In the world of high-performance coatings, successful service-life can be minutes, months, years or decades. For example, the material used in the Apollo program for a heat shield was an epoxy phenolic. It was designed to consume heat energy from fire and release the energy in the form of gas as it burned to form an insulation. While it only performed for minutes, all would agree that it performed successfully.
In order to achieve successful coating performance, it is imperative that the design team understands that each of the following items is critical.
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- Define what successful performance is and achieve agreement from the design team and owner.
- Involve coating experts to consult about substrate materials and design, preparation procedures and coating selections.
- Understand and address environmental concerns and have a game plan in place to deal with push back from the building team.
- Require the coating manufacture to be on the job site and to sign off on the installation and all other aspects that may affect the defined coating performance (see point 1).
- Require those doing the work to have a high level of skill, experience with the selected material and be certified to perform any required testing.
- Before awarding a contract require a meeting to review:
- Service life expected as defined
- Full labor and material warranty for portion of expected service life
- Any maintenance requirements that could void the warranty
- Credentials of each individual doing the preparation, testing and installation
- Sign off from selected manufacturer that they will be on site and will guarantee the project including labor should contractor not return to perform the warranty work
- Expected response time should issues be encountered
With a little more planning , designers can help establish clear coating performance expectations for their customer, the builder, coating installer and coating manufacturer.
Chris O’Brien NACE 8876