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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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