industrial coating inspection
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THE IMPORTANCE OF INSPECTORS TO THE INDUSTRY
Hiring certified and experienced inspectors in the coating industry is often the difference when it comes to the overall cost of a project. Inspectors are trained on edge feathering, runs and sags, paint color, product mixes, solvent types, and many other crucial details on a job site. Their expertise aids in getting jobs done to the correct specifications, saving companies from expensive repairs later on. Inspectors oversee jobs starting with the surface preparation technique used and then examine everything from the Dry Film Thickness (DFT) readings to SSPC VIS 1,1, VIS 2,2, and PA 2.3 specification comparisons.
If coating jobs are not performed to the paint manufacturers’ requirements, then they are not reliable for any necessary repairs in the event of coating failure. Having a licensed inspector on the job site provides proper documentation, which could save a company thousands of dollars in the event of a coating failure. Inspectors who are certified within a respective and specialized field enable a higher quality of work and a finished project that is held up to the highest of industry standards.
What is coating inspection?
Tests to measure whether a system, part, or process is performing as intended vary across industries. For example, hardness, ductility, and tensile strength are key metrics for components that make up construction and infrastructure assets. Testing those metrics involves stressing parts or materials to their breaking points. But the only way to determine that breaking point is to do just that—break something.
Testing industrial coatings is different because the only way to see if a coating was applied properly and is performing as intended is to examine it after application. How do you do that without damaging a coating system?
7 Most Common Tools for Industrial Coating Inspection:
Just like checking your windshield for fog or running your hands along a pipe to assess sweat isn’t an accurate method for obtaining dew-point or relative humidity readings, simply gauging a tank lining by eye isn’t an effective way to conduct a holiday detection test.
To ensure compliance with ASTM, ISO, and other specifications, there are specific coating inspection tools that are necessary to have on hand at every stage of the coating process. Ideal for on-site quality control assessments of industrial coatings, these tools can help measure everything from surface profile and dry film coating thickness to atmospheric temperature readings.
Below are the seven most common tools that every coating inspector or paint contractor should have in their toolbox to maximize coating performance:
1. Digital Psychrometer
A digital psychrometer is a hand-held, field-calibratable tool used to accurately measure atmospheric temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and wet bulb. Though the digital version is most commonly seen today, a sling psychrometer—known as a “whirly bird”—can also be used.
2. Surface or Digital Thermometer
To calculate the dew point, the surface of a substrate must first be determined. Magnetic surface thermometers are thermodynamically designed to measure surface temperature. The greater the thermal mass of the source, the more accurate the readings will be. An infrared digital thermometer offers a non-contact option to obtain temperature readings from a targeted surface, typically within a 3- to 35-foot range.
3. Micrometer Dial with Testex Replica Tape & Surface Profile Gauge
Given that most coatings require some kind of profile for adherence, these tools are a must when surface-prepping steel, alloys, or other non-ferrous metals. Used in conjunction with a Testex replica tape, a micrometer dial measures the surface profile of abrasive blast-cleaned surfaces. The replica tape is rubbed onto the surface, forming a reverse replica of the peak-valley pattern in the steel. A surface profile gauge can be used to measure peak-to-valley surface profiles on either flat or curved surfaces.
4. Wet & Dry Film Coating Thickness Gauges
When measuring coating thickness, two tools can be used—a wet film thickness (WFT) gauge and a dry film thickness (DFT) gauge. Used to test the thickness of a liquid-based wet coating, a WFT gauge should be used as the coating is being applied to ensure proper measurement of the wet film before significant solvent evaporation. For the most accurate readings, a DFT gauge should only be used once the film has achieved thumbprint hardness.
5. Low- & High-Voltage Holiday Detectors
Holiday detectors are non-destructive tools used to detect pinholes, holidays, or thin points in coatings applied for corrosion protection over metal or concrete surfaces. They are ideal for tank linings or coatings intended for immersion service where the film must be monolithic and pinhole-free. A low-voltage holiday detector tests up to 20 mils, whereas a high-voltage holiday detector is ideal for coating systems over 20 mils, at 100 volts per mil.
6. Telescopic Inspection Mirror
A telescopic inspection mirror is ideal for the in-depth examination of difficult-to-access areas—such as inside pipes, behind corners, or underneath inspection tanks—for holidays, pinholes, or other imperfections.
7. Basic Camera
Most inspection documentation requires photos to be taken before, during, and after completion of the coatings project. A basic camera, such as a smartphone, is sufficient for taking quality inspection photos.
Coating inspection courses and certifications in Canada
There are several coating inspector programs (CIP) that set the standards for inspection in Canada as well as training and certifying inspectors. The most well-known and recognized authority is NACE, the Worldwide Corrosion Authority. The NACE certifications and training are given and accepted in Canada. Here you will find information on NACE and other relevant coating inspection programs for the Canadian Market. Note: ASTM and ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) are the international bodies that produce the standards that guide the coating industry.
Canadian coating inspection with international NACE Certification
The NACE Coating Inspector Program (CIP) has been setting the standard for inspections in the protective coatings industry for over 30 years. The CIP is an international certification program that produces the highest caliber of paint inspectors. These come in Levels 1, 2, and 3, with 3 being the highest. They also published a book outlining the use of coating inspection equipment.
NACE Level 1 Certified – This certification is designed for Coating Inspectors responsible for performing and documenting basic and non-destructive inspections of liquid coatings applied by brush, roller, or spray to steel surfaces.
NACE Level 2 Certified – This certification is designed for Level 2 Coating Inspectors responsible for performing and documenting non-destructive inspections of liquid and non-liquid coatings to any substrate in a shop setting or under the supervision of a Level 3 inspector when working in a field setting.
