This Disruptive Technology Continues to Unfold Cost-Saving Benefits
MASSILLON, Ohio (August 27, 2020) –- The constant exploring and testing of carbon nanotechnology is uncovering benefits that are very meaningful to the oil and gas industry.
Todd Hawkins, President and Founder of Tesla NanoCoatings, has been working with this disruptive technology for almost 15 years. As he continues to develop the carbon nanotechnology, he is pleasantly surprised by versatility of carbon nanotubes in yielding more capabilities for providing greater barrier protection and reducing costs.
Tesla NanoCoatings has numerous global patents utilizing carbon nanotechnology. The company is always challenged to find new and expanded applications for carbon nanotubes.
“Tell us about your carbon nanotechnology”
The first real exposure of the Tesla NanoCoatings’ carbon nanotechnology was at the NACE Corrosion Conference 2014 in San Antonio. The vast majority of the companies in 2014 never heard of carbon nanotechnology, that was not true of oil and gas companies.
They knew the current technology in corrosion was 60 to 80 years old and they were desperately looking for something new. Many experts were somewhat familiar with carbon nanotechnology and were looking for a company whose carbon nanotechnology delivered on its promise to provide greater barrier protection. “We were pleased to see that our carbon nanotechnology was on everyone’s corrosion radar screen,” commented Todd Hawkins, President and Founder.
Tesla NanoCoatings process is a two-coat process that can be completed in a single day. It replaces the current three and four coat processes.
The carbon nanotubes that are in the coatings are the third form of carbon which means they are 200x stronger than steel providing abrasion proof barrier protection.
Additionally, the carbon nanotubes conduct electricity 1000x better than copper. In the event, there was an abrasion the coating was self-healing. The corrosion literally could not spread.
Offshore Oil Platforms, the Harshest Environment for Protective Coatings
Initially the major oil companies exhibited considerable interest in learning more about Tesla Nanocoatings disruptive technology. After many meetings and discussions, it became apparent the offshore oil platforms were the best vehicle to demonstrate carbon nanotechnology’s superiority to existing coatings.
The offshore platforms have three major areas that have major corrosion problems – topside, the splash zone and underwater. The carbon nanocoatings are ideally designed to prevent corrosion in these three areas.
While Tesla NanoCoating was discussing the test applications for its coatings, it developed 2×1 Wet Edge technology. The most appealing features of the coatings is their ability to significantly reduce maintenance costs as much as 50% with its 2 x 1 Wet Edge technology. This technology allows applicators to apply the topcoat to the primer 30-45 minutes after the primer has been applied.
The oil companies now had the combined benefit of a superior coating with its two-coat process and 2×1 Wet Edge technology which greatly reduced maintenance costs.
Let the Testing Begin
While the carbon nanotechnology looked very promising, none of the major oil companies would consider using it without exhaustive testing. Tesla NanoCoatings began testing for the O&G industry in 2012 and over the course of eight years has conducted hundreds of tests to validate the technology.
The testing included the ISO 12944-9 performance requirements for offshore and related structures. Those exposed to marine atmosphere and immersed in sea or brackish water. These are considered corrosive category CX (offshore) and immersion category Im4 requiring cyclic ageing, cathodic disbondment and sea water immersion.
The Teslan® 2-coat systems passed all testing qualifying them for use topside, in immersion and in the splash zone of the offshore structures.
There were a wide range of supplemental tests which evaluated Tesla NanoCoatings for offshore structures. Ballast tank coating qualification was successfully conducted using simulated service conditions in wave tank testing. Additionally, adhesion, thick film cracking and temperature cycling, impact resistance, tensile strength, hot service and outdoor exposure are routinely conducted.
Tesla NanoCoatings also has adopted arduous testing protocols going beyond testing norms battering the Teslan® on degraded steel surfaces. The coatings were applied over severely chloride contaminated and sea water wet surfaces sprayed with sea water from the Gulf of Mexico, flash rusted panels, along with application and curing in 100% humidity. Remarkably the Teslan® coatings pass the ISO 12944 requirements in these deplorable conditions.
Tesla NanoCoatings’ Teslan coatings performed beyond all parties’ expectations. These tests demonstrated that Teslan® could be applied in immersion, splash zone and above deck.
“We knew our carbon nanotechnology could withstand any type of punishment, but these tests truly pushed the performance of the coatings,” stated Hawkins.
These testing cycles took a few years to complete and Tesla NanoCoatings worked closely with some very forward-looking companies to arrive at a technology that could truly address the offshore corrosion challenges.
Delivering on the Promise.
After the exhaustive lab testing, Tesla NanoCoatings began applying Teslan® to a platform in the Arabian Gulf in September 2016. Teslan® has been on the platform for four years and the platform looks as good as it did the day the coating was first applied.
The successful testing on initial platform lead to the coatings being applied to other platforms in the Persian Gulf. The carbon nanotechnology provided:
- Cathodic Protection– The addition of conductive carbon nanotubes (CNT) allows for the more efficient use of the metal content in a galvanic primer. This leads to improved cathodic protection as electrons from the zinc are donated along the CNT quantum network that has 1000 times the conductivity of copper.
- Barrier– Teslan applies like paint but acts like plating. As the strongest material known to man, CNT’s mechanical properties can be engineered into epoxy and impart those properties into the film. These benefits include tremendous tensile strength, up to 200 times of steel providing outstanding barrier properties, the ability to eliminate microcracking and prevent film breakdown from weathering.
- Adhesion – With an affinity for steel and the strength provided by the CNT reinforced film, Tesla’s demonstrate far superior adhesion to any other coating. Pull test results routinely exceed 5,500 lbs./sq.in.
- Edge retention –CNT’s have in edge retention properties. The incorporation of CNT’s into epoxy composite coatings can significantly improve edge retention. Tesla Coatings superior edge retention means that stripe coatings is not required on any project. Since the coatings do not drip or sag, the complete job can be done by spraying only.
- 2×1 Wet Edge™— Tesla NanoCoatings’ wet-on-wet process enables applicators to apply the topcoat 30 to 45 minutes after the primer has been applied. Wet-on-wet process delivers major time and cost savings along with technologically advanced corrosion protection advantages because the primer and topcoat monolithically bond.
The successful tests in the Persian Gulf resulted in Tesla NanoCoatings being specified for both maintenance and new construction:
- CX Offshore
- CX-IM4 – splash and tide zone
- IM4 –immersion
- Ballast tanks
“Since 2016, Anjam Al Reyadah has been working with Tesla NanoCoatings, Inc. During that time period, we have worked with a wide range of assets owners from different industries introducing this technology to them. The Teslan coatings have met or exceed all expectations. Teslan is rapidly gaining acceptance in the Middle East. Both Tesla NanoCoatings, Inc. and Anjam Al Reyadah are moving ahead with plans to localize the manufacturing of this technology in the region,” stated Dr. Gasem Fallatah, Anjam Group Manager.
The Future of Carbon Nanotechnology
“Based on our success to date, this disruptive carbon nanotechnology will become the norm for many if not all offshore coating applications,” stated Hawkins.