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a four page issue GENERIC TYPES The most commonly encountered prefabrication primers are:


January 2010 revision of September 2005

– Reinforced polyvinyl butyral (PVB) prefabrication primers.* These have satisfactory application, welding and handling properties, but have a lower anticorrosive performance, especially as part of a system for immersed areas in conjunction with cathodic protection. – Zinc epoxy prefabrication primers. These have good anticorrosive properties and acceptable cutting and welding properties. – Red oxide epoxy prefabrication primers. These have good weatherability, reasonable cutting and welding properties, but show a moderate thermal stability and poor resistance to seawater exposure with cathodic protection. – Zinc silicate prefabrication primers. (SigmaWeld 165) These have excellent heat resistance and weatherability and acceptable cutting and welding properties. – Reduced zinc silicate prefabrication primers. (SigmaWeld 199) These have excellent cutting and welding properties, especially in MIG/MAG welding techniques, excellent heat resistance and good weatherability. WELDING The welding techniques generally used, are: Manual Metal Arc welding (MMA) Gravity welding Submerged Arc welding (SAW) Metal Inert Gas / Metal Active Gas welding (MIG/MAG) It is known that automatic welding confers considerable economic advantages to construction yards and the MIG/MAG technique in particular has become economically attractive because it can also be used on thin plate without too much distortion. These welding techniques are characterized by the following properties. MMA Welding position Automatisation Deposition rate Heat distortion Cost indication

Gravity Welding horizontal yes high high medium

SAW horizontal common high high low

MIG/MAG all yes medium low medium

all minor low medium high

The chromium content of these primers may be detrimental to the health of operatives and Sigma Coatings has therefore discontinued the use of these products.

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like SigmaWeld 199 and SigmaWeld 165. Because of its inorganic nature. in this respect. This high level of thermal stability has several practical advantages – – – – cutting and welding damage is minimized fumes created by hot work procedures will be reduced the amount of weld spatter will be reduced weld spatter will not adhere to the primed steel By comparison organic prefabrication primers can only resist temperatures up to 500°C for short periods. Generic type Prefabrication primer Red oxide epoxy Epoxy-zinc Zinc silicate SigmaWeld 165 reduced zinc silicate SigmaWeld 199 MMA/gravity all positions + + + + MIG/MAG 1G ± (P) ± (P) + + 2F – P – P ± (S. P + SAW 1G – (P) + + + 2F P – P ± (P) + 1G = Butt welding 2F = Horizontal (automatic) welding of T-joint 3F = Vertical downward welding of T-joints P S + ± – = = = = = Porosity Spatter Excellent Possible defects. During cutting and welding. silicate primers. page 2/4 . During welding. the behavior of silicate primers is. especially in case of MIG/MAG welding. can withstand temperatures up to 1000°C for short periods. the type of primer will influence spatter formation. between brackets the type of defect Defects THERMAL STABILITY The thermal stability of a prefabrication primer depends on its composition. excellent.MARINE PREFABRICATION PRIMERS SYSTEM 3015 January 2010 The ‘weldability’ of a prefabrication primer is generally described by the tendency of the primer to produce little or no porosity in a weld. P) + 3F ± P – P – S.

film thickness applied. prefabrication primed sections have to undergo some degree of secondary surface preparation prior to system application.MARINE PREFABRICATION PRIMERS SYSTEM 3015 January 2010 HEALTH AND SAFETY Fumes are inevitably generated during welding and cutting due to combustion of primer material. weldseam areas and contaminated. Primers with a high zinc content can therefore be applied at lower dry film thicknesses. dust and debris. A total lack of surface preparation. SECONDARY SURFACE PREPARATION In order to ensure satisfactory adhesion of the subsequently applied system. Fume extracting equipment should be used in case primed steel has to be welded or cut in confined spaces. corroded or damaged areas. type of environment to which the plates and/or sections are stored and degree of damage to which they are subjected during this period. WEATHERABILITY The weatherability of a primer is a function of the quality of surface preparation. this involves removal of dirt. All Sigma Coatings’ prefabrication primers are checked by the North of England Industrial Health Service and fulfill Occupational Exposure Limits requirements (see information sheet ‘Health certificates for prefabrication primers’ 1881). weldseams. an insufficient degree thereof or an inappropriate service situation can all lead to rather serious consequences for the coating system on heat affected zones. The degree and type of secondary surface preparation required before application of the full coating system depends on: the resistance to exterior exposure of the prefabrication primer the service conditions of the subsequently applied system the prevailing shop regulations At the very least. Zinc salts should be removed by sweepblasting or by abrading mechanically using silicon carbide impregnated abrasive pads (SCAP). weldseam areas and corroded or burned areas will require thorough blast cleaning or mechanical cleaning. In general zinc dust primers will perform better during atmospheric exposure than primers formulated with a minimum amount of zinc or containing no zinc at all. page 3/4 . The amount and composition of such fumes depends on the raw materials from which the prefabrication primer has been made. Generally. burn damage or excessively weathered plate. but other problems will be associated with handling damage.

The formation of zinc salts can be avoided by overcoating the prefabrication primer before the structure leaves the shop.The information in this data sheet is based upon laboratory tests we believe to be accurate and is intended for guidance only. PPG Protective & Marine Coatings does therefore not accept any liability arising from loss. The products and information are designed for users having the requisite knowledge and industrial skills and it is the end-user's responsibility to determine the suitability of the product for its intended use. – Epoxy prefabrication primers in sound condition may be used in coating systems which are resistant to seawater exposure without cathodic protection. however. will lead to the avoidance of extensive surface preparation before overcoating. injury or damage resulting from such use or the contents of this data sheet (unless there are written agreements stating otherwise). are based on data which to the best of our knowledge are reliable. The data contained herein are liable to modification as a result of practical experience and continuous product development. or in response to a specific enquiry. All recommendations or suggestions relating to the use of the Sigma Coatings products made by PPG Protective & Marine Coatings. whether in technical documentation. these kinds of prefabrication primers are often heavily damaged by heat or mechanical influences. depending on exposure conditions and time. a prefabrication primer is often also the first coat of anticorrosive paint systems.MARINE PREFABRICATION PRIMERS SYSTEM 3015 January 2010 RECOATABILITY Beside the function to protect shot blast cleaned steel during storage and construction. This means that extra attention should be paid to the pretreatment of these damaged areas when the steel structure has to be exposed to immersion in (sea) water. In practice. Proper organization of all shop activities. – The presence of a prefabrication primer in tankcoating systems is generally not accepted because the chemical resistance of the tankcoating system will be diminished. a second surface preparation should take place especially after long weathering periods. taking into consideration all specific properties of the prefabrication primer involved. If this is not possible. REFERENCES SigmaWeld 165 SigmaWeld 199 see product data sheet 7171 see product data sheet 7177 Limitation of Liability . – Zinc containing prefabrication primers may show the formation of zinc salts during weathering. page 4/4 . This data sheet replaces and annuls all previous issues and it is therefore the user’s responsibility to ensure that this sheet is current prior to using the product. or otherwise. PPG Protective & Marine Coatings has no control over either the quality or condition of the substrate. or the many factors affecting the use and application of the product. Experience shows that blast cleaning to ISO-Sa2½ is the most effective pretreatment method for these areas and exposure conditions.