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STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management


a thirteen page issue

September 2005
revision of July 2005

GENERAL ASPECTS
A maintenance specification is more complex than a coating specification for a new fabrication. In this
section a systematic approach is presented for checking objects which are due for maintenance painting in
order to see if special measures have to be taken to extend the service life of the object to be protected by
the maintenance coating system
NOTE FOR METALLIC SUBSTRATES
Steel
Cast iron
Corten steel
Stainless steel
Non ferrous metals
Zinc sprayed steel
Hot dipped galvanised steel
Coil galvanised plate
(Sendzimir)
Aluminium
Aluminium sprayed steel

Mill scale, corrosion, pitting corrosion.


Surface irregularities, porosity, corrosion.
Surface corrosion, very hard.
Contact corrosion, smooth surface, chlorine/chloride contamination.
Zinc, copper, aluminium, lead, contact corrosion, corrosion products.
Surface irregularities, porosity, zinc salts, corrosion.
Smooth surface, zinc salts, corrosion.
Smooth surface, zinc salts, corrosion.
Anodised, aluminium salts, pitting corrosion, contact corrosion.
Surface irregularities, porosity, aluminium salts.

NOTE FOR STRUCTURAL DETAILS


Weld spatters, rough welds,
tack (skip) welds, doublings,
intermittent welding

These cannot be protected properly and must be ground and/or


repaired by welding.

Open connections, bolts and


nuts, crevices, sharp edges,
wrong inclination

Moisture and dirt collects on these spots.


Sharp edges must be rounded by grinding.
See also details prone to corrosion attack.

Combination of different
metals

Avoid contact corrosion by insulating properly.

Inaccessable places

Seal with caulking compounds.

page 1/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
NOTE FOR ORIGINAL COATING SYSTEMS
For each maintenance specification the compatibility of the maintenance paint with the existing paint system
should be given or checked by a test patch.
Main paint defects are corrosion, checking and cracking, blistering and detachment. Causes for paint
defects should be detected, especially when the paint system did not perform well. See also Paint
Defects.
NOTE FOR PHYSICAL AND/OR CHEMICAL ATTACK
Extreme temperature changes,
erosion, direct sunlight,
UV radiation, rain, abrasion,
humidity, moisture, chemicals,
aggressive fumes, contact
Corrosion, cathodic protection
From practice it is known that in case of an early failure a wrong paint system was applied. If this has
happened, the exposure conditions should be defined again another paint system should be considered
Dry heat resistance of generic coating types
Continuous heat
bitumen
chlorinated rubber
vinyl
alkyd
tar epoxy*
polyurethane
epoxy, medium solids**
epoxy, high solids
epoxy, solvent free
epoxy, phenolics
zinc epoxy
zinc silicate

60C (140F)
60C (140F)
60C (140F)
80C (175F)
120C (250F)
120C (250F)
120C (250F)
80C (175F)
80C (175F)
150C (300F)
180C (355F)
400C (750F)

Intermittent heat
(<5% of the time, max 24 hrs)
60C (140F)
75C (165F)
75C (165F)
100C (210F)
120C (250F)
120C (250F)
150C (300F)
90-100C (194-210F)
90-100C (194-210F)
150C (300F)
200C (390F)
400C (750F)

* Valid for SigmaCover 300


** Discoloration at higher temperatures can occur

NOTE FOR SURFACE PREPARATION


The methods for surface preparation in maintenance painting are often limited because interference with
other works has to be avoided as well as damage to machines and equipment. Nevertheless when the cause
of paint defects was related to poor surface preparation, this fault should not be repeated.

page 2/13

STEEL PROTECTION
Tools for maintenance management

SYSTEM

4007
September 2005

Full attention should be paid to the following points:

Removal of weld spatters by power tool chiseling and grinding.


