The offshore Oil&Gas industry started in the early 1970's on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Some of the first jacket installations were first applied with traditional epoxy coating systems. However, good experience with glass flake reinforced polyester coatings in the early 1980's convinced operators to apply these high build coating systems for all new structures, as well as refurbishing several existing structures during offshore maintenance campaigns. Glass flake reinforced polyester coatings have now been used for more than 35 years under offshore conditions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. High film thickness and highly abrasion-resistant coatings have proven to be highly durable in the tidal/splash zone of offshore constructions.
Some of the first Oil&Gas offshore structures are now being decommissioned. This enables investigations on the long-term performance of coatings exposed to harsh conditions with limited access. This study presents the findings from an investigation performed on a glassflake reinforced polyester coating that was applied under offshore conditions for approx. 35 years ago. The presented results contain traditional visual inspection and adhesion testing, as well as more advanced analysis including FTIR, DMA, SEM/EDX, and EIS. The results show that there was no detected under film corrosion and the adhesion values were acceptable. Further, the analysis showed that the product has undergone some ageing, however, the barrier properties of the coating system are still excellent.
With many new offshore wind projects underway it is important that the industry provides knowledge and experience from offshore Oil&Gas to ensure long-term corrosion protection under offshore conditions to enable a sustainable service life.
Offshore wind farms are important contributions to the growing need for the generation of renewable energy. The number of offshore wind farms is growing, and multiple projects are under planning and construction around the world. One key element for a profitable and sustainable operation of offshore wind farms is that the installations are protected with the most cost-effective corrosion protective solution for the entire lifetime of the offshore wind farm. In practice, this means that today's projects are planned with an estimated lifetime of a minimum of 35 years without major maintenance of the corrosion protective solution. To achieve this it is instrumental that the entire lifetime cost is considered when a corrosion protective solution is selected.