wear – have to undergo extensive preparation work. A balancing act as, unlike projects involving modern plants, people often want to see signs of ageing on these monuments. In other words, this means using today’s expertise on the surface of the building while ensuring it retains a certain historical appearance. Both finesse and know-how are needed, therefore, to carry out the jet blasting work and to choose the right blasting material. What’s more, experience in handling contaminated substances is imperative here because the old coats on the metal – which may be decades or even centuries old – are often considered hazardous according to today’s standards.
This is all true for the next stage of the work: the coating of the surfaces. On the one hand, the coat should provide the protection needed but, on the other, it shouldn’t look too new. XERVON’s surface technology specialists use both standard systems and bespoke solutions to bridge this gap. Indeed, their first step is to draw up a detailed coating concept so that the application of the coat meets the exact requirements – regarding both its function and the way it looks. Besides working on metal constructions, XERVON also carries out repair work on concrete structures. Damaged areas are removed and replaced and the outer walls of the buildings are carefully sealed. In many cases, the company is requested to deliver its whole range of services for a project – as is the case at the old colliery, Zeche Sophia-Jacoba, in Hückelhoven. Today this mine offers its visitors guided tours and XERVON is currently renovating the timber-framed machine building and the striking headgear above Shaft 3.
Besides having to focus on the professional and technical aspects of these projects, the company must also take into account that such industrial monuments are also public spaces that attract many visitors. This is true for both the results at the end of the project and how the actual renovation work is carried out. The Zeche Zollverein, for example, (an old colliery in Essen) welcomes around 1.5 million guests a year. XERVON’s job here is to renovate a historical bridge conveyor – a task that will take several months to complete. To be able to do this, they are gradually erecting an enclosed, fully dustproof scaffold structure around the bridge conveyor, section for section – to keep the visitors safe as well as to keep as much of the plant open as possible. More than 3,500 structures are listed as protected industrial monuments in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone. A wide range of buildings and an industrial heritage that are perfect for uniting the past, present and future.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Zeche Zollverein in Essen: previously one of the most productive coalmines in the world, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, XERVON is in the process of applying a modern coating system to a bunker (used in the past to store backfill material) and a 100m-long historical bridge conveyor.
XERVON is renovating the machine building at Zeche Sophia-Jacoba, an old colliery in Hückelhoven, that now offers guided tours. Moreover, it is also using wet and dry blasting technology and applying three layers of coating to the 48m-high headgear and its rope sheaves to make them fit for the future.
The steel giant
XERVON can also be found at the sites that used to process ‘black gold’. Its job here: to jet blast, repair and recoat the platforms around the outside of this 77m-high gasometer in Dortmund – one of the stops along the Route of Industrial Heritage.
A European masterpiece
Renovation work began on the gasometer in Oberhausen in the autumn of 2019. This site is a monument of international importance and has already housed many spectacular exhibitions. XERVON is recoating the stairs that run up around the outside of the gas tank. Right next door, in fact – in the company’s jet blasting building in Duisburg.