Structural repair by welding.
Pitting to be cleaned in depth and filled.
Sharp edges to be rounded by grinding preferably to a radius of 2 to 3 mm.
Smooth surfaces should be roughened, polished surfaces should be avoided.
Measurements to be taken to avoid contact (galvanic) corrosion by using proper sealing and insulation
materials.
Removal of local rust by wire brushing and/or power tool disc cleaning.
Removal of rust and other corrosion products like zinc and aluminium salts is done by scrapers, blast
cleaning (wet, dry, vacuum), power tool disc cleaning or scotch brite cleaning.
Contamination should be removed with detergents and/or high pressure fresh water cleaning. Solvent
cleaning should be used only when this is unavoidable.
Old defective paint coats should be removed if the adhesion or the intercoat adhesion is insufficient. The
edges of old intact paint coats should be feathered.
Old intact paint coats should be sanded lightly to achieve good adhesion.

SPECIFIC REMEDIAL ACTIONS


CHALKING. A (high pressure) wash with solution of detergent and water, followed by thorough rinsing with
fresh water will remedy chalking.
MILDEW. Remove mildew with proper material or by scrubbing with solution of one part of household
bleach per three parts of water, followed by thorough rinsing with fresh water.
FLAKING and PEELING. Depending upon severity of atmospheric exposure and extent of flaking and
peeling, minimum surface preparation is light blast cleaning, high pressure water cleaning, water
abrasive blast cleaning, or power tool cleaning to remove all loosely adhering paint.
HARD, GLOSSY or TOUGH SURFACES. To provide satisfactory adhesion, the surface must be roughened
by hand or power tool, or by wet or dry abrasive blasting.
BLEEDING. The surface should be sealed with a special coating (sealer).
UPGRADING of existing coating systems. Due to strong solvents (swelling) upgrading usually cannot be
accomplished by direct application of high performance solvent based coatings. Recommended tiecoats
should be applied first. Some water borne epoxies may be applied directly to the existing coating system.
BLISTERING or RUSTING. Minor blistering and/or rusting should be removed by power tool cleaning, high
pressure water cleaning or spot blast cleaning. Where blistering and rusting is excessive, it is advised
that the existing coating should be completely removed.
NOTE FOR PAINT APPLICATION
Spraying of paint is often limited because interference with other works has to be avoided. So
maintenance paints should be also fit for either roller or brush application. Very complex structures
should be painted by brush or roller instead of by spraygun to avoid overspray, dry spray and extreme
paint losses.
For brush or roller applied paints the specified dry film thickness should be reached for which extra coats
might be needed. Sharp edges and complex structures should be stripe coated with each coat of the
system.
The preceding (build) coat should be of a colour which allows the finishing coat to give good coverage.
page 3/13

STEEL PROTECTION
Tools for maintenance management

SYSTEM

4007
September 2005

PAINT APPLICATION CONSIDERATIONS


CONTAMINATION. The possibility of contamination of the substrate and the coating during application and
curing or drying will influence the selection and future performance of the specific coating.
APPLICATION CONDITIONS. Specific information regarding temperature limitations is given in the product
data sheets. A low temperature may inhibit curing while a high temperature may cause solvent popping
and skin drying. A high wind velocity results in excessive paint consumption, dry spray and skin drying.
HUMIDITY. Best results for most coatings are obtained at a relative humidity, below 85%. The substrate
temperature should be at least 3C above dew point.
SOLVENT AND THINNER SELECTION. Follow the recommendations given in the product data sheets.
EXCESSIVE ZINC SALTS. Zinc salts may be removed by light blast cleaning, followed by fresh water
rinsing to remove dust. High pressure water cleaning may be suitable as well as powertool cleaning using
scotch brite.
CONTAMINATION. Suitable solvents or emulsifying agents should be used to remove surface or absorbed
greasy contaminants.

page 4/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
SYMPTOM
IDENTIFICATION

CONSEQUENCE

CORRECTION/
PREPARATION

Aluminium

Dull, greyish, smooth


soft surface.

Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

Degrease, (disc)sand or
sweep blast with inert grit.

