Cargo hold coatings – What can go wrong?
The cargo holds (excluding the tank tops) of bulk carriers are typically coated with specialist abrasion resistant coatings to provide protection against corrosion, pitting and cargo contamination.
It is generally standard practice to leave the tank tops either in bare steel, or the newbuild thin film shop primer as any coating applied would get badly damaged by cargo loading and discharging operations. Therefore, ship builders normally build in a “corrosion allowance” or extra thickness of the tank top steel plates to allow for some general corrosion facilitated by the lack of protective coatings. For all areas other than the tank top a protective coating is applied.
However, these coatings are exposed to a very aggressive climate that can cause significant damages to the coatings, particularly if they have been poorly applied and/or maintained explains Carl Barnes, Head of Marine Consulting – Safinah Group.