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Messer - Geschäftsbericht 2008

Special: 44 years economic history
Bei einer Bombenentschärfung sorgte das Erdreichgefrieren mit flüssigem Stickstoff für stabile Bodenverhältnisse.
Soil freezing with liquid nitrogen ensured stable ground conditions for a bomb disposal operation.

Bei der Produktion von Steinwolle-Produkten spielt Sauerstoff eine wichtige Rolle.  Foto: Knauf
Oxygen plays an important role in the production of mineral wool products. Photo: Knauf


Construction Sector

Gases from Messer are often found on building sites, alongside the usual materials such as steel, concrete, plastic and wood. The gases ensure that concrete is at the correct temperature, make the ground safe for civil engineering works or are even used in the manufacture of building materials. In short: you can build on Messer’s expertise.


Germany: chilling helps with bomb disposal

At the beginning of 2008, Messer’s soil freezing technology was instrumental in recovering a World War II bomb unearthed in Marl in North Rhine-Westphalia. In December 2007, construction workers carrying out ground surveys on the site of Evonik AG in the Marl chemicals complex unearthed a 500 kg aerial bomb from the Second World War. The cluster bomb had to be recovered, but since it was lying underneath the foundations of a chemical production facility, it was not possible to use conventional methods for the excavation: while it was possible to stabilise one side of the excavation with conventional measures such as sheet piling, securing the foundation side proved more difficult. This was a job for Messer and its soil freezing technology. This involves using lances to inject liquid nitrogen into the ground that is to be frozen. The liquid nitrogen withdraws energy from the soil as well as from the water contained in it, thus causing the formation of a frozen mass. In this case, the frozen mass formed a stable wall which also supported the load of the foundations, allowing experts to dig down to the bomb at an angle. The bomb was then successfully removed by the bomb disposal team.

France: really cool cement processing

Messer has won its first cement cooling contract in France. The company will supply a cement cooling system – specially designed for the customer EDF-Ciden (Creys Malville) – for installation at a nuclear power station. The annual requirement of liquid nitrogen is expected to be in the region of 500,000 cubic metres. The cement cooling systems developed by Messer can be operated with liquid nitrogen or liquid CO2 and utilise the enthalpy of vaporisation as well as the cooling energy of the coolants. Messer now has 21 cement cooling systems in use across Europe.

Serbia: Using oxygen to melt stone

A global family enterprise operating in the construction sector, the German Knauf Group has become a byword in the field of dry construction and insulation. During the modernisation of the Serbian mineral wool production facility, a new cupola was constructed to serve as a melting furnace. Mineral wool is made from stone melted at a temperature of approximately 1500°C. To obtain these temperatures, the furnace is blasted with oxygen-enriched air. Messer’s Serbian branch serves as Knauf’s reliable partner in all matters relating to technical gases.



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