The company offers a broad range of coating products and different coating chemistries for high value assets. “Typical recommendations for structural steel assets would include both inorganic and organic zinc rich primers for galvanic protection of steel in highly corrosive environments, epoxy primers and intermediate coats for additional barrier protection from the elements, and polyurethane, polysiloxane, and other topcoats for additional protection as well as aesthetic considerations,” said Diane Kappas PPG, vice president Protective and Marine Coatings, Americas. “For specialized service such as chemical immersion and splash and spill, PPG has an extensive portfolio of solvent and solvent-free epoxy novolac coatings with extensive successful track records.”
Kappas said key factors to consider when selecting the right corrosion product include the corrosivity of the environment in which the asset will be operating, the intended service lifetime and maintenance schedules and the type of surface preparation that can be employed. “All of these factors must be considered when tailoring a coating specification for a given customer and asset,” she added.
When choosing a corrosion protection product both substrate preparation and choosing a high performance product are extremely important.
“A high-performance coating applied over an inadequately prepared substrate (either in terms of execution of surface prep, or as under-specification of surface prep) will yield disappointing results,” said Kappas. “Likewise, a low-technology coating, such as an alkyd, will soon start rusting in a highly corrosive environment, no matter how correctly the surface preparation is specified and executed.”
Customers of corrosion protection products are looking to extend the service lifetime of their assets. “The cost of high-performance coatings is a small percentage of the overall cost of coating installation,” Kappas said. “Downtime, staging and scaffolding, surface preparation, and the coating application itself are much more costly than the coatings themselves. So a high-performance coating that will add value in terms of service life extension, reduction of maintenance, and improved aesthetics can still offer improved economics over the long term, even if it comes at a higher initial cost.”
PPG’s Coatings Innovation Center located at Allison Park, Pennsylvania, along with its global network of regional development laboratories have extensive R&D programs focused on developing coating technologies to meet the current and future needs of its customers.
“Our industry is shifting to technologies based on sustainable raw materials, while maintaining compliance with evolving regulatory legislation and reducing our environmental footprint,” said Kappas. “At the same time, our customers demand coatings that allow them to achieve equivalent or even longer service lifetimes with fewer coats and lower applied costs. Self-healing and self-cleaning “smart coatings”, drag-reducing and biocide-free coatings for ship bottoms, and coatings with enhanced high-heat and fire protection are all examples where PPG research has yielded novel solutions for corrosion control.”
PPG continues to see investment in liquefied natural gas and chemical processing facilities where both conventional protective coatings and fire protection coatings are applied. “These large investments represent a significant opportunity for PPG to serve these customers with innovative products such as Pitt-Char, which combines passive fire protection and cryogenic spill protection and is ideally suited for modular construction methods,” said Kappas. “PPG has made significant investments in its own furnace and testing operations at a facility in Kunshan, China to help facilitate faster technical developments and new product launches in the passive fire protection arena.”
Additionally, while lower crude oil and natural gas prices have resulted in a reduction in exploration and drilling activities both onshore and offshore in 2015, existing assets need to be maintained and the maintenance sector will remain active, Kappas said. “Additionally, downstream storage and refining of crude oil remain opportunities for coatings. In North America, commercial construction and the rail segment continue to grow. In the marine segment, despite a depressed new build global market, supporting sales for maintenance and repair work on ocean vessel, cruise liners and inland marine vessels is improving in the form of dry dockings and sea stock. More sustainable technologies such as copper-free anti-foulants and products that further improve the fuel efficiency of vessels will continue to be an area of focus.”