Aluminium,
anodised

Very smooth, (coloured)


hard surface.

Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

Degrease, (disc)sand or
sweep blast with inert grit.

Aluminium,
corroded

White aluminium
salts, pitting.

Deposits are contaminated,


corrosion will continue.

(Disc)sand, wash
thoroughly.
Better: clean by water
abrasive blast cleaning.

Aluminium
sprayed steel

Very porous
surface.

Absorption of contaminants. Overcoat within 4 hours,


Bubbles and pinholes
if not, clean by water
in the coating film.
abrasive blast cleaning.
Use correct sealer

Copper

Metallic yellow or
reddish-yellow sheen.
Very smooth soft surface.

Insufficient adhesion of
coating.

Degrease, (disc)sand.

Copper
corroded

Greenish-white copper
salts.

Insufficient adhesion of
coating.

(Disc)sand, wash
thoroughly.

Hot rolled
steel

Millscale. This has a


blueish black
appearance.

Millscale is more noble


than steel leading to
pitting corrosion in cracks.

Remove mill scale


by blast cleaning.

Steel/cold
rolled steel,
corroded

Rust.

Rust deposits are


contaminated with salts,
corrosion will continue.

Wash thoroughly.
(Disc)sand, blast clean,
check surface for
cleanliness.
Better: clean by water
abrasive blast cleaning.

Cast iron,
corroded

Rust-porosity.

Absorption of contaminants.
Rust deposits are
difficult to remove from
the pores.

(Disc)sand, blast clean with


fine abrasive. Better: clean
by water abrasive blast
cleaning. Use correct sealer

Stainless
steel

Very smooth.

Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

Degrease, (disc)sand or
blast clean with inert grit.

SURFACE

page 5/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005

SURFACE

SYMPTOM
IDENTIFICATION

CONSEQUENCE

CORRECTION/
PREPARATION

Coil galvanised Thin plate with a very


plate(Sendzimir) smooth zinc layer.
15-50 m zinc

Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

Degrease, (disc)sand,
better: sweep blast the
surface lightly with inert
grit.

Coil galvanised White zinc salts


plate corroded and rust.
(Sendzimir)

Corrosion deposits
are contaminated.
Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

(Disc)sand, better: sweep


blast the surface lightly
with inert grit.

Electrolytic
zinc plate
(Zincor)
5 m zinc

Thin plate with a very


smooth very thin
electrochemically
applied zinc layer.

No resistance to
weathering.
Good coating adhesion.

Degrease and sand lightly.

Electrolytic
zinc plate,
corroded
(Zincor)

Rust and white


zinc salts.

Corrosion products
are contaminated.
Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

(Disc)sand, better sweep:


blast the surface lightly
with inert grit.

Hot dip
Smooth, soft,
galvanised
greyish surface.
steel
50-200 m zinc
(or zinc metal)

Insufficient adhesion
of coating.

(Disc)sand, better sweep:


blast the surface lightly
with inert grit till a
uniform matt appearance.

Hot dip
galvanised
steel,
corroded

White dirty zinc


salts, rust.

All deposits are contaminated. (Disc)sand, better:


Corrosion.will continue
(sweep)blast the surface
Insufficient adhesion
with inert grit.
of coating.

Zinc sprayed
steel

Very porous
surface.

Absorption of contaminants. Overcoat within4 hours,


Bubbles and pin holes
if not, clean by water
in the coating.
abrasive blast cleaning.
Use correct sealer.

Zinc sprayed
steel,
corroded

Porous surface
with zinc salts
and rust.

Corrosion products are


contaminated. Insufficient
adhesion of coating.

Blast clean with


inert grit.