NACE Level 3 Certified – This certification is designed for level 3 coating inspectors (which requires completion of certain requirements, an exam, and an approved application) who aim to be recognized as leaders in the coating inspection field.
ICorr, the Institute of Corrosion, is a corrosion authority that provides several courses that enable paint inspectors to acquire the necessary qualifications to carry out inspections in the field. The courses are in Levels 1, 2, and 3, and are internationally accredited and recognised. The highest level is level 3, and only they are trained and certified to write paint specifications for coatings projects. The ICorr levels correspond to the NACE levels.
The Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP), is a professional association focused on the protection of assets and performance of materials. AMPP was created when NACE International and SSPC the Society for Protective Coatings merged in 2021. AMPP is active in more than 130 countries and has more than 40,000 members. AMPP is headquartered in the U.S. with offices in Houston, Texas, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additional offices are located in the U.K., China, Malaysia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia with a training center in Dubai.
Both the legacy NACE and SSPC organizations were ANSI-accredited standards developers, which AMPP plans to continue. The merged standards program includes 25 standing standards committees that develop technical standards for industries including cathodic protection, coatings, defense, highways and bridges, rail, maritime, oil and gas, power and utilities, research and testing, tanks and pipelines, and water and wastewater.
our coating inspection process
We have a tried and true methodology for assessing and prevention corrosion through our ISO-standardized and client-customized workflow.
A maintenance survey determines the coating conditions of a surface. Surveys are used to create a maintenance schedule for re-coating and touch-up applications.
The Coating Inspector performs testing for a wide range of coating applications. We test for conformity, compatibility, performance, coat thickness, hardness, adhesion, and finishes.
Once testing has been completed, we provide our detailed recommendations in a report. This ensures that all aspects of the survey are considered and addressed.
All jobs are conducted according to industry standards: NACE/AMPP, ISO 9001:2015 and CSA/SSPC in Canada, ASTM and ISO for international clients.
The Coating Inspector works with contractors, owners, and engineers. We are a third party unbiased leader in the provision of professional coating inspection services.
blasting & painting
The Coating Inspector provides supervision and project management in the sandblasting, painting and coatings industry.
We check industrial equipment to ensure protective coatings were correctly applied to minimize corrosion risk. Our inspectors go through rigorous training to identify problems in coating applications. They can make recommendations for which types of coatings can best protect the materials from corroding.
A coatings survey provides a sense of how a coating is currently performing and identifies any problems that need to be addressed immediately. The survey provides the next steps to be undertaken. Surveys are a necessary part of an ongoing maintenance plan and should be performed on a regular basis.
This is the qualitative test of the adhesion coating system. This test will only give allow to ensure there is an adequate bond to the coated substrate. This test does not differentiate between levels of bonding. Adhesion testing is used to evaluate the adhesion to the substrate, in between coats, and internal film.
To determine the quality of the protective coating our inspector will measure dry film thickness or DFT. Considered one of the most important tests an inspector can make. DFT test serves as a foundation for the entire coating inspection,.
We create custom maintenance programs that identify areas to be surveyed, the level of detail required, and manpower that will be required to execute. We determine the data that will be taken and format to be used to ensure consistent judging criteria.
The Coating Inspector can conduct a non-destructive High Voltage Holiday Testing to find any voids and failures. This is possible due to electrical charge that flows through protective coating. Invest in hiring one of the top-rated AMPP inspectors in the world.
Extensive experience in the industrial coatings industry
Our team of coating inspectors is all NACE/AMPP certified and has years of experience working in the field. We are confident in our ability to provide accurate and reliable coating inspection services to our clients.
Hire the Right Coating Inspector in Canada
Do you have existing corrosion, or are looking to prevent costly equipment failure? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get a consultation.
The Coating Inspector is ISO certified, something few competitors can offer. We also have extensive reviews, decades of combined experience and the most highly trained coating inspectors in the industry.
What is an ISO Certification?
“Certification to ISO 45001 demonstrates an organisations commitment to a safer working environment and the protection of employees against injury at work.
ISO 45001 certified organisations have identified and operate to regulatory requirements through enforcing procedures for compliance with legislation. Improved identification of hazards and risk management, involving all levels of the organisation through setting objectives, targets and documented responsibilities are recognised by regulators as a commitment to safe working conditions and continuous improvement.”
QAS ISO certifies strict compliance procedures to legislative and standard compliances.
We have been certified in continuous improvement and service to our compliance.
We are commited to impeccable client service & employee safety.
The AMPP (Formerly know as The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)) is a globally recognized certification body to certify and train corrosion engineers.
With over 36,000 members globally, it is the most recognized trade association of corrosion inspectors to ensure industry standards in the coating inspection industry.
Established in 1943, it serves to train corrosion inspectors, enforce industry standards, certify engineers, publish and research corrosion inspection techniques and journals, as well as provide a standardized approach to corrosion inspection and prevention.
NACE “equips society to protect people, assets and the environment from the adverse effects of corrosion.”
Every project, business and industrial assets are unique. Depending on the scope of work, location and amount of inspectors or work hours required for your project, the cost can vary.
However, The Coating Inspector is committed to saving your business time, money and assets. The cost of equipment breakdown, shutdown or repair delays can cost your business far more resources than preventative maintenance, work and inspection.
Call, email or contact us via the form below with a bit more of information about your business. From there we’ll consult with you regarding your unique corrosion prevention requirements.
From there we’ll provide you a comprehensive quote and scope of work, and then begin working together with you to keep your facility and equipment in top working area.
Primarily all across Canada and globally (depending on the project).