Flexible Polyurea Coatings For Marine Use

The marine environment can be both corrosive or abrasive. It is not forgiving of maritime structures like offshore platforms and drilling rigs and ocean-going vessels. These are a

ll major investments for companies that operate them.
 Corrosion can affect all structures and activities in the marine environment.

Surface coatings are also subject to extreme conditions in the marine environment. This includes how they are applied and how they look. The most vulnerable areas are the superstructure, decks, ballast tanks and anchor or chain wells. These areas are subject to extreme saltwater, chemical agents, and abrasion. Learn about the harmful effects of salt in Salt Limits to Prevent Early Coating Failureszx.

Flexible surface coatings are resistant to chemical attack from petroleum product and salts. This is one way to reduce and mitigate the effects of certain types of corrosion. In order to be resistant to the many agents that can affect maritime structures, a corrosion barrier must have flexibility and durability.

And, to enhance safety for personnel moving around an offshore structure or vessel, spray-applied surface coatings with anti-slip properties provide safe decking and walkways.

Protecting a Platform Deck From Abrasion

Coatings specifically designed for marine structures in the oil-and-gas industry can reduce the drilling operation's abrasive impact. 

A deck on an oil rig where 14-meter lengths drill pipe are laid out is susceptible to large amounts of abrasive damage. Most of the surface coatings are rapidly removed, leaving the bare metal substrate exposed to corrosion.

The deck surface must be blasted with abrasive to remove any coatings. Profile the deck for maximum adhesion to the primer or protective coating.

Flexible Coatings for Protection of Marine Structures

First, a zinc-rich primer should be applied to the metal surface. Then, a second spray primer must be quickly sprayed. This primer is fast sprayable and does not contain any volatile organic components (VOC).

A thick layer of polyurea coat is applied to the primed area. It should be a thickness of 3000 microns (3 millimeters) The final coating is chosen because it has excellent resistance to weather extremes and flexibility. It also offers high impact strength. Polyurea can cure quickly, so the crew can walk on the surface in just minutes. This allows the facility to be back online faster.

Minimizing downtime is an important consideration when applying any surface treatment. Spray coating is faster and causes less disruption to your operations. Spray coatings can be set in just 6 seconds. Pure polyureas do not react to temperature or ambient moisture, making them ideal for offshore operations.

Decking Protrusions: Coating Protrusions

It is crucial that liquids don't run off the decks of offshore structures where pipes or other equipment enter. These penetrations are usually covered by a butyl rubber "boot" that is taped to both the deck and the pipe. The rubber boot and adhesive can be damaged by salt and ultraviolet light in just a few months.

Flexible Coatings for Protection of Marine Structures

The butyl rubber and adjacent steel surfaces can be scuffed and cleaned to extend the life of deck penetration boots. Before applying the flexible membrane, it is essential to remove all oil, dirt, and coatings. To protect against spray, it is important to mask any equipment, piping, or deck surfaces.

A polyurea coating applied to deck penetrations up to 50 mm above the pipe and 100 meters onto the deck creates a waterproof, weather-resistant, flexible interface that is both liquid-tight and durable.

Polyurea Coating Characteristics

When a liquid isocyanate and an amine-driven resin are mixed under high pressure, pure polyureas form. Because the double covalent bond linking the carbon atom with nitrogen and oxygen is easily broken, it is possible to create single bonds in the stable tetrahedral arrangement around the carbon. Isocyanates can be reactive.

A few types of polyureas are available as a two-part solution, which is heated and sprayed in specially designed spray equipment. The excellent chemical cross-linking results in a flexible, dense surface. This coating is almost indestructible to water, chemicals and abrasion.

The solid surface can be walked on in under one minute because of the speed at which pure polyurea coatings dry. Polyurea can be sprayed on any surface, even vertical surfaces up to 6000 microns thick. This is a great advantage. A thick coating of polyurea is easy to maintain.

While paints and epoxies form a rigid shell, pure polyurea coatings allow them to expand and contract with temperature changes.

If you would like to know more about polyurea and how you can become an applicator, we recommend getting in touch with ArmrThane. As the world leader in protective coatings, ArmorThane is the go-to company for all things protective coatings.

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