The Role of Non-Skid Deck Coatings in Offshore Safety

Offshore oil platforms are faced with a unique set of safety-related challenges that can be attributed to their setting: namely, the risk of slip-and-fall injuries. Slip-and-falls are one of the most commonly reported types of injury on offshore oil platforms. It’s easy to understand why when you consider the near constant exposure to ocean spray that offshore platforms are subjected to. The moisture that makes its way up onto any deck or walkway can create a slippery surface, which puts personnel at increased risk of falling.

To counteract the slip-and-fall hazards that come with working offshore, there are many options for non-skid deck coatings available on the market today. There are two key components to most of these non-skid deck coatings: an epoxy film, and a granular aggregate.

The epoxy portion serves as a strong coating to encapsulate the aggregate and ensure surface adhesion. The purpose of the aggregate is to incorporate grit into the coating to increase surface friction and subsequently reduce the risk of slips.

The way it works is that the epoxy is first applied to the deck surface in a heavy coat. While the coat is not yet dry, an aggregate material is manually sprinkled or ‘broadcast’ onto the surface of the wet epoxy. This broadcast process is repeated multiple times until the desired result is achieved- and therein lies the first issue of traditional non-skid paint coatings.

Where Other Non-Skid Deck Coatings Fall Flat

The process of applying a traditional non-skid coating is a long one. First, the initial epoxy layer must be applied; then the aggregate must be broadcast into it; then the coating must dry overnight; leaving an opening for intercoat contamination. Even after all that trouble, the coating must still be finished with an additional layer of epoxy topcoat.

This takes a great number of man-hours, and even worse than that it takes immense downtime. Throughout the entire application process, areas to be covered are rendered completely unusable until the coating process has been completed in its entirety. This can take days on end.

Worst of all, the performance of traditional coatings tends to be lackluster at best. There are a few factors that contribute to poor results even after investing so much time into the application process, most of which lie in the application method itself.

The first issue is the epoxy itself. While epoxies can demonstrate great strength under the right conditions, the application of a non-skid deck coating does not allow the epoxy to properly demonstrate its worth. The first issue is the multitude of layers and the wait time between them. The process of applying a non-skid deck coating involves waiting for each layer to be completely dry before moving on to the next. What happens here is that each layer cures independently; so rather than creating a strong bond with each other, each layer serves as only a thin veil that isn’t effective against impact or regular foot traffic. The second issue here it the addition of the aggregate. While the aggregate is essential for the coating to function as intended, it does not bond with the epoxy so much as it remains suspended within it. The aggregate’s presence in the epoxy is like that of a void which creates a point of weakness in the film.

In addition, the aggregate typically does not perform its essential function very well either. This is due to its tendency to poorly distribute itself throughout the film. Its density is usually much higher than that of the epoxy, which causes it to simply sink to the bottom while the epoxy is still wet. Without the aggregate’s presence at the surface, the coating’s non-skid properties are minimized.

So, there are a few essential issues with traditional coatings: the integrity of the epoxy, the effectiveness of the aggregate, and the time spent in the application process.

Tesla NanoCoatings solved all of them.

TESLAN 1105 Nano Non-Skid: Engineered for Excellence

TESLAN® 1105 Nano Non-Skid is a solvent-based, three-component epoxy coating designed for the protection of steel and metallic substrates.

This non-skid deck coating incorporates carbon nanotubes (CNTs) together with sacrificial zinc and a non-slip aggregate to provide extraordinary durability, maximized corrosion protection, and anti-slip properties. This makes it especially effective in applications with high slip-and-fall risk like oil rigs, offshore platforms, marine vessels, and more.

CNTs reinforce the epoxy film by forming a bond at the atomic level, making the two components inseparable from one another. This not only allows the epoxy to demonstrate its true strength, but it also enhances its performance by increasing impact resistance and abrasion resistance.

The aggregate used in TESLAN® 1105 was specially selected for its ability to remain evenly distributed throughout the epoxy film from the initial application to the finished coating, unlike those used in traditional non-skid deck coatings. Since the coating is combined with aggregate from the very beginning, we have also eliminated the need to broadcast an aggregate onto a wet epoxy base coat.

Thanks to our unique all-in-one product formulation this non-skid deck coating is quick to apply, with full applications in a single site visit. TESLAN® 1105 Nano Non-Skid is a single coat applied solution.

When colors or markings are needed, TESLAN® 1105 can be directly top coated with various accent colors utilizing patent pending 2 x 1 WET EDGE application process. With this process, additional layers can be applied to a coating while it is still wet. While this mainly slashes application time, another added benefit of this process is increased strength thanks to the bond that forms between layers as they cure together.

For your non-skid applications, there’s simply no solution better than TESLAN® 1105. To learn more about the technologies that define Tesla NanoCoatings, visit our About Page. If you’re interested in utilizing our quick coatings in your offshore, marine, or midstream operations, contact us today.