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Guide to Optimum Marine Coating Application

Part 1 Environmental Conditions Testing and Monitoring


by Alexandros Michelis
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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


General Environmental conditions are crucial to all stages of coating process (surface preparation, coating application and curing). Optimal environmental conditions: o Key to high quality surface preparation. o Key to high quality coating application. o Maximize service life and in service performance of the coating. Ensuring optimal environmental conditions should be continuous throughout the whole coating process.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


General The majority of shipyards and marine construction / repair facilities carry out most or all construction / repair work outdoors. Only few have the means to perform surface preparation and coating application under cover and under controlled environmental conditions. Optimal environmental conditions for the application of a coating may differ from product to product and relevant information is provided by the manufacturer. Special products exist for application in extreme / severe environmental conditions.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


General Proper inspection of the coating process should include testing / monitoring of the environmental conditions. Testing / Monitoring of environmental conditions is part of the job of the coating inspector. Environmental conditions should be addressed by the job specification.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Environmental Conditions Affecting Coating Application Substrate temperature Ambient conditions: o Air temperature o Relative humidity o Dew point o Wind Contaminants (soluble salts, dust, debris, exhaust fumes, oil, grease, flame burns, etc)

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Substrate Temperature Substrate: surface to be coated (metal, wood, composite material, etc) Need to follow coating manufacturers recommendations concerning upper and lower limits of substrate temperature during coating application. Relative information should be obtained from coating technical data sheet or directly from the manufacturer.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Substrate Temperature Substrate temperature too low substrate temperature dew point condensation of moisture flash rusting of blasted steel poor performance of applied coating / coating failure. Substrate temperature too high rapid solvent evaporation film formation failures and poor wetting of surface (poor coating flow).

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Substrate Temperature Instruments used to measure substrate temperature are: Magnetic surface-contact thermometer. Analogue function. Cheapest and most common type of gauge. Direct measuring. Need time to stabilize. Direct-reading thermocouple / thermistor. Digital instrument. Direct measuring. Fast reading. Infrared thermometer (laser thermometer). Digital instrument. No need for contact. Fast reading.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Substrate Temperature Remarks: Measurements should be made at the actual surface to be coated, and not to adjacent structures. The number of measurements should provide sufficient temperature mapping of the substrate. Need to pay special attention to hotter or colder areas of the structure, such as areas exposed to direct sunlight.

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Air Temperature Affects directly the coating process. Increased air temperature causes acceleration of solvent evaporation and drying of the coating, which can result in failures such as poor wetting or film formation defects (mud cracking, alligatoring). Too low air temperature can cause inability of the coating to dry / cure after application. Coating manufacturers recommendations concerning upper and lower limits of air temperature during coating application and curing must be followed. Relevant information should be obtained from coating technical data sheet or directly from the manufacturer.
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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Air Temperature Job specifications may also provide limits of air temperature. For example, NATO AEP-611 defines application temperature to be no less than 5C, and no greater than 35C.

NATO PUBLICATION AEP-61, EDITION 2, PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERWATER HULL PAINT SYSTEMS, FEBRUARY 2009.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Relative Humidity Relative Humidity (RH): measurement of the amount of moisture in the air compared to saturation level (0100%). Coating specifications / manufacturers provide upper and lower limits of RH during coating application, depending on the coating type and the environment in which it is applied. General rule for most coatings when coating outdoors: maximum RH = 80-85%. According to NATO AEP-591, maximum RH when coating tanks, voids and vent plenums should be 50%.

