Saturday May 21, 2022

The benefits of surface preparation and treatment

Do you do maintenance in a marine environment? Then you’ll know how critical surface preparations and coatings are. Water can be an incredibly destructive element causing rust and leading to structural weakness. The right coating can protect against corrosion and degradation, making your job easier.

Purpose of surface treatment

Protective coatings are designed to protect the substrate and are most effective when used from the beginning. These coatings protect against rust, water, extremes of temperature, acids and even barnacles. They should always be used together with temporary climate control solutions including heaters and dehumidifiers for the best results.

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Surface preparation for coating

There are several techniques for surface preparation including:

– Mechanical de-scaling using blades and other tools
– Rotary wire brushing and power disking to clean powdery rust and irregular surface
– Solvent cleaning to remove oil and grease and prepare the surface for blast cleaning
– Hydroblasting and abrasive blast cleaning using water or compressed air to clean the surface

The correct surface treatment, provided by a specialist like can then be applied and allowed to cure. This gives surface treatments the best opportunity for true surface adhesion.

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Scheduling surface preparation and treatment

Ideally, any surface treatment will be applied during the initial shipbuilding process. Other good times to apply treatments include during any repairs or restorations, when the ship is in dry dock or during regular scheduled maintenance.

The benefits of surface treatments

– Corrosion prevention
Corrosion is a multi-million pound problem that affects all ships. In the US alone, the Navy spends $6 million annually on problems created by corrosion. Making sure the surface is well prepared ensures that the coating is less likely to fail.

– Lower maintenance costs
Taking the correct steps to ensure that a coating is successfully applied, dried and cured can save up to 20% on your maintenance costs. The chosen coating will also last longer if care is taken at the preparation stage.

– Reduced drag
The growth of marine organisms on the hull of a ship create additional weight. This is turn can reduce fuel efficiency and results in higher maintenance needs and costs.

– Predictability and reliability
The combination of surface preparation, climate control methods and specialist coatings can ensure that a vessel’s surface is not vulnerable to rust. Controlling the method delivers cost-saving reliability.

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