F-Files: Mechanisms of Failure
The case of improperly cleaned surfaces

From JPCL, August 2014

By Jayson L. Helsel, P.E., KTA-Tator, Inc. Rich Burgess, PCS, KTA-Tator, Inc., Series Editor

Failures in Preparation or Specification?...

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Tagged categories: Coating failure; Failure analysis; Surface Preparation; Surface preparation

Comment from Chuck Stevens, (9/18/2014, 2:19 PM)

I think we all have been faced with the arrival of structure elements being delivered from a accredited manufacturer.Example Bridge girders,Trusses Etc. That were cleaned and coated (primed) as per Specs,with the proper paper work.Questions? You are the Inspector of record for this project:Will you accept these (Example=10 Girders)after a visual check a DFT was performed and areas of insufficient coverage were observed and marked.At this time do you question; since the holidays are present.was the surface prep.ok How would you precede?Us a Took gauge?Record,Delay the completion of this Calendar Day Project?? Project Manager told of findings What should as the inspector do?

Comment from saul ramirez, (10/28/2014, 8:20 AM)

HI, I work for Keppel AmFELS at Brownsville, Texas; in my case first of all we check the warranty policy with the provider and see the way to rework the pieces here in our shops instead of just grab them and paint. in 8 years I just had a case when the piece was returned to the vendor and I went to see their manufacturing process to assure things were done properly until the pieces arrived to our facility.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/29/2014, 8:13 AM)

Chuck - we typically have an inspector onsite at the fabrication facility, and a different inspector on the ground at the bridge site. Either of them can reject work.

Comment from David Wonnacott, (12/18/2014, 3:10 PM)

Many of the problems listed in the article could have been avoided with the precisely controlled work of applied gelled acids. Also, training of the personnel doing the work is absolutely essential before the work begins.

Comment from MARIANA HUHULEA, (12/24/2014, 10:49 PM)

Agree with Tom...it is how you can keep things under control...up to a certain extent, of course Have had pipes and outfitting and various non-structural tanks for shipbuilding project spread between various Subcontractors within 1,000 km radius around the Shipyard. Contractors audit before project commences and regularly during the process certainly helps

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/5/2015, 10:23 AM)

David, I'm not sure how changing from tool cleaning to gelled acid addresses the problem of a fabricator not following specifications. Instead of not tool cleaning enough, the fabricator could just as easily not apply the gel correctly (either coverage or duration)

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