Why should shipowners choose a duplex coating system?

Perry Notenboom from International Zinc Association outlines how the solution can reduce corrosion costs

Why should shipowners choose a duplex coating system?
Metallisation of the inside of the bulwark

By Perry Notenboom |

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Maritime environments are among the most hostile climates for vessels due to high salinity, temperatures and ultraviolet radiation, as well as rapid changes in weather conditions.

Every vessel operator aims to delay maintenance procedures and forego costly repair efforts, both of which can be achieved by selecting the right protective coating system. Duplex coating systems, which comprise a primer coat of thermal spray zinc or zinc alloy and the midcoat and topcoat of the ship’s existing coating system, are among the highest performing corrosion protection coatings.

Duplex coating systems are widely used to effectively protect against corrosion on complete vessels and structures, or on parts of vessels that are sensitive to corrosion. These could include davit cranes, decks, superstructures, skids, railings and bulwarks. Thermal spray zinc can be applied by itself, or as part of a duplex system, to protect oil and offshore platforms, maritime substations, offshore wind turbines, bridges and other structures in coastal areas too. Experience and real-life examples show that these structures remain effectively protected for more than 25 years with minimal coating maintenance.

Metallic zinc coatings are highly effective at preventing corrosion in the long term because they provide both a physical barrier and cathodic protection to the underlying steel. They adhere to the steel very well and are also highly resistant to abrasions. Another advantage of thermally sprayed zinc coatings is that, unlike traditional primers, they cure instantly, which shortens the time the ship is out of service for maintenance.

Putting thermal sprayed zinc to the test
The International Zinc Association (IZA) is inviting shipowners to participate in a trial that will demonstrate how well duplex coating systems with thermal sprayed zinc can protect vessels against corrosion.

Ships participating in the trial will be coated with thermal sprayed zinc in selected areas to create a duplex coating system. IZA will cover the costs of preparing the ship surface and applying the thermal sprayed zinc, and it will provide a contractor to complete the application process.

The trial is expected to last for five years, during which time an independent third party will carry out annual surveys to compare the differences in the condition of the parts of the ship treated with the duplex system and those protected by a traditional coating system.

To read more or take part in this demonstration, visit IZA at the Interferry Conference, October 2019 (exhibition space 16) or www.thermalsprayzinc.zinc.org/trial_opportunity

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