General: Prevent contact of metals (carbon) which can form a galvanic couple.

page 6/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
DETAILS PRONE TO CORROSION ATTACK
Details of structures have an extremely big impact on the durability of a paint system and as a consequence
on the maintenance cost.
Up to 15% of a structure is known as a critical part in respect of corrosion protection because of
imperfect welds, sharp edges and areas where dirt and water can collect. Improvements of such
details should be an integral part of maintenance jobs
Rivetted or bolted structures are difficult to protect. Often coating systems show cracks after a certain time
due to the shrinkage of the coating around rivets, bolts or nuts or due to minor movements in the
connections of the structure. Specially formulated coatings should be used for the protection of these areas,
having a durable elasticity and low shrinkage. (Maintenance system 4111)
Prevent collection of dirt and water. Make drainage holes if
necessary and ensure that the strength of the structure is not
affected. Drainage of water should be done in a way that
water does not collect where it can cause corrosion.
Avoid openings where dirt and water can collect.
Grind the welds and avoid breaks or tack welds.

Avoid sharp edges and intermittent welding.


Always attempt to have rounded shapes and complete
welds.
Structures composed of steel and concrete are frequently
incompatible as far as protection and maintenance are
concerned. At the design stage consideration should be
given to the accessibility of the steel parts for painting during
new fabrication and maintenance.
Leakage between concrete floors and steel columns can be
prevented by using synthetic rubber slabs and sealants.
If these materials have to be coated the adhesion of the paint
should be checked.
When installing tanks, equipment and pipelines, there must
be sufficient space left in between to allow ventilation,
cleaning and maintenance painting.

page 7/13

STEEL PROTECTION
Tools for maintenance management

SYSTEM

4007
September 2005

DETAILS PRONE TO CORROSION ATTACK

In a steel structure composed of several parts there are


always places where moisture or dirt can collect.
The connections between the sloping and vertical sections
must always be constructed in a way that water can be
drained off.
The connection between round and flat surfaces always
creates areas which are difficult to protect.
These areas should be filled up by welding to improve the
protection.

The junction between facing plates also creates spots which


will remain damp.
Filling these spots with welding material or a flexible
filler is necessary for a durable protection.

Containers or process tanks should be constructed in a way


that no liquid remains when emptied.
Special attention should be paid to the couplings of the drain:
the edge of the drain and coupling must not be higher than
the bottom of the tank.

Reinforcement in the shape of right-angled or U-profile must


also be fitted in a way that painting is possible. Use a Tprofile instead of 2 right-angled profiles or place the back to
back angles so that the opening between them can be
welded. Make sure that sharp edges of the profile are
rounded by grinding.
Reinforcement in the shape of tubes should be fitted to plate
material in a way that all parts are accessible for coating,
both during new fabrication and maintenance painting.

page 8/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005

SUBSTRATE - PAINT SYSTEM


SYMPTOM - CORROSION
IDENTIFICATION

MAINTENANCE AREA

The area to be repaired will be the


scattered corroded area x 10 or the
localised corroded area x 2.
Re3 and below Re3 = spotrepair.
above Re3 = total area to be repaired.
The photos illustrating some degrees
of rusting are a reduction in size. In
practice the original European scale
of degree of rusting should be used

European scale of degree of rusting ISO 4628/3 ASTM D610


POSSIBLE CAUSES

MAINTENANCE CORRECTION

Salt contamination.
Pinholes, porous film or damages.
Deterioration.
Mill-scale or remnants of rust.
Grit inclusions.
Pitting.

Check and if still present, wash with fresh water.


Feather off edges of damages.
Abrade thoroughly.
Abrade or blast clean mill scaled or rusty areas.
Remove by chipping or abrading.
Investigate the cause. Pitting should be grinded and
filled. It is impossible to coat pittings totally by spray
application and sometimes even not by brush.
Upgrade dft of maintenance system.
Stop splash and spillage or change paint system.

Too low dry film thickness.


