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PROTECTIVE COATINGS


FEATURE SPONSOR


PROJECT B ‘HIGH TENSION’ OFFSHORE WINDFARM


INSPECTION COMPANY SELECTION CHECKLIST


Successful coating depends on inspection-company and the coating-inspectors competence and experience. Owners need to ask themselves…


• Does the inspection company provide inspectors with proven Level III NACE, SSPC and/or Frosio qualifications?


• Do they understand offshore challenges?


• Are the appropriate industry standards referenced


correctly in client specifications?


• Does the inspection company have these standards; are they familiar with them?


• Does it carry professional liability insurance?


• Does it have professional accident insurance?


• How many inspectors are available & how flexible are they?


Thousands of craters found in the first coat during fabrication of three (of 43) transition piece foundations resulted in €100,000+ worth of fabrication-shop re-blasting and re-painting work per transition piece. The alternative would have been an estimated €2.25 million bill if the problem was left to develop further offshore!


Initial coating-manufacturer and coating-contractor reassurances that a limited problem could be remedied by an extra intermediate layer to compensate for local under-thicknesses proved wrong.


The problem persisted, resulting in an intensive search for possible contamination-sources. As QA for the main contractor, we insisted on further in-depth laboratory-analysis of production samples. Several high-tension, high-level meetings followed. Fortunately, a willingness on all sides to reconfigure the production & delivery- schedule meant that


suspect coating-batches & transition- pieces were quarantined pending lab test- results.


Careful analysis revealed the basic problem stemmed from an 8% silicon contaminant added in error to the coating. A full ‘Norsok qualification lab-test cycle’ then proved that one batch failed the Cathodic Disbonding test miserably. The coating- manufacturer ultimately concluded that the offshore coating-failure risks were too high. Reblasting/recoating was the only sensible solution.


A small side-issue - proper registration of coating-batch-numbers - also showed that non-qualified QC-staff use is “an accident waiting to happen”. Unnecessary repair-costs could have been even higher. Full diligence from the outset could have prevented the whole problem. We helped save the contractor in excess of €2 million.


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www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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