HARD WORKING COATING
Offshore assets need constant maintenance and repair to prevent corrosion. At Tesla NanoCoatings we’ve dedicated our development work to coatings for one of the harshest environments; offshore production platforms. For most offshore platforms the predominant material for construction is carbon steel. It is strong, easy to form and to weld. In the warm, humid seawater environment of the Gulf of Mexico, it also corrodes at an accelerated rate. Having a tough, easy to apply and effective coating system that can stave off the inevitable rust literally saves millions of dollars of maintenance costs over the lifetime of the platform. The Tesla NanoCoatings formulation saves money by saving time. And it saves time by:
- Being a more durable coating
- Extending life to next maintenance
- Saving time in application
The savings are real, and we’d like to share our customers’ experiences of using Tesla NanoCoatings.
A MORE EFFECTIVE COATING
Corrosion is an electro-chemical process that converts the iron in steel to an iron oxide. We’ve all likely seen a severely rusted old bolt and know how much damage that rust can do over a fairly short period of time. One of the most effective strategies against rust is to put a barrier between the steel and the corrosive environment in the form of a coating. However, what makes this even more effective is to cover the steel with zinc. This zinc over steel combination creates a reaction where the zinc is preferentially dissolved, thus protecting the steel. This is known as galvanic protection. Here is the beauty of including carbon nanotubes with zinc in the coating. Carbon nanotubes are highly conductive. At the same time, they readily form structures in the coating film that act like rebar. Most ordinary barrier coatings which contain zinc have no way to ensure electrical connection between the steel and all the particles of zinc. Much of the zinc is wasted as it is isolated within the coating itself. Carbon nanotubes create that electrical contact throughout the entire coating film. Hence a more effective coating and a much longer time between maintenance intervals.
RESISTANCE TO DAMAGE
Now that we’ve introduced carbon nanotubes, here’s another characteristic of these microscopic wonders. They are super-hard; one of the hardest materials known to man. The bonds between individual molecules are stronger than the bonds found in diamonds and their tensile strength is 50 times that of steel. As one might imagine, the Tesla NanoCoatings formulation of epoxy, zinc and carbon nanotubes (CNT) is highly resistant to damage by impact or abrasion. In addition, their tendency to form a three-dimensional nanowire rebar gives them the ability to “self-repair” to some extent against minor dings and scratches. Again, thanks to the unique character of CNTs, Tesla NanoCoatings product lasts much longer than more conventional epoxy coatings. Longer operating life translates to saving time and money.
This is an area where the fabric maintenance team can easily see a direct time savings. Most conventional protective coating systems require three coats to really be effective. Each coat needs to dry before the next coat can be applied. The reason for the three coats is that each serves a different purpose. Primer is often zinc rich for cathodic protection, mid coat is an epoxy to act as a barrier and a polyurethane topcoat protects the epoxy from weathering. Tesla can provide all these properties in a two-coat system. Additionally the CNTs give the coating a unique rheology so it stays where you put it. This means it does not pull off of edges and eliminates the need for stripe coating, a manual process that adds even more cost to coatings projects. For the technician applying this coating, it means maintaining proper film thickness on edges and welds.
Tesla NanoCoating only requires two coats (primer and a topcoat) and the second coat can be applied after only 30 minutes, a process we refer to as wet-on-wet. Whereas a conventional anti-corrosion paint may take up to a day per coat to complete, the Tesla Nanocoating can be done in a matter of a couple of hours. This means that given the same amount of time you can cover up to four times as much area, with better protection and a longer-life. Again, the advantage goes to Tesla NanoCoating. Saving time and money. One of our customers probably said it best, “Tesla NanoCoatings is taking advantage of technology to develop products that deliver better corrosion protection for the long term, good people making great products to safeguard our assets.”