Subsea equipment is subject to extreme temperatures, pressures, and corrosive elements. In many cases equipment life reaches 20 years or more, requiring material finishes that are specifically designed to be subsea coatings in order to last under some of the harshest environmental conditions the industry has to combat.
Wolkerstorfer provides high-quality underwater coatings that meet numerous requirements and specifications for leading gas and oil companies like Petrobras, General Electric, and Aker. In the case of subsea, “no news is good news”. The durability of the coating has been tested, but without the proper pretreatment, application, and attention to detail, the subsea coating systems will not achieve maximum performance. In all cases, Wolkerstorfer Company has been successfully audited by NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), the accredited agency for the industry.
The Importance of Underwater and Subsea Coatings
Subsea protective coatings are designed to withstand the harsh conditions found in underwater environments. These coatings protect subsea equipment, structures, and infrastructure from the damaging effects of salinity, corrosion, abrasion, and biological growth. Subsea coatings and underwater coatings are essential components in numerous industries, including oil and gas, marine, offshore wind, and underwater infrastructure, due to their ability to provide long-lasting protection.
The corrosive nature of seawater presents one of the greatest obstacles to subsea operations. Subsea coatings are specially formulated to provide a corrosion barrier, preventing the deterioration of metal surfaces exposed to an underwater environment. Typically, these underwater coatings are utilized on subsea pipelines, risers, umbilicals, and offshore platforms. Subsea coatings safeguard these vital components, extending their service life and reducing the frequency of maintenance and repairs.
While similar in nature to subsea coatings, underwater coatings serve a different function. They are designed to safeguard structures submerged in bodies of freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. Common applications for these coatings include dams, bridges, underwater tunnels, and water treatment facilities. The resistance of underwater coatings to water penetration, corrosion, and chemical attack ensures the structural integrity and longevity of submerged infrastructure.
In addition, subsea coatings and underwater coatings address the accumulation of biological growth, such as barnacles and algae, on submerged surfaces. These coatings contain antifouling properties that prevent the attachment and growth of marine organisms, thereby minimizing maintenance needs and maximizing operational efficiency.
For subsea and underwater coatings to be effective, adequate surface preparation, application techniques, and quality control are required. Coatings must be meticulously selected based on the application’s specific environmental conditions and performance requirements. Conformance to industry standards and certifications, such as those provided by NACE, guarantees that coatings satisfy the highest quality and performance requirements.
Subsea coatings and underwater coatings are essential components for the protection of equipment, structures, and infrastructure when working in challenging freshwater or saltwater environments. By providing corrosion resistance and mechanical durability, these coatings contribute to the longevity, dependability, and productivity of subsea operations and underwater structures in a variety of industries.
The artwork at the top of the page comes compliments of Dynamic Sealing Technologies, Inc. (DSTI) which provides fluid swivel products for critical oil and gas applications. In the illustration, DSTI’s subsea swivels allow oil pipelines to rotate during deployment from ship to seabed preventing pipe damage resulting in costly downtime through repair and delays. For more information visit www.dsti.com.