Coating a steel structure is no small task, and it’s important to have the right information before starting. This blog post will go over 7 steps needed for every coating project. By following these steps, you’ll be able to make more money by keeping you machines working for you.
7 Steps for Your Coating Project
- Surface Cleaning
- Abrasive Blasting
- Structural Repairs & Welding
- Repeat Abraisive Blasting
- Coating Application
- Coating Survey
Step 1: Access
Industrial coating jobs often require equipment necessary to allow access to all areas of the project. Scaffolds and swing stages are the most common ways to provide your team the access necessary for the job.
Quality Control: Verify securely constructed scaffolds and swing stages to ensure the safety of your team.
Step 2: Surface Cleaning
Before the first round of abrasive blasting can occur, thoroughly clean all surfaces to remove dirt, grease, soil, oil, organic compounds, and all other contaminants. The Society For Protective Coatings (SSPC) refers to this surface preparation standard as SP-1. Removing the contaminants can be broken down into a four-step process.
- Remove all dust from the surface area using a stiff wire brush.
- Use a scraper to remove all surface contaminants.
- Using a solvent, scrub, wipe, or immerse the surface to remove any remaining contaminants.
- Complete the process by removing all remaining residue. Vacuum, brush, or blow off remnants with clean, dry air.
Thorough completion of this step promotes the protection and longevity of your coating and industrial equipment.
Quality Control: Verify that all surfaces are clear from all contaminants. Any remaining contaminants embed into the substrate during the abrasive blasting process.
Step 3: Abrasive Blasting
After the initial surface preparation is complete, you can begin your first round of abrasive blasting. The grit blasting process will enable you to identify areas of your surface that may need strengthened or structural repairs. All spent abrasives from this blasting need to be thoroughly removed and properly disposed of.
Step 4: Structural Repairs & Welding
Identify any repair areas now visible with the cleaned and blasted surface. Complete all necessary repairs with precision and durability.
Quality Control: Verify the durability of all repairs and welds.
Step 5: Repeat Abrasive Blasting
Repeat the abrasive blasting process in preparation for the coating application. Surfaces must reach an SP-5 “white metal” cleanliness. All visible oil, dirt, rust, coating, oxides, dirt, and any other contaminants must be removed.
Quality Control: Recheck surfaces for contaminants from both the environment and the repair process. Measure and verify the anchor profile the measurement meets around 10% of the coating thickness. Check surface cleanliness to ensure all dust and contaminants have been removed.
Step 6: Coating Application
During the coating application process, observance of procedures must be maintained. Be aware of all influential factors of your coating process.
- Safety of working environment
- Worker protection
- Management of waste and solvents
- Film thickness
- Environmental and substrate conditions
- Mixing components and ratios
- Amine blush
- Pot life or working time of materials
- Recoat and curing times
- Cleanliness of work area
- Material temperatures
- Equipment cleanliness and operation
4-Step Coating Application Process
- Stripe coating welds and surface irregularities
- Application of first coat
- Application of second coat
- Spreading Epoxy putty on areas as required
Quality Control: Coating thickness requires measurements and documentation during each coat of the application process. Identify and repair any pinholes in the coating using a holiday detector.
Step 7: Coating Survey
Create a coating survey at the completion of your project to ensure the longevity and performance of your asset. Factors to include in your coating survey and maintenance plan include:
- Base material the coating was applied to
- Existing coating system and materials used
- Presence of hazardous materials
- Repair work completed during application
- Special maintenance requirements
- Cause of existing degradation
- Most cost-effective coating application process
When you apply the 7 Steps Needed for Every Coating Project process during your project, you’re sure to have a successful outcome. With proper maintenance, you will succeed in preserving, protecting, and enhancing your asset.