Coating maintenance is like friction: a necessary evil. Regular maintenance of protective coating systems in an oil & gas facility help extend the life of the asset and ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible. It also minimizes the chance of failure or unplanned shutdowns. The downside is that coating maintenance can be expensive to carry out and can require shutting down parts of the process – both of which come at the cost of business productivity and efficiency.
Proper planning of maintenance and good selection of coatings can offset these downsides. You can find out more about our predictive maintenance tools that can help you plan coating maintenance on our website Reliability Assessment Services. In this post, we will cover the basics of how to select the right products for your maintenance requirements.
First, we must define what we want the coating to do: what are the operating conditions that the coating will be subjected to, and how long do we need it to last? Next, we need to assess the substrate that the coating will be applied to: type of substrate, level of surface preparation possible, and any contaminants that can’t be removed in the cleaning prior to application. Finally, we need to determine the constraints in applying the product: what application methods are possible, substrate and ambient temperature, timeframe for carrying out the application, cure time before the coating is immersed in water, etc.
Downstream oil & gas facilities are often located on the coast, and hence typically operate in an environment defined by high humidity and salt content. To provide long term corrosion protection in such conditions, a coating system must have excellent adhesion to the substrate as well as very low permeability. In-situ maintenance usually means that coating systems are applied on compromised substrates because of restrictions on the surface preparation. Hence, coatings used in these situations need to have surface tolerant properties that enable them to adhere to poorly prepared or contaminated surfaces. In carrying out maintenance on tidal areas, such as jetty piles, there is a very short window when the receding tide reveals the area to be maintained. Hence, coatings used to repair these assets must be capable of being applied on damp surfaces as well as handling seawater immersion shortly after they are applied. Given the costs associated with manpower, scaffolding and potential disruptions to the plant process, it is desirable that maintenance is carried out in as short a window as possible. Hence, high build coatings that can be applied in a single coat to provide the level of protection, and fast curing coatings are favored. Plants located in temperate or cold climates will require coatings that have cold cure capabilities.
In many such situations, Interzone 954 is the product of choice. The hydrocarbon modification of the epoxy resin used in Interzone 954 was a pioneering innovation in promoting dampness tolerance of coatings. Additives in the product also promote crosslinking, resulting in early water resistance properties that enable Interzone 954 to continue to cure even when immersed in water in as little as 30-60 minutes after application. These properties, in combination with its excellent permeation resistance, high build and surface tolerance capabilities, make Interzone 954 the ideal choice for a single coat maintenance coating. Interzone 954 provides long term durability in a variety of applications, from protection of structural steel exposed to corrosive atmospheres, to jetty piles and wharfs that are exposed to seawater immersion and mechanical abrasion.