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Offshore Wind Farms Successful Corrosion Protection and Effective Quality Management

From JPCL, December 2016

More items for Program/Project Management

By Peter Kronborg Nielsen, FORCE Technology

Following an uncertain start, the present offshore coatings systems for wind farms have shown fine durability against the aggressive marine environment. In this article, positive features from the first wind farms with more than 15 years of service are described, as is the importance of quality management....


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Tagged categories: Epoxy; Exposure conditions; Maintenance coating work; Offshore; Peter Kronborg Nielsen; Polyurethane; Salt exposure; Seacoast exposure

Comment from jerrod monaghan, (1/16/2017, 8:11 AM)

Has the Offshore Wind Farms considered a Thermal Arc Spray vs. these Protective coatings? It seems this would be a perfect fit for them and provide much better protection.


Comment from Stephen Leigh, (1/17/2017, 4:38 AM)

Thanks Peter for a great article, very informative, lets hope most of your points are taken on board by the project management teams.


Comment from Andreas Momber, (1/17/2017, 8:06 AM)

Regarding spray metal applications to offshore wind structures, you can refer to two papers: 1. Performance and integrity of protective coating systems for offshore wind power structures after three years under offshore site conditions. Renewable Energy, Vol. 74 (2015), 606-617. 2. The adhesion of corrosion protection coating systems for offshore wind power constructions after three years under offshore exposure. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, Vol. 65 (2016), 96-101.


Comment from Andreas Momber, (1/17/2017, 8:07 AM)

There is one more intersting paper on coating damages of offshore wind power constructions: "Quantitative performance assessment of corrosion protection systems for offshore wind power transmission platforms". Renewable Energy, Vol. 94 (2016), 314-327.


Comment from Mike Gould, (1/17/2017, 8:17 AM)

Great Question Jerrod. The article does mention TS coatings on specific parts of the tower. There are many advantages to the Arc sprayed metal including the obvious corrosion protection. Textured "as sprayed" materials are great for reducing slipping on walking/climbing surfaces, grip rails, etc. Thermal Spray materials are used in addition to other coatings in a number of industries.


Comment from jerrod monaghan, (1/18/2017, 8:33 AM)

My company provides Thermal Arc Spray to many different industries and I have seen 40 year old zinc still protecting bridge structure as well as the day it was sprayed. The life cycle costs of this coating is hard to beat if installed correctly. It's a shame it is not used more when long term results have a major impact. The anti skid factor is also a great point Mr. Gould pointed out. Excellent article thank you for sharing it.


Comment from Peter Kronborg, (1/23/2017, 5:13 AM)

Thank you for your comments. The turbine towers on offshore windfarm projects always have been primed with thermally sprayed Zn/Al (TSZA) in projects familiar to us. The same in areas above the tidal zone such as boat landings, platforms and ladders in several former and recent projects. Project managers, including ourselves, have up till now been reluctant to use TSZA for subsea service for three reasons: 1. Price/square metre applied is higher than that of the presently used epoxy systems, and 2. The up till now unknown interactions between TSZA and cathodic protection, and 3. Fear of flaking of the intermediate epoxy coat due to immersed and thus active Zn/Al in the prime coats. E.g. Norwegian studies by the Sintef Institute have revealed that pure TS aluminum used as primers have led to flaking of paints on immersed structures. This negative attitude toward active zinc as prime coats in immersed situations is slightly changing due to excellent testing programs carried out by German scientists such as Dr. Momber and Dr. Binder. Consequently, the industry may see more TSZA- and zinc-rich epoxy primers in future projects also for immersed situations. P.S.! In the present internet article, the text under Figure 9 is incorrect. It should read: “Cracks in coating film caused by inner tensions in the coating film from excessive DFT”. The text is correct in the paper magazine.


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