Working with project partners Scottish Power Renewables, OGN Group, TATA Steel, Alphatek
Hyperformance Coatings, Metallisation and Hodge Clemco, TWI demonstrated that the metal spray process could easily be incorporated into the supply chain, with production costs that compare favourably with those of organic coating systems.
Using established industry standards for applying and testing TSA coatings, the project team deposited coatings on hundreds of steel samples. They found that the application of arc-sprayed TSA is more tolerant of parameter variations in manual blasting and spraying than previously thought. In fact, the surface preparation requirements are more forgiving than those for organic systems. Coating adhesion and damage tolerance are better and unlike organic coatings, a thin <0.5 mm layer of TSA continues to protect the structure even if it is locally damaged.
TSA coatings could also mitigate production bottlenecks associated with painting, through the elimination of curing time. TSA can be economically applied to structural steel tubulars using an automated system, leaving the ends uncoated for welding. Welds can then be coated manually onsite.