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IMPCOAT - a new project to extend the life of coatings

Connect, Issue 166, May/June 2010


TWI has been very active in developing thermally sprayed aluminium (TSA) coating applications since 2000 through work which includes three Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) on its use for the protection of welded components and structures in offshore locations.

A widespread need has recently been identified for improved coating formulations to mitigate splash and tidal zone corrosion and to extend structural design life. As a result, a new JIP has recently begun which will provide support both to the oil and gas sector and the wider offshore community.

Current coating systems are vulnerable to mechanical and environmental damage and commonly fail well within structural design life. More than 25 years of oil sector experience indicates TSA coatings provide long-term protection. Improved coating formulations based on TSA, modified TSA compositions, novel sealants and leading organic coatings systems will be evaluated.

Quantitative coating corrosion measurement techniques will be used and a ruggedised coating performance monitoring unit will be trialled at an offshore site. It is expected that the data generated will provide confidence that coatings can achieve the desired 40 year life. A successful outcome will bring several benefits to the industrial partners through:

  • Reduced on-site coating repair and maintenance costs and lower life cycle costs
  • Extended corrosion design life with extended maintenance intervals
  • Reduced structural mass and lower material costs
  • Reduced coating costs during fabrication
  • Increased foundation production rates
  • Lower electricity unit prices

The project is being funded not only by TWI Members, but also through the Northern Wind Innovation Programme (NWIP). NWIP partners comprise International Paint, Monitor Coatings, McNulty Offshore Construction, Vattenfall Wind Power and the University of Manchester. This approach utilises expertise throughout the supply chain ranging from R&D, product development and fabrication to asset operation.

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