Coatings and the environment are intrinsically connected. The functionality of coatings whether to prevent corrosion, fouling or to meet other functional needs of an asset (e.g. chemical or abrasion resistance) has an impact on the environment on many levels, from the manufacturing of paints and associated consumables, through to their use and end of life disposal as waste.
The coating process itself comprises both surface preparation and application and creates a considerable environmental impact in terms of emissions from noise, dust/grit and from solvents, biocides and as well as hazardous waste such as contaminated grit, paint cans and contaminated consumables.
Emissions during construction and major repairs predominantly impact the air and the land while in service many “marine based” structures can produce a significant impact in the form of emissions to the sea as well as having a considerable impact on GHG emissions (from ships) and the translocation of invasive species (Ballast Water or Hull Borne).
These factors combined with the increasing impact of regulations on the use of biocides, heavy metals, solvent content and chemical safety, pose considerable challenges to manufacturers, applicators and end users of the coatings.
The on-going maintenance and repair activities pose additional concerns with respect to Health and Safety as well often being undertaken in less controlled facilities which could result in an increased environmental burden from these processes when compared to the construction phase, when total asset life cycle is considered.
Over 20 years Safinah has undertaken a range of assignments for clients to assist them in meeting the challenges. Assignments have included:
– Reformulation of coatings to eliminate harmful substances e.g. biocides, lead, solvents, heavy metals etc.
– Coating activity audits to identify opportunities for the reduction on HS&E
– Vessel performance monitoring to reduce GHG emissions
– Functional coating specification and product selection to minimize through life maintenance and repair costs and effort.
– Development of emission scenario forecasts and reports
– R&D activities to provide better understanding of the environmental impact of coatings at new construction and in operation.
– Regulatory updates and environmental impact studies.