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Protective Coatings NDT - Energy Saving Paint

March - 2008
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The Problem
On January 2, 2008, oil reached a record price of $100 per barrel. Oil, coal, and natural gas are fossil fuels and produce 85 percent of the world's available energy. When fossil fuels are converted into energy they produce carbon dioxide and green house gas. Carbon Dioxide levels have increased 25 percent since the beginning of the industrial revolution 150 years ago. Leading experts agree that no combination of alternative technologies can replace the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Rising energy costs and environmental problems will force industry to find new and better ways to conserve energy, including corrosion management by protective coatings.

In the early 1960's, the crash rate for jet aircraft was alarming high. In an attempt to reduce crash numbers American Airline's senior management with the approval of the Federal Aviation Agency (FFA) began intensive engineering studies on in-service aircraft. The studies proved that the major assumption that every major component in first generation jet aircraft had a specific "lifetime" of reliable service after which it had to be replaced in order to prevent catastrophic failures. This proved to be wrong in nearly every specific example.

Many of the discoveries made by the airline revolutionized the maintenance discipline for physical assets. This has been the basis for a new generation of highly efficient maintenance programs including Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). The following is a discussion on how advanced maintenance programs can be adapted to protective coatings.

A proven way to reduce whole life corrosion damage is with the support of well planned maintenance programs. Traditionally, there are two standard approaches to maintenance painting. One is to begin touch up as soon as the topcoat begins to break down. This is the ideal optimum approach. The second, is to schedule maintenance after visible rusting is detected. This is known as the practical approach. .
Currently, four major maintenance classifications are recognized by industry.

-Reliability Center Maintenance (RCM)

Reactive Maintenance is where an asset is allowed to operate to failure before repairs or replacements are performed. The practical approach to painting is based on reactive maintenance. It is estimated that
55% of all industrial repairs and replacements are based on reactive maintenance.

Preventive Maintenance is where repairs or replacements are scheduled at predetermined time intervals. Work is based on performance estimates and operational histories. Ideal / optimum maintenance painting is based on preventive maintenance. It is estimated that 31 % of all industrial repairs and replacements are based on preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance can save facility owners 25 to 35 percent of operating costs over reactive maintenance programs.

Predictive Maintenance is where maintenance is scheduled based on asset condition. Predictive maintenance relies on the precise evaluation of a component to detect minor changes in operational performance. Repairs or replacements are planned before a major performance change occurs.
It is estimated that 12 percent of all industrial repairs and replacements are based on predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance can produce savings of 45 to 55 percent over reactive maintenance programs.

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). This maintenance program utilizes preventive and predictive maintenance techniques with root cause analysis. RCM is based on accurate inspections to determine when a component has reached a predetermined unacceptable condition. At this point, repairs or replacements are performed to prevent a more costly failure from occurring. The identification of wear stressors, by root cause analysis, can aid facility owners in improving future maintenance operations through design changes or modifications. Saving can easily exceed Predictive maintenance as well as improved operational performance.
Protective Coatings NDT

Protective Coatings NDT is an advanced coating process that has been developed to provide continuous, protection for corrosion prone surfaces throughout their service life. PC / NDT is based on the principals of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) where fluorescence and black light inspection is used locate surface defects PC/NDT has the potential to effectively remove the cost, production, and technical barriers that prevent the coating industry from using Predictive and RCM maintenance technologies.

Protective Coatings NDT are formulated to fluoresce at 365 nanometers which is a slightly higher energy level than visible light on the Electromagnetic Energy Spectrum (EMS). When applied in alternate coats with non reactive (NR) substrates or standard NR coatings, fluorescence produces an Enhanced Visual Signature (EVS) when illuminated by Black Light. EVS dramatically increases a workers ability to locate, define, and repair coating defects found during the original application or post-application maintenance. PC/NDT is the only inspection process that has a scanning rate comparable to the speed of modern spray painting applications. Line of sight inspections can be performed as fast as the hand can move the black light and as fast as the human eye can follow.

Note. The average worker with 20 x 20 vision can usually locate a coating defect 50 microns in sice in good lighting and given enough time for a thorough surface inspection. The same worker using PC/NDT can locate a defect 10 microns in sice or smaller even in low light or during production painting operations.

Protective Coatings NDT understands that inspection is a critical part of a whole life coating systems. For this reason, inspection capabilities are integrated into the original coating formulation. .

Protective Coatings NDT can provide more science than guesswork for determining exactly when and where coating maintenance is required. As the top begins to degrade, defects are located and defined before corrosion begins. At this point, maintenance recoating can restore the protective capabilities of the original application and insure continued corrosion control.

The two major advantages for Protective Coatings NDT over traditional maintenance practices are the virtual elimination of catastrophic coating failures and crisis condition recoating. Additional benefits include:

  • Increased product and structure life
  • A reduction in corrosion related repairs, downtime and replacement costs
  • Improved performance and operational readiness
  • Reduced wastes and disposal costs
  • A reduction in environmental pollution
  • Improved remanufacturing and recycling potential
  • Lean Engineering, A reduced need to over-design products to resist corrosion.
  • Reduced energy demands for corrosion control maintenance programs.

Note. In 2007, no major accidents were reported by US airlines.


This article was submitted by James Deardorff, an expert on Black Light NDT. He may be
reached by e-mail at

"Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States"
2002,US Federal Highway Administration Highway research Center.

"The Coating Consumer: Understanding Intial and Long-Term Painting Costs".
Dec 1993, Gordon "Brevoot, The Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings".

"Performance of Coating Systems Using Numerical Life Predictions"
July 1998, Neil P. Adamson, Journal of Protective Coatings and Linings".

"Economics of a Total Maintenance Coating Program".
August 1994, Materials and Performance an Offical NACE Publication.

"Black Light Measurement for NDT
Copyright @ 1983 The American Society for Nondestructive Testing
By: William O. Holden

"Shedding Light On UV Test Equipment"
Sept 1992, Quality Progress, By: Les Davis

External Links
" Centered Maintenance (RCM).

Published Articles
Nov 1992, Industrial Finishing
Technology Update:, "Black-Light Early-Warning Coating-Defect Detection"

Dec 1992, Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings, Volume 9, Number 12
Innovative Practice, "Industrial Coating System Simplifies Inspection".

August 1994 Materials and Performance an official NACE publication
Focus on Industry, "Black Light Reactive Coating Eases Flaw Detection".

March 1994, Pipeline Digest
"Quality Control, Savings in New Coating System".

Nov / Dec 1995, PWC, Painting and Wall Covering Contractor
Industrial Products, "Black Light Coating System".

July 1997, Concrete Digest
Product Profile, "Coating Additive Allows Black Light to Detect Defects".

August 1997, Materials and Performance an official NACE Publication
Coating News, "Black Light Reveals Coating Defects."

July 1998, Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings
Problem Solving Forum,"Verifying the Cleanliness of Steel" by black light

February 1994, Farm Chemicals
FC, Corrosion Control by Black Light Inspection