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Engineers specialized in selection of protective coatings

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Nowadays the specialty of greatest demand worldwide within the field of Engineering of Prevention and Control of Corrosion of Materials in New Construction and Maintenance Projects is undoubtedly the Design, Selection, Homologation and Specification of Protective Coatings.

By Mr. Abel De la Cruz Perez*

This technology is the most important and difficult decision that the specifying engineer or corrosion expert will have to make in relation to the corrosion protection of the project under construction or maintenance.

In fact, it constitutes the first link in the technological process of surface treatment in order to ensure the integrity of assets during their life in service, optimizing the return on investment and the reliability of the commercial, industrial, military, service, etc. infrastructure of nations.

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The Technical Specification details the content and mandatory technical requirements of the work involved in the use and application of protective coatings, the typical selection of protective coatings, the quality of the materials to be used, the quality assurance management of the processes to be carried out, the homologation of products, among others.

The overall goal of coating specification is to ensure that the owner or buyer receives the finished product/service/job they want. This is achieved by providing a detailed definition of the work to be performed in a well-designed specification.

The management of this technology and the support of technical regulations has not been adequately disseminated for many years. Perhaps because it is unknown by those who exercise the tasks of technological dissemination, because of the lack of interest of public and private entities or institutions related to the teaching of corrosion protection and control methods or because it is simply not commercially attractive.

The specialists in Design, Selection, Approval and Specification of Protective Coatings must take as a basis the anticorrosive treatment of surfaces, both in new construction works and in maintenance plans throughout the useful life of the asset, the technological process described below.

Step 1 - Development of technical specifications for corrosion protection
It consists of the design and selection of the Coating System. Elaboration of the process procedures. Definition of quality standards or requirements and expectations of durability of the protection system. Description of the Management System for Quality, Health and Safety, Environment and Risks. Homologation requirements for trademarks, service providers, etc. Determination of approved trademarks that meet protection requirements, etc.

Step 2 – Investment estimation
Life cycle costing (CCV) of corrosion protection on the basis of keeping the surface of the assets protected for a base time or the entire life of the asset. It includes maintenance and repair costs over time, inspections and others, etc. Economic calculation and comparative evaluation of the different alternatives of corrosion protection systems, based on their durability.

Stage 3 – Procurement of paint and application services
Technical-Economic Evaluation (technology, costs, guarantees, technical support in failure analysis and quality management, customer service, quality, performance, experience, performance, etc.) of approved coating brands and approved service providers, etc. to choose the alternative of greater effectiveness and efficiency.

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Stage 4 – Production operations: surface preparation, coating application and quality control (QC)
Working procedures and technical standards to be followed. Homologation of Surface Preparers and Homologation of Applicators. Qualification of Facilities. Standardization of operations, Quality Control Inspection Plan (control factors, technical standards, admissibility, frequency, etc.). Risk plan and treatment of non-conformities, etc.

Stage 5 – Periodic inspection (monitoring) of the integrity condition of the protection system (coating)
Biannual or annual, depending on the results of the risk-based inspection, the severity of the medium, the expectation of durability of the applied system, the condition of the coating system to continue effectively protecting the assets. Determination of the type, form and time to perform Predictive Maintenance.

Step 6 – Maintenance of the corrosion protection system (coatings)
Elaboration of technical specifications for predictive maintenance, etc. Develop maintenance planning by prioritizing the critical state of assets against corrosion and plant budgets.

The Design and Selection of Coatings is based on the characteristics of resistance and performance of the paint system against the medium, hence the identification and characterization of the exposure environment is generally the main concern when selecting a Protection Coating System for industrial steel structures.

The specialist has several options available to take knowledge of the Coating Systems that meet the expectations of corrosion protection against the corrosive aggressiveness of the exposure environment, among them we have:

Based on generic strength and performance characteristics of coatings.
Based on information on performance or performance of coatings published by dissemination and technological research institutions.
Based on information on the physical characteristics, resistance, laboratory and field performance (historical cases of monitored works) of the paint systems of the "paint suppliers or manufacturers".

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Based on the use and application of ISO 12944- Part 5 standards; ISO 12944- Part 6 and ISO 12944- Part 9, only for corrosive macro environments categorized according to ISO 9223. (ISO 12944- Standards for the Protection of Steel Structures against Corrosion by Protective Paint Systems).

Based on the experience of the specialist who with technical criteria combines the information of the previous options.

Once the alternatives of the Paint Systems have been selected, their ease of application, governmental restrictions, effects on health, safety and the environment, the Life Cycle Costs of corrosion protection to keep the infrastructure protected a determined time commonly less than the design life of the project must be evaluated.

Therefore, it is important to spread the knowledge that, as of 2012, the corrosion prevention and control industry has a comprehensive training program in Spanish in the field of protective coatings.

This consists of four Specialization Modules, one of which is the so-called "Design, Selection, Approval and Specification of Protective Coatings" for new construction works and anticorrosive maintenance.

Its objective has been to ensure that professionals working in the management of asset corrosion master modern methodologies to design, select and homologate protective coating systems and write the technical specifications of projects.

Likewise, the program describes, applies and promotes the need to manage the International Technical Standards ASTM, ISO 12944, NACE, SSPC, etc. related to the control of corrosion with coatings.

The basis of the course is the new vision for the successful management of Corrosion Control Projects for the integrity of assets, which consists of transforming the concept of "Application of Paints" into a Technological Process of six (6) stages described above and oriented towards the optimization of productivity, quality, safety and environmental protection throughout the technological process.

Not only in the operations of cleaning and preparing the surface, applying the paint and carrying out the Painting Inspection, which are the three tasks of the "Application of Paints", as it is currently focusing on many projects in different parts of the world, especially in Latin America.

A fundamental element that is included in the training of specialists and vital in the success of the expected performance of a protection system is to learn the techniques of characterization of the corrosive aggressiveness of the medium, the construction of atmospheric corrosivity maps (ISO 9223), the management and costs of the life cycle of paints, Innovation techniques and risk management in surface treatment.

To this are added techniques to add value in projects aimed at optimizing the performance of coatings, extending the useful life of assets and increasing the return on investment. Likewise, the techniques for the laboratory and field evaluation of coatings to project their durability.

The management of knowledge in corrosion must also be aimed at demolishing erroneous beliefs and practices, only in this way will spaces be opened to expand the vision in the effective management of technologies and, consequently, give way to creativity and innovation by developing solutions that allow raising the value of specialists and promoting the modernization and true growth of the corrosion control industry in the countries of Latin America.

*Corrosion and Integrity Management Consultant
Instructor in Coatings Technology of the
Senior Manager of AMERICAN CONSULT
Phones + 51-1-3443174, Mobile- Whatsapp: +51- 996885664,
E-mail: [email protected]
[email protected]

Federico Duarte
Author: Federico Duarte
Editor en Latin Press, Inc.
Comunicador social y periodista con experiencia de más de 15 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por hacer de la vida una historia para contar. [email protected]

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