ABS is assisting shipbuilders, ship owners and operators prepare for the new IMO mandated Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) (IMO MSC 215(82)) by issuing a completely revised and expanded edition of its Guidance Notes on Inspection, Maintenance and Application of Marine Coatings. The IMO standards take effect on 1 July 2008 and will apply to the dedicated seawater ballast tanks on all ships of not less than 500 gross tons for which the building contract is placed on or after 1 July 2008; or, in the absence of a building contract, the keels of which are laid on or after 1 January 2009. The standards also apply to the double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers of 150m in length and upwards.
The guidance provided by ABS covers both the technical requirements of the new regulations and the role coatings play in contributing to the longevity of the structure. They also take into account the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Procedural Requirement (PR34) that specifically addresses the application of the new IMO standards. Shipyards are already gearing up to meet the new IMO standards as the ten members of IACS, late last year jointly agreed to advance the 1 July 2008 implementation date for tankers and bulk carriers subject to the new IACS Common Structural Rules (CSR). The new coatings standards apply to all CSR ships for which the orders have been placed on or after 8 December 2006. Construction of the first CSR vessel ordered to ABS class to which the new standards apply is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2008.
The updated ABS Guidance Notes address the fundamentals of coating technology as applied to ship structures, and the regulatory requirements for coatings in ballast tanks, void spaces, cargo tanks, cargo holds and outer hull anti-fouling systems. The chemistry and mechanics of corrosion are explained and methods of surface preparation are introduced along with safety guidance and a matrix detailing the advantages or disadvantages of each method. Factors such as human error, environmental conditions, surface preparation, contaminants, film thicknesses and the method of application all play a role in determining a coating’s effectiveness. To aid in the assessment of how coatings perform, the ABS Guidance Notes illustrate typical failures and provide advice on appropriate repair and maintenance strategies.