NATO PUBLICATION AEP-59, EDITION 1, APPLICATION PROCESS FOR OPTIMUM PAINT AND COATING SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE, SEPTEMBER 2006

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Relative Humidity Too high RH blocks solvent evaporation and affects curing. Furthermore, solvent vapors can be entrapped and cause formation of blisters. Coatings exposed to high RH after application often display coating defects such as blushing (amine sweating). Waterborne coatings, which use water as solvent, are more likely to be affected by high RH.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Dew Point Dew Point (DP): temperature below which water vapor in air condenses into liquid water, leaving dew on a solid surface. Dew will cause rapid rusting of freshly blasted steel (flash rust). Moisture trapped between two coating films can cause failure (delamination, peeling) due to loss of adhesion. High RH indicates that DP is also high and close to the current air temperature.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Dew Point Newly blasted surfaces should receive the first protective coat (primer, self-primed epoxy, etc) as soon as possible, and before nightfall, especially if surface preparation is performed outdoors. General rule: blast cleaning and coating application should not take place unless surface temperature is at least 3C (5F) higher than the dew point.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


DP & RH Measurement Instruments used to measure dew point / relative humidity are analogue or digital psychrometers / hygrometers. Operating principle: measurement of the air temperature (dry-bulb temperature) and of the so-called wet-bulb temperature. This information is used to calculate dew point and RH.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


DP & RH Measurement Analogue (Sling) Psychrometer Instrument enclosing two identical thermometers. The bulb of one of the thermometers is covered with a sock / wick. This bulb is called wet bulb, because it is wet / saturated in water prior to the measuring process. The second bulb is called dry bulb.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Operation of Sling Psychrometer Steps (1): Saturate the sock / wick of the wet bulb with distilled water. Spin the instrument fast for about 40 seconds, and then read the wet-bulb temperature. Spinning causes the evaporation of moisture on the wet-bulb, thus having a cooling effect.

(source: ABS)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Operation of Sling Psychrometer Steps (2): Repeat the spinning process without additional wetting until the temperature reading of the wet-bulb is stable. Record the wet-bulb temperature. Record the dry-bulb temperature. Calculate the wet-bulb depression (difference between dry and wet-bulb temperature).

(source: ABS)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Determination of DP & RH by Psychometric Tables Use of psychrometric table: Enter the table with the dry-bulb temperature (vertical axis) and the wet-bulb temperature / depression (horizontal axis), and read the intersection of the their values. The reading corresponds to the relevant value of dew point (or relative humidity, depending on the table).

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Determination of DP & RH by Psychometric Tables Remark: DP and RH vary with atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure is not constant, but changes with altitude and weather. Series of psychrometric tables are provided for different values of atmospheric pressure. Typically, one should first measure the atmospheric pressure by using a barometer, and then refer to the respective psychrometric table. The table referring to an atmospheric pressure equivalent to the average sea-level pressure (101.325 kPa or 1013.25 mbar or 29.92 inches of mercury (inHg) or 760 millimeters of mercury (mmHg)) may be used with small error. Psychrometric charts and calculators use the same principle with the psychrometric tables.
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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Determination of DP & RH by Psychometric Charts

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Determination of DP & RH by Psychometric Calculators

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Control of RH By using heat to increase temperature. By dehumidification (by circulating air through a refrigeration unit or desiccants).

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Wind Wind effects must be taken into consideration during all stages of coating application. Wind can have an unfavorable and even detrimental effect by carrying contaminants (dust, debris, abrasives, salts, etc) on the substrate before / during / after surface preparation and coating application. These surface contaminants may cause cosmetic problems, but most importantly, may become inclusions and cause coating defects / failure. Wind can cause dry spray during application (coating defect). It appears like sand / dust on the coating surface.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Wind Can accelerate solvent evaporation during curing, causing film formation defects and poor wetting of surface. Can cause overspray during coating application (loss of coating, cosmetic problems, collateral damage).

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Contaminants Soluble Salts The significance of contamination by soluble salts and their impact on marine structures has been recognized by the marine industry for long time. The most common salts in marine industry are chloride compounds (sodium chloride) due to the proximity to seawater (direct contact, spray carried by the wind, etc). It has been reported that a small increase in the chloride salt content (+1g/cm2) can lead to a 200% decrease in the lifetime of an epoxy resin coating1. Other salts are sulfurous compounds (generated in industrial environments) and nitrogenous compounds (generated in urban environments).
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1 A.W.

