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2. Select the right coating. Work with a qualified coatings supplier to select the right coating for your project. Factors to consider include:

  • Film thickness requirements.
  • Edge retentive requirements.
  • Ease of application.
  • Surface preparation requirements.
  • Application temperature capabilities.
  • Return-to-service capabilities.
  • Availability of new technology.

3. Develop a solid coating specification. In addition to the pipe surface itself, there is a potential for corrosion with pipe supports, flanges, threaded joint and pipe hangers – including the use of dissimilar metals. These must be kept in mind whenworking to develop a coatings specification system. Working with the coatings supplier can assist you to inventory all of the components and metals that comprise the systemand help you develop a comprehensive specification.

4. Address inaccessible areas. These are areas of a project that are defined as “any area that cannot be prepared, coated and inspected according to the specifications." If failure in any of these areas is a concern and if they can truly not be part of the coatings maintenance program, overall replacement may be the best option. While this may carry a higher initial cost, consider the risk of future failures that could cause system shutdown,or worse, result in property damage and potential litigation.

5. Select a qualified contractor. Work with a contractor who has experience in pipeline coating maintenance programs. Ask for credentials and references. Your chosen contractor should be willing to work with you to develop a specification and provide other value-added suggestions if necessary. Other things to consider are a contractor’s:

  • Record keeping procedures.
  • Safety program and compliance with federal and state health and safety regulations.
  • Experienced,field-tested personnel who can add value to the project through years of know-how.
  • Agreement to accept an independent inspector’s critiques,revisions and final sign-off throughout the project.

6. Select a qualified third-party inspector. A third-party inspector should be selected as early in the process as possible. This company or individual should be an integral part of the process and completely understand the tasks at hand. A good resource is the Society for Protective Coatings’(SSPC) Qualification No.5, the Standard Procedure for Evaluating the Qualifications of Coating and Lining Inspection Companies.

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