CoatingsPro Magazine

SEP 2018

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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82 SEPTEMBER 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Industry Insight T he cost of corrosion mitigation to national economies around the world is estimated to be billions of dollars every year. Australia is no exception. A ll structures, such as buildings, roads, bridges, pipelines, and towers, are threatened by corrosion, and the impact can be both economic through the cost of repairs and mainte- nance as well as a physical threat to workers, the public, and even other nearby structures. One of the two main ways to protect an asset from corrosion is to physically isolate a structure from the environment by applying a protective coating to it. e second is to alter the material by applying a cathodic protection system. e concerns for the coatings industry relate to what is applied, how it is applied, and who applies it. It's that third subject regarding the human aspect of the projects that we're currently struggling with worldwide. Human Impact One challenge facing the coatings industr y is keeping up w ith the demand from all the projects; we do not have a large enough workforce w ith the necessar y skills. T he lack of new people entering the industr y w ill impact the maintenance schedule of many asset ow ners in the future. Customers take it for granted that the people who work on their projects are fully trained and licensed for the ty pe of work they are doing. Not only is it costly and timely to train employees, but w ith changes in regulations, the term "trained " may not have the same meaning. W hen an industrial coating is properly applied, inspected, and quality assurance (QA) checked, it should easily provide 25 years or more of protection (unless other w ise stated by the coating manufacturer for a shorter life cycle). If the right material is applied correctly, that coating system may even last longer! It is impor tant that a protective coating project is caref u l ly planned. One thing to avoid is underestimat- ing the technica l complex it y of a project, especia l ly if the coating is to be applied to an ex isting str ucture. In some of the physica l ly remote locations throughout Austra lia, there is the added d if f icu lt y of getting personnel, mater ia ls, and equipment to the site; if you forget something , the nearest hardware store can be a thousand mi les away — by land, sea, or air. T he coatings industr y also has to be aware of the health of operators and applicators and must work to minimize the exposure of workers to the solvents and particulates involved in the coatings process. Additionally, the health and safety analysis of a project must look at how to effectively protect a structure so that it is both safe and fit for the people working inside the building. T here is a w ide selection of coatings products avail- able in the market, so it is essential that the appropriate coatings system is chosen, remembering that there is no single product that meets ever y coating situation. Australia has led the world in certain areas of regulation and report- ing. Lead paints have been restricted since 1969, for example. It is expected to continue these kinds of safety-re- lated trends. Positive Results Companies throughout the Oceania region are investing in the very latest, most innovative technologies for the coatings industry. If we continue to work w ith industr y and academia to research all aspects of corrosion, we can continue to ensure all impacts of corrosion are responsibly managed, the environ- ment is protected, public safety enhanced, and economies improved — and that the cost of corrosion continues to decrease. CP Photo courtesy of Jotun By Dean Wall, Chairman of the Australasian Corrosion Association Board Protective Coatings Down Under

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