MOMBER AND W.D. GREVERATH, SURFACE PREPARATION STANDARDS FOR STEEL SUBSTRATES - A CRITICAL REVIEW, JPCL, THE JOURNAL OF PROTECTIVE COATINGS & LININGS, FEBRUARY 2004

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Contaminants Soluble Salts Soluble salts form deposits on the substrate, which can cause coating failure: o By inducing corrosion under the coating film. Their chemical reaction with the substrate creates new compounds, which are electrochemically bound to the surface and form active corrosion cells. o By promoting osmotic blistering, which is one of the most common coating defects in marine environment. o By causing loss of adhesion (delamination, peeling). Soluble salts boost corrosion (galvanic, pitting, crevice, etc) by increasing the efficiency of the electrolyte (humid air, dew, water) and the ion concentration.
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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Contaminants Soluble Salts Osmotic blistering: Formation of a hemispherical projection (blister) by drawing water through the coating, from an area of low ionic concentration to an area of high ionic concentration.

Schematic osmotic blister formation (source: ABS1)


1 ABS,GUIDANCE

NOTES ON THE INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE AND APPLICATION OF MARINE COATING SYSTEMS, 3RD EDITION, 2007

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Proper inspection during the coating process should include testing for soluble salts. Usually, testing for soluble salts takes place after the stage of surface preparation and prior to coating application. Optimally, testing for soluble salts should be performed before the stage of surface preparation. Abrasive blasting or power tool cleaning might not remove soluble salts effectively or even cause pinning / spreading of the salt compounds on the substrate. If soluble salts are detected on the substrate, corrective measures may be required, depending on the acceptable level of contamination by the applied standard / specification. 30

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Two methods: Chloride testing o Measures chloride ions concentration. o Units: Surface concentration: g/cm2, mg/m2 Volumetric concentration: g/cm3 (ppm) o Sulfates and nitrates concentrations can also be measured. Conductivity testing o Measures conductivity of a sample (ability to conduct electricity). o Measures more than just chlorides (total ionic content). o Units: S/cm (microsiemens/cm) 31

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts According to NAVSEA Standard Item 009-321: One surface conductivity or chloride reading for every 200 ft2 for the first 1,000 ft2. One determination for every additional 500 ft2 or less. Limits:
Application Immersed Non-immersed Maximum allowable chloride measurement 3 g/cm2 (30 mg/m2) 5 g/cm2 (50 mg/m2) Maximum allowable conductivity measurement 30 S/cm 70 S/cm

1 NAVSEA

STANDARD ITEM 009-32 FY 13, 31 JANUARY 2011.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts According to NATO AEP-591, for immersed applications, concentration due to soluble salts (total ionic) shall not exceed 5g/cm2. For non-immersed applications, concentration due to soluble salts (total ionic) shall not exceed 10g/cm2. According to IMO PSPC2, the water soluble salt limit (equivalent to NaCl) of dedicated seawater ballast tanks is 50mg/m2 (5g/cm2) of sodium chloride.

1 NATO

PUBLICATION AEP-59 EDITION 1, APPLICATION PROCESS FOR OPTIMUM PAINT AND COATING SYSTEMS PERFORMANCE, SEPTEMBER 2006 2 IMO RESOLUTION MSC.215(82), PERFORMANCE STANDARD FOR PROTECTIVE COATINGS FRO DEDICATED SEAWATER BALLAST TANKS IN ALL TYPES OF SHIPS AND DOUBLE-SIDE SKIN SPACES OF BULK CARRIERS, ADOPTED ON 8 DECEMBER 2006

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Sample Collection Washing / Swabbing of substrate: o Most common method. o Applicable standard: ISO 8502-1:2001, Preparation of steel substrates before application of paints and related products. Tests for the assessment of surface cleanliness. Field test for soluble iron corrosion products. Rubber sample holders (proprietary products): o Bresle patch (uses distilled water) o Chlor Test (uses proprietary test solution)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Testing Liquid Samples Indicator papers Kitagawa tubes Lab tests Conductivity measurement

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Bresle Method Most common and widely accepted method to extract soluble salts from steel substrates. Applicable standard: ISO 8502-6:20061. Method approved / implemented by the US NAVY. Also approved by the Greek Navy.

