T is for… transport

Engineer, Steve Merritt, takes a different perspective on transportation and its impact upon assets.

Engineer, Steve Merritt takes a different perspective on transportation and its impact upon assets.

Apologies if you were expecting a post on cars, trains and other vehicles. Today we’re looking at a different kind of transportation – the corrosive kind.

We coat metallic materials with polymeric paints and films to protect them from the environment. It is easy to think that these coatings protect materials absolutely, however, paints and films display an inherent permeability to small molecules. Over time, this permeation leads to the transport of air, water, and corrosive ions across the protective barrier. When this happens, the underlying metal is at risk of corrosion.

However it can be difficult to observe this, as it is often only apparent when the coating blisters or delaminates. Early failure of coatings may occur due to mechanical damage or malpractice in the coating application – this introduces challenges for asset integrity management and results in a constant and expensive demand for inspection, maintenance, and repair protocols.

Strategies that may help reduce this management burden include the application of advanced materials, which impart a range of benefits onto the coating. Just some of these benefits include:

  • Self-healing properties to prevent early failure
  • Visual indication of corrosion initiation, to provide early warning of coating failure
  • Enhanced barrier properties, to provide improved coating lifespan.

Through the use of advanced material-based coatings asset integrity managers are able to tackle sustainability challenges and ensure products remain functional for longer. 

Transport from A to B is a key part of our day to day lives, but here is one kind of transport we’re looking to reduce, in order to improve assets’ lifespans.

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