Tees Cottage Pumping Station

Tees Cottage Pumping Station

The Client

From 1849 Tees Cottage Pumping Station revolutionised water supply in Darlington and Teesside by offering cleaner, piped water to inhabitants who had previously relied on wells and rainwater tubs. The engines at Tees Cottage pumped water from the River Tees, which was then filtered and supplied to the water company’s customers.

Tees Cottage is now maintained by volunteers and is open a visitor attraction over several Open Weekends through the year.  It has Lancashire Boilers dating from 1902, a 1904, steam powered, Beam Engine and a 1914 Gas Engine, all in operation and still pumping water from the River Tees (although no longer supplying the town’s water!).

The Challenge

Maintaining a piece of Victorian engineering carries many challenges. One of the main headaches is corrosion. Our cherished beam engine built in 1904 has many large rods, cranks and levers made of bright steel. During the winter months these parts suffer from rust necessitating many hours of polishing and cleaning when warmer weather returns.

For forty years we have tried to protect these parts with various oils, greases and wax polishes smeared over the surfaces. The former were messy and had to be removed prior to open days and re-applied afterwards, whilst the polishes were only partially effective.

The Solution

About two years ago we tried Steelgard on the beam engine’s handrails and control levers and were very pleased with the result. They remained rust-free over two winters and haven’t needed cleaning for open days, with a considerable saving of labour time.

The Ultimate Test

In the workshop the machinery was removed in order to fit a new floor. A large lathe (Nearly 4.5m long, weighing in at around 2.5 tons) was stored outside in the open air due to its size, protected only by a tarpaulin and Steelgard Export. After eighteen months we were delighted to find no rust when the tarpaulin was removed.

The Conclusion

Following the success of these trials we have made plans to apply Steelgard to all bright steelwork on the rest of the beam engine and also our unique 1914 gas engine. The product has made a significant and welcome contribution to ensuring the future of our treasured historic relics.

The Benefits 

Steelgard Export is extremely versatile.  Formulated primarily as a corrosion preventative with similar properties to the rest of the Steelgard range, it is thicker and more resilient, designed to protect from harsh conditions found on docksides and during deep water shipping.

  • Contact corrosion inhibitor – Steelgard protects everything it touches
  • Quick and easy to apply – brush, dip, swab, decant into spray bottles
  • Lubricates – leaves a thin, soft lubricating film
  • Powerful water displacer – can be applied directly onto wet parts after cleaning, de-greasing etc.
  • Penetrates
  • Economical – high coverage rate
  • Fast-drying
  • Protects all ferrous and non-ferrous metals and alloys

Alternative products are often thick, greasy and difficult to apply.  Traditional oils can attract dirt and dust, which doesn’t just look unpleasant, but can reduce performance.  Standard dewatering fluids and lubricants do not give the same level of corrosion prevention.

Quick, simple and cost-effective: Steelgard offers long term protection that is easy to apply and not only preserves the smooth operation but also enhances the appearance of vintage engines and machinery. 

At Vapor-Tek we take great pride in helping protect our nation’s heritage.  We supply our corrosion inhibiting products to many museums, collections of vintage vehicles and curated examples of industrial machinery, helping preserve these wonderful pieces of history to be enjoyed for many years to come.  Our products reduce the time and effort spent by staff and volunteers in keeping their exhibits polished and working smoothly and remove the need for regular replacement of parts.  Effective corrosion prevention quickly pays for itself!

About Vapor-Tek

Vapor-Tek produces a range of high-performance corrosion preventatives from its premises in Bolton.

Steelgard is a range of contact corrosion inhibitors.  With various formulations including touch-dry, a rust-preventative grease and ultra-thin film dewatering fluids manufactured to meet MoD and NATO standards.  Used by customers worldwide, including Rolls Royce and JCB, on diverse products from metal component parts to the nuclear submarine fleet.

Vaporol is an extremely effective Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) which protects the inside of things.  We also offer a water-based version, Aquavap, which has all the benefits of Vaporol in an aqueous formulation, which also acts as a contact corrosion inhibitor, and can be rinsed away if required.

Whatever your corrosion problem, we have a clean, simple and cost-effective product to prevent it.  For friendly advice, further information or to place an order call Vapor-Tek today on 01204 521795 or e-mail info@vapor-tek.co.uk


Posted on

February 4, 2021

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