Hulls & underwater structures
A coating that claims to be suitable for offshore structures should satisfy several conditions. This coating has to offer long-term protection from corrosion and bio-fouling. It must be environmentally safe. In addition, it needs to be maintainable in optimum condition in-situ.
Ecospeed designed to fulfill these conditions. It is a durable hull coating system which requires only a single application and which is specially designed for underwater maintenance without damaging the protective coating.
Durable protection against corrosion
Ecospeed demonstrates excellent anti-corrosive properties. Diffusion of watery solutions, including very aggressive chloride ions in acidic solutions, has no effect on Ecospeed immersed in seawater. Based on experience with similar coating concepts used in the offshore industry, Ecospeed comes with a guaranteed corrosion protection of 10 years. The expectations are that Ecospeed will last 25 years or the typical service life of a vessel or offshore structure.
Durable protection against biofouling
Ecospeed distinguishes itself from other coatings by its impermeability for fouling organisms. Regular underwater cleanings will effectively remove all fouling organisms and improve the surface characteristics.
Ecospeed demonstrates remarkable environmental benefits that have little or no negative or damaging effects to its surroundings. Ecospeed is totally free of biocides; experiments in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Transport have shown that there is no release of toxins during the curing process or during in-situ treatment such as an underwater conditioning or cleaning. In addition, the application of Ecospeed has a very low environmental impact, not only because Ecospeed has minimal Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) content, but especially because only one application is required throughout the service life of the vessel or structure.
Every existing coating will eventually suffer from marine fouling. Ecospeed has been especially designed for in-situ treatment. Underwater cleaning of Ecospeed coated hulls continuously improve the surface characteristics without damaging the protective qualities or affecting the coating thickness. Specially designed tools have been developed for fast, efficient and optimal underwater treatment. Experience has shown that prolonged static exposure on any coating will result in heavy fouling but a single underwater treatment on Ecospeed suffices to effectively remove all fouling and return the surface to its pristine condition.
Ecospeed is a pre-qualified coating system in accordance with NORSOK standard M-501, Rev.5, June 2004.
The NORSOK standards are a series of standards relevant to offshore installations developed by Norwegian petroleum industry. NORSOK M-501 specifically deals with anticorrosive coating systems and the processes related to their application. It covers the selection of coating materials and defines the requirements of surface preparation, application procedures and inspection for protective coatings to be applied during the construction and installation of offshore structures and associated facilities.
NORSOK M-501 identifies coating systems for nine main areas. For three areas and one sub-area the coating systems need to be pre-qualified. Pre-qualified coating systems have to undergo a long-term test program carried out by an independent laboratory. These tests are covered by ISO 20340 which includes chemical screening and several performance tests. For the aging test, the fully cured coating system is scribed horizontally down to the bare metal and the system is exposed to a cyclic test with a total exposure time of 4200 hours. The seawater immersion test assesses panels with a scratched coating system after 4200 hours of exposure in synthetic seawater at 40°C. The cathodic disbonding test measures the maximum disbanding after six months exposure time.
The complete test program typically takes about nine months and only the best coating systems manage to pass.
The standard also stipulates that all personnel involved in the application and inspections have to prove their qualification. Painters shall present craft certificates or pass tests on-site, whereas paint inspectors must be certified according to FROSIO or NACE.
NORSOK M-501 has become a universally recognized standard that meets the most stringent requirements for corrosion protection. The standard is relevant for offshore use or other specific areas where pre-qualification is required. A pre-qualified coating system assures customers of longterm reliable protection.
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