Indenspect Blog - Industrial Coating Selection Guide: 3 Questions to Ask

Choosing the best protective coating system requires careful consideration. You have hundreds of coating options, each with its own attributes. We understand that researching can be tedious, but durable and reliable tank protection is worth the effort, justifying the investment in time and resources.

Questions to Ask When Choosing the Right Coating

As an asset owner, knowing the answers to these essential questions will guide you to the most effective, long-lasting coating for your industrial tanks.

1. What are the operating conditions?

To select the optimal coating for your tanks, you must first consider the conditions in which they operate. Determine the temperature ranges, humidity levels, exposure to chemicals or corrosive elements, and frequency of temperature or environmental changes. Coatings have different functions and limitations, so understanding operating parameters is critical.

For example, polyurethane coatings offer excellent chemical resistance and produce high-gloss cosmetic finishes. However, they are vulnerable to yellowing or discoloration, and polyurethanes are extremely flammable if exposed to high temperatures or certain chemicals.

You should also consider the contents of your tanks and their compatibility with various coating systems. Some resins are unsuitable for tanks storing strong solvents, highly acidic or alkaline chemicals, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Call Industrial Inspection Group at 480-993-8999 to discuss coatings compatibility and narrow your options. We can help you avoid issues with application and performance, as well as reduce long-term costs from frequent recoating or disastrous tank failures.

2. What regulations must the coating meet?

Tanks containing hazardous or volatile chemicals, drinking water, or any other substance should comply with environmental and safety directives to mitigate safety risks. For instance:

  • High-temperature coatings, like high-performance epoxy and silicone resin systems, preserve tanks used in power generation, refining and petrochemical, and other industrial processes involving elevated temperatures. These specialty coatings form a barrier that adheres to metal substrates and resists degradation from heat, chemicals, and abrasion. They help prevent explosions and fire propagation by ensuring tank equipment and installations meet fire ratings and hazardous location standards.
  • 100% solids epoxy coatings are the new standard for potable water tanks. They have no harmful organic vapors and inhibit contamination by blocking the ingress of moisture and chemicals. Moreover, 100% solids epoxy is in accordance with NSF 600, which aims to reduce the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of widely used solvents in coating formulations.

Choosing a coating that complies with all necessary regulations is essential to ensuring safety, environmental responsibility, and maximum performance. Get in touch with Industrial Inspection Group to work with Certified Protective Coatings Specialists who can help you determine the requirements for your specific tank application.

3. What are the expectations in terms of service life?

High-quality coating solutions provide lasting protection and lower upkeep costs throughout the desired service life under typical operating conditions. Ask about the coating’s average service life and all factors impacting longevity, such as UV vulnerability, temperature extremes, abrasion, and chemical exposure.

Also, inquire about options for extending the life expectancy of protective coatings, including but not limited to:

  • Surface preparation before coating application.
  • Conducting routine inspections to spot early signs of damage or wear.
  • Performing touch-ups or spot repairs to address problem areas that develop over time.
  • Completely recoating or relining a tank to restore protection once the previous coating is damaged beyond repair or reaches the end of its life.

A Word to the Wise

As you evaluate your protective coating options, remember to ask the right questions to identify the optimal solution for your assets. The coatings you invest in will impact your storage tanks’ safety, compliance, and performance for decades. If you need help, contact us to discuss your requirements and operating parameters. We can provide coating recommendations with the functionality, durability, and service life adapted to your needs.