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Marine Log

March 14, 2007

Lloyd's Register introduces new coatings notations

Lloyd's Register is introducing a new series of ShipRight notations based on anti-corrosion systems.

The notations are a response to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) recently adopted Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) for water ballast tanks and to the imminent adoption of other coatings standards for void spaces, cargo oil tanks and through-life maintenance of coatings.

David Howarth, Global Technology Leader, Materials, Welding and NDE at Lloyd's Register, said: "IMO has raised the need for awareness of corrosion issues through the introduction of a PSPC, and other coatings standards will follow. Lloyd's Register believes that the introduction of the ShipRight Anti-Corrosion Systems [ACS] notation will help to enhance the quality of the coatings applied and thereby the safety of the vessel, by recognizing the correct design, application and maintenance of coatings and other anti-corrosion systems."

Initially, the new notation will confirm compliance with, and Lloyd's Register's verification of, the IMO PSPC and will be in the form of ShipRight ACS ( ). Letters in parentheses will denote different anti-corrosion systems, as follows:

(B) IMO PSPC requirements for water ballast tanks
(D) IMO PSPC requirements for double side skin spaces of bulk carriers.

As IMO develops further PSPCs, the notation will be expanded to include:

(V) IMO PSPC requirements for void spaces
(C) IMO PSPC requirements for cargo oil tanks
(M) Coating maintenance requirements

Other ACS notations will be added as procedures are developed.

The new notation will immediately replace the existing ShipRight PCWBT (Protective Coatings in Water Ballast Tanks) descriptive note for oil tankers and bulk carriers built to the Common Structural Rules and will be expanded to cover all ships as the IMO PSPC comes into force for all ships contracted on or after July 1, 2008.

The target life for such coatings is now 15 years, which far exceeds that currently agreed by the yards and paint manufacturers.

This increase in coatings life necessitates improvements in the quality of surface preparation, coating application and inspection, and Lloyd's Register says that its involvement in the verification process will enhance the quality of these processes.

Paint manufacturers also have new responsibilities to make certain their processes meet the minimum standard to ensure that their coatings are consistent and meet the testing requirements of the performance standard. Lloyd's Register will issue type approval certificates to indicate this.

For the first time, a major emphasis will be placed on coatings inspectors and their qualifications. Lloyd's Register will also be involved in this process, both confirming the accepted coatings inspector qualifications of industry professional bodies NACE and FROSIO and reviewing qualifications considered equivalent.