Aggressive chemicals/solvents.

page 9/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
SUBSTRATE - PAINT SYSTEM
SYMPTOM - CHECKING CRACKING
IDENTIFICATION

MAINTENANCE AREA

Checked or cracked areas like No.8


and higher figures = spot repair.
like No.6 and lower figures =
total area to be repaired.
The photos illustrating some degrees
of checking and cracking are a
reduction in size.
In practice the original ASTM D 660
or ASTM D 661 should be used.
No. 8

No. 6

Intensity ratings are in accordance with ratings as per ASTM D 660 or D 661 ISO 4628/4 ISO 4628/5
POSSIBLE CAUSES

MAINTENANCE CORRECTION

Hard coating on top of a soft coating.


(checking) Sometimes caused by a too short
overcoating interval or by the application
of a too high film thickness.
Hard coating on top of a soft old coating.
(cracking)

Check if still soft material is present underneath.


Abrade checked paint completely.
Adjust paint system.
Check if still soft material is present underneath.
Abrade cracked paint completely.
Adjust paint system.

page 10/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
SUBSTRATE - PAINT
SYMPTOM - BLISTERS
IDENTIFICATION

MAINTENANCE AREA

The area to be repaired will be the


blistered area x 10.
Below 2,5% blisters = spot repair.
Above 2,5% blisters = total area to be
repaired.
The photos illustrating some degrees
of blistering are a reduction in size.
In practice the original ASTM
D 714-56 should be used.

Area and Density degree according to ISO 4628/2 - ASTM D 714-56


POSSIBLE CAUSES

MAINTENANCE CORRECTION

Soluble salts present under or in between the


paintcoats.
Cathodic over protection.
Contamination or grease present under or
between coats.
High temperature or temperature gradient.
Contact with chemicals, solvents and water.
(condensation)
Too low dry film thickness
Too short overcoating time or application at
too low temperature.

Check and if still present wash with fresh water.


Adjust CP and/or change paint system.
Check, degrease and remove contamination.
Change paint system and/or insulate.
Take preventive measures or change paint system.
Upgrade dft of maintenance system.
The conditions during maintenance should be
improved.

page 11/13

STEEL PROTECTION

SYSTEM

4007

Tools for maintenance management

September 2005
SUBSTRATE - PAINT SYSTEM
SYMPTOM - DETACHMENT
IDENTIFICATION

MAINTENANCE AREA

The area to be repaired will be the


detached area x 2.
Below 15% detachment = spot repair.
Above 15% detachment = total area
to be repaired.

POSSIBLE CAUSES

MAINTENANCE CORRECTION

Intercoat contamination within latest applied


system or overcoating times too long.
Incompatibility of paint coats within latest
applied system or with old system e.g.
exudation.
Attack by aggressive solvents to old system.
(swelling)
Internal stresses leading to detachment from
bare steel. Too thick coat or quick temperature
change see also causes blisters
Detachment from bare steel initiated by cracks
and moisture.

Check and remove defective paint.


Check specification.
Change paint system.
Change paint system.
Remove all paint.
Check dft of total system.
Remove all paint.
Check the extend of under creep.
Remove defective paint.

page 12/13

STEEL PROTECTION
Tools for maintenance management

SYSTEM

4007
September 2005

Limitation of Liability - The information in this data sheet is based upon laboratory tests we believe to be accurate and is
intended for guidance only. All recommendations or suggestions relating to the use of the products made by Sigma Coatings,
whether in technical documentation, or in response to a specific enquiry, or otherwise, are based on data which to the best of our
knowledge are reliable. The products and information are designed for users having the requisite knowledge and industrial skills
and it is the end-user's responsibility to determine the suitability of the product for its intended use.
Sigma Coatings has no control over either the quality or condition of the substrate, or the many factors affecting the use and
application of the product. Sigma Coatings does therefore not accept any liability arising from loss, injury or damage resulting
from such use or the contents of this data sheet (unless there are written agreements stating otherwise).
The data contained herein are liable to modification as a result of practical experience and continuous product development.
This data sheet replaces and annuls all previous issues and it is therefore the users responsibility to ensure that this sheet is
current prior to using the product.

page 13/13