Protecting offshore structures with high quality powder coating
Extreme durability and corrosion resistance are the benefits of powder coating. Therefore, powder is also suitable for coating structures that end up in the offshore environment. Powder coating offshore structures is usually done before assembling the structures due to the fact that the process is not really suitable for on-site applications.
Offshore powder coatings are found for example in floating production units, fixed platforms, mobile rigs, drillships and pipelines. The offshore environment is very harsh on these metal structure; the presence of saltwater and weather extremes make steel corrode even faster. Additionally, the structures are often placed in a demanding operating environment which may involve chemicals and high temperatures. Therefore, the main characteristics of offshore coatings include excellent temperature performance, outstanding corrosion resistance and absolute water tightness.
Fusion-bonded epoxy coatings for offshore applications
The most common powder coating in offshore applications is fusion-bonded epoxy coating (FBE coating), which is suitable for use alone or in a dual powder coating system. These FBE coatings provide external metal surfaces with extremely strong corrosion protection. These coatings are made to last a lifetime; they usually come with at least 20 year warranty.
The FBE coating system is a thermosetting resin for external surfaces of, for example, offshore pipelines. It exists as dry powder which results in 400-600 microns coating layer on steel surfaces. The FBE coating forms a surface which is homogeneous, and also offers outstanding resistance to chemical reaction.
The key benefits of FBE powder coatings include:
- Outstanding impact resistance,
- Abrasion resistance,
- Slip resistance
Fusion-bonded epoxy is suitable for powder coating offshore structures due to the fact that it provides superior adhesion even in humid environments. Additionally, it allows moderate operating temperatures.
Powder coating offshore structures with a three-layer anti corrosion system
High performance fusion bonded epoxy powder is also suitable for use in a three layer system which provides even better corrosion resistance than the FBE alone. The anti corrosive system consists of the following layers from the first to the last applied.
- Fusion bonded epoxy coating
- Co-polymer adhesive
- Polyethylene or polypropylene
The last layer is the one that defines the thickness of the coating system. It is possible to modify the coating system for different temperatures depending on the last layer. The following operating temperatures are possible:
- Polyethylene: suitable for operating temperatures between 40ºC and 85ºC
- Polypropylene: suitable for operating temperatures between -40ºC and 110ºC
Therefore, polypropylene is the best choice when the temperatures are more extreme and fluctuate. Polyethylene for its part, provides additional mechanical and physical properties which can be beneficial for example for offshore pipelines.
Offshore coating manufacturers and products
There are plenty of offshore coating manufacturers including the biggest players in the world of coatings: PPG, AkzoNobel and Sherwin Williams. Also other international coating manufacturers offer offshore coatings, especially fusion bonded epoxy powders. Here are a couple of examples of FBE coating products.
- Jotun Jotapipe LT 1011
- 3M Scotchkote Fusion-Bonded Epoxy Coating 226N/226N+
Small selection of offshore powder coating applicators UK
If you are convinced that powder coating offshore structures of your project is the way to go, here are some UK services which can carry out the application for you.
|Powder coating offshore applicator||Address|
|Barrier Ltd||Stephenson Street, Willington Quay, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, NE28 6UE|
|Abbey Protective Coatings Ltd||Clopton Commercial Park, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 6QT|
|Northpoint Ltd||Globe Lane, Dukinfield SK16 4UY|