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Conventional organic coating systems are highly susceptible to mechanical damage in the splash and tidal zone of offshore structures. Maintenance of these coatings is prohibitively expensive (up to x10 original application costs) but is essential if the structure is to meet design life requirements. A recent project managed by TWI demonstrated the superior performance of thermal spray aluminium (TSA) coatings for splash and tidal zone locations. However, surface preparation and coating application remain labour intensive and the project aim is to provide partners with the knowhow required to set up a mechanised coating system for simple tubular structures such as monopiles and the sub-elements of a jacket structure.
The programme of work is relevant to tubular structures ranging from pipelines to jacket structures and monopiles. The final work plan will be completed during the first 3 months of the project but is it is proposed that parametric studies will determine the effects of surface preparation and TSA coating parameters on process productivity, efficiency and coating adhesion. Data generated will be used to develop cost analysis studies. Key data and conclusions will be used to produce a best practice guide covering implementation of mechanised surface preparation and TSA coating plus advice relating to health, safety and environmental issues and QA/QC during application.
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