Many Resident Engineers for major building projects nowadays echo the sentiment that ‘Painting amounts to 10% of the job but provides 90% of the problems.’ Yet at the same time there are, unquestionably, large areas of coated steelwork withstanding the most adverse conditions for surprisingly long periods. A typical example is the coating of offshore platforms in the North Sea. Even in less exotic circumstances, for example bridge structures inland, engineers have successfully extended repainting cycles by as much as three times compared with practices of only twenty years ago. The majority of coatings used nowadays have considerably improved properties over the materials used then. However, this is not the sole reason for the success. The following factors have become even more important than previously:
(i) Coating specifications should say what they mean and mean what they say. See Chapter 8. (ii) Coating manufacturers’ recommendations regarding application and suitability of their products for the relevant
conditions should be followed as closely as possible. See Chapter 14. (iii) Materials supplied should be of a consistent standard of quality. See Chapter 16. (iv) Surface preparation should be no more or no less than is required to achieve the specified durability. See Chapter 3. (v) Because of the variable performance that can be obtained owing to sometimes even minor differences in the preparation
and application process, the whole operation, ideally, should be monitored by a competent and qualified coating inspector. See Chapter 9.