ISO 8502-6:2006, PREPARATION OF STEEL SUBSTRATES BEFORE APPLICATION OF PAINTS AND RELATED PRODUCTS -- TESTS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF SURFACE CLEANLINESS -- PART 6: EXTRACTION OF SOLUBLE CONTAMINANTS FOR ANALYSIS -- THE BRESLE METHOD

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Chlor Method Measures chlorides. Applicable standard: ISO 8502-5:19981.

ISO 8502-5:1998, PREPARATION OF STEEL SUBSTRATES BEFORE APPLICATION OF PAINTS AND RELATED PRODUCTS -- TESTS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF SURFACE CLEANLINESS -- PART 5: MEASUREMENT OF CHLORIDE ON STEEL SURFACES PREPARED FOR PAINTING (ION DETECTION TUBE METHOD)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Soluble Salt Meter by HedoN Electronic Developments (ARP Soluble Salt Meter model RPCT-07-001) Replicates the Bresle process (ISO 8502-6). Automated. According to manufacturer, 8x faster compared to the Bresle Patch method. Total process time: 1 min. Equivalent to ISO 8502-9 (the field method for the conductometric determination of soluble salts). Approved / Implemented by the US Navy1.

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NAVSEA STANDARD ITEM 009-32 FY-13

Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Soluble Salt Meter by HedoN Electronic Developments (ARP Soluble Salt Meter model RPCT-07-001)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts SaltSmart by Innovative Productivity, Inc.

Developed over a 5 year program with funding from the US Navy1. One-time-use disposable sensor. Multiple tests can be run in parallel. According to manufacturer, sample time: 8 min for strip development, 15 sec for meter analysis . Equivalent to ISO 8502-9.
1

NAVSEA STANDARD ITEM 009-32 FY-13

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Testing for Soluble Salts Comparison of methods (source: SaltSmart)

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Removal of Soluble Salts Soluble salts should be removed (dissolved) by clean fresh water washing. Pressure (< 70 MPa) may be used1. Most specifications call for a 3000 psi 20.7 MPa wash down.

1 According

to ISO 12944-4:1998, PAINTS AND VARNISHES. CORROSION PROTECTION OF STEEL STRUCTURES BY PROTECTIVE PAINT SYSTEMS. TYPES OF SURFACE AND SURFACE PREPARATION.

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Removal of Soluble Salts Removal of soluble salts should take place before the stage of surface preparation by abrasive blasting or hand / power tool cleaning. According to NSTM 6311, for all types of substrate materials, before surface preparation to the specified cleanliness level using any method other than waterjetting or wet abrasive blasting, the area to be cleaned shall be washed with low pressure freshwater to remove any residual soluble salts. For best efficiency, the freshwater used should have a maximum conductivity of 200 S/cm.

1 NAVAL

SHIPS TECHNICAL MANUAL CHAPTER 631, REVISION 3, PRESERVATION OF SHIPS IN SERVICE GENERAL, 1 NOVEMBER 2008

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Environmental Conditions Testing & Monitoring


Removal of Soluble Salts Repeat water wash and retest until satisfactory levels of salt contamination are obtained. The presence of pitting corrosion on the substrate makes the removal of soluble salt contamination more difficult and time consuming. Other options (according to ISO 12944-4:19981): steam cleaning and alkaline cleaning.

Residual contamination in pits (source: ABS)


1 ISO

12944-4:1998, PAINTS AND VARNISHES. CORROSION PROTECTION OF STEEL STRUCTURES BY PROTECTIVE PAINT SYSTEMS. TYPES OF SURFACE AND SURFACE PREPARATION.

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