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Overview of Coatings

Coatings are a type of cover placed over metals to help prevent external corrosion from forming on the metals. Properly applied coatings are essential in maintaining a long useful life for structures and certain equipment. Coatings can include covers such as external paints, polymeric linings, metallic linings, and refractory linings.

Aside from general corrosion resistance, coatings can have several other uses when applied to metallic surfaces. They protect against general wear, erosion, and pitting. They can provide abrasion and scratch resistance, along with resistance to fire or heat. They are capable of sealing the metal to protect it against moist or marine environments. Finally, they can be used to insulate against electrical charges.

Coatings are most often used for the protection of materials such as concrete and steel. They’re particularly useful in the protection of pipes and others structures that are either buried underground or submerged underwater. Structures built underground tend to be particularly vulnerable to soil corrosion, which can be easily prevented using the proper coating.

One of the premier bodies dedicated to the use of industrial coatings and their application is the Society of Protective Coatings (SSPC). They create codes and standards involving coatings and offer training and certification in their use. They also provide other services as well, such as webinars, conferences, and various publications. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) also provides a training program involving coatings known as the Protective Coating Specialist (PCS) Program.


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Related Topics

Cathodic Protection Condition Monitoring Locations (CMLs) Corrosion Control Documents (CCDs) Damage Mechanisms Flue Gas Dew Point Corrosion Green Rot Pitting Corrosion Positive Material Identification (PMI)

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Articles about Coatings
  • May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Nick Schmoyer at Inspectioneering

    Inspectioneering and PinnacleART recently hosted a roundtable discussion for a select group of mechanical integrity experts to discuss strategies for managing corrosion under insulation and corrosion under pipe supports, a.k.a. touch point corrosion.

  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

    Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) are essential to any successful oil and gas operation and must be properly managed to ensure operations function in a safe and reliable manner. In this 2-part series, I will identify some common failures related to ASTs in crude oil service and recommend strategies to prevent and/or mitigate such failures.

  • Blog
    July 8, 2013 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    This week’s post takes up right where last week’s post left off in our discussion on Corrosion Management and Control (CM&C) Management Systems.

  • May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Allan McIntyre at Cenovus Energy, Elias Soto at Cenovus Energy, Len Adler at Cenovus Energy, and Bruce Levan at Levan Engineering Ltd.

    Electroless nickel (ENC) is a family of coatings based on nickel-phosphorous metallic compounds. ENC was developed in 1943 by Abner Brenner, an electrochemist at the U.S. Bureau of Standards. While working on the electroplating of nickel onto nickel-tungsten surfaces, Brenner added hypophosphite chemical to the plating solution as a way to control surface oxidation.

  • November/December 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Julian Speck at TWI Ltd., Ian Partridge at TWI, and John Wintle at TWI

    A few years ago, TWI investigated a corrosion failure in a 30 inch crude oil pipeline that regrettably led to an explosion and fire, and the death of several operating personnel. The pipeline was designed to ASME B31.4 and the investigation found that corrosion resulted from the break-down of the external coating. The exposed area of pipe was too large for the cathodic protection system. Pitting corrosion initiated at several locations that coalesced over a large area to cause failure by rupture. The lost production from this failure was 300,000 bbl/d. The corrosion in this pipeline was not detected before failure. However, if corrosion is found in service pressure equipment, there are safe guidelines available for inspection engineers to assess the fitness-for-service (FFS) of corrosion damage.

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