coating consultancy

Find the coating expertise you need with coating consultancy

Navigating the range of available coatings and finding the right one for a project is not as straightforward as it might appear. It is not simply a matter of choosing a paint and slapping it on, there are many factors and elements to consider. A coating needs to be chosen with the substrate, the environment, the use, and the potential hazards in mind, as well as factors such as film thickness and application method. For the best possible results, you need professional expertise. This is the purpose of coating consultancy.

In this article we will describe the various ways a coating consultant will assist you with your coating project, from initial assessment to specification and failure analysis. We will also include a list of coating consultancy firms operating in the UK.

What to expect from a coating consultancy

The job of a coating consultant is a broad one. In order to help select a coating system that is best tailored to a project and will provide the best possible performance, a coatings consultant needs to evaluate and understand the needs of the project, the needs of the coating, and the regulatory and industry standards. They provide expertise and advice at every step of the coating process:

  1. The design stage/design optimisation – A coatings consultant can analyse and assess building plans to determine potential coating issues and find ways to deal with them. A coating consultant also advises on how to best plan our project so as to minimise cost and maximise performance.
  2. The planning stage/specifications – Specification writing, preparing documentation, selecting products, project management, field and laboratory testing are all part of a coating consultant’s portfolio.
  3. The application stage – This stage includes quality assurance testing, and assessing the application process from surface preparation to film thickness and environmental conditions.
  4. Project delivery – The final survey of the coating system and assurance that the job complies with the specification.
  5. Failure analysis – If the worst happens and something goes wrong, coating consultants also perform failure analysis and investigation.

When to call a coatings consultant

A coatings consultant can be brought into a project at any point. Their job is to consult and advise you as to the best coatings solutions at every step. You might need a consultant to:

coating consultancy helping with design

Coating consultancy in design phase.

  • Provide technical guidance about products, treatments, coatings, and services that will best suit your specification
  • Recommend a complete coating solution
  • Assist economically by selecting the most effective materials, coatings, and linings for the right price, as well as dealing with contractor bids
  • Assist in creating a coating specification
  • Conduct a site survey and provide an individual recommendation
  • Investigate a coating failure

In order to ensure the best results for your project you need: inspection and survey of the substrates and environments, a specification and coating system designed specifically for your site and project, and quality assurance checks throughout the coating process. A certified professional on site from the start is the best way to secure a long-lasting and effective coating system.

Where to find a coating advisory in the UK

There are coating advisory companies and individuals operating across the UK. If you would like more information about the right company for you, get in touch! Our experts are here to help. Below is a sample of the coating consultants in the UK.

Coating consultancy companySectors servedServices offered
Amtec ConsultantsMarine and industrial.Corrosion specialists and experts dealing with failure analysis.
SafinahOil and gas, marine, construction and power, manufacturers and OEM, paint companies.Project management, coating process optimisation, specifications, product selection, design optimisation, failure analysis.
SocotecConstruction, marine, foundations and structure, transport.Inspections, surveys, specifications, investigations.

Qualifications of a coating consultant

There are three main accreditation bodies operating in the UK when it comes to coatings. These are NACE, ICorr, and SSPC. These are particularly important for coatings consultancy and coating inspections as it guarantees the expertise and skills of your consultant. The differences between the three are:

  1. NACE – The NACE Protective Coating Specialist (PCS) and Coating Inspector Program (CIP) certifications have been setting the standard in the protective coatings industry for over 30 years. These programmes provide an international certification and produce the highest calibre of paint inspectors and specialists. NACE also publishes a book outlining the use of coating inspection equipment.
  2. ICorr – The Institute of Corrosion is the British corrosion authority. They provide a number of courses that enable paint inspectors to acquire the necessary qualifications to carry out inspections in the field. The courses are in Levels 1, 2, and 3, and are internationally accredited and recognised. The highest level is level 3, and only they are trained and certified to write paint specifications for coatings projects. The ICorr levels correspond to the NACE levels.
  3. SSPC – The Society for Protective Coatings runs training and certification programs and bridging courses for coating inspectors. SSPC also runs a “Protective Coatings Specialist” programme which certifies that the practitioner can assess coating systems, develop specifications, perform failure analysis, perform inspections, and understand the economics, preparation and application of coatings.

Note: ASTM and ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) are the international bodies which produce the standards that guide the coating industry.