Glass flake coatings could mean the end of offshore wind substructure surface maintenance
Glass Flake Polyester (GFP) coatings provide over 30 years of maintenance-free corrosion protection in the splash zone of offshore assets, according to a new independent report from classification society DNV.
The study shows that Baltoflake, a GFP solution developed by leading coating manufacturer Jotun, provides decades of protection for offshore wind substructures and reduces life cycle costs by up to 50%.
The high performance coating is ideal for deployment in the offshore wind sector, where strong corrosion resistance and excellent mechanical properties are required.
DNV inspected a section of casing from a North Sea oil rig that was installed in 1972 and decommissioned in 2020. Jotun’s Baltoflake coating was applied to the rig in the late 1970s. 1980 and, despite more than 30 years of exposure to the harsh North Sea environment, analysis revealed that the coating at the splash zone was intact, still smooth and showed no signs of delamination.
Ismail Tan, Global Category Manager – new construction primers, at Jotun said: “Although glass flake coatings have been used in the energy industry for over 40 years, there has traditionally been very little research on the long-term benefits of the material. However, by partnering with DNV on this report, we now have the relevant field data needed to demonstrate the full life cycle protection performance of Baltoflake’s assets.
“Baltoflake removes the requirement for offshore wind developers to undertake expensive repairs or replacements due to corrosion. By reducing overall maintenance costs and downtime, we can allow operators to focus their efforts on producing clean energy. »
According to recent figures, installed offshore wind capacity worldwide is expected to reach 630 gigawatts (GW) by 2050, up from 40 GW in 2020.
However, with declining global steel stocks and production following the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine stalling about 10% of global steel trade, the cost of steel is skyrocketing as availability is decreasing, putting pressure on offshore wind projects.
Offshore wind developers face an increased risk of price increases due to the large size of the turbines, longer foundation structures and substation requirements. However, with offshore turbines designed to last 20 to 25 years, solutions like Baltoflake have the potential to extend the life of new and existing turbines by more than 10 years, reducing life cycle costs by 50% in the process.
Introduced in the 1970s, Baltoflake was one of the first performance coating products targeted for deployment in the offshore environment. The coating contains glass flake materials embedded in polyester to create a structure 5 to 20 times more waterproof than resin alone.
Glass flake coatings have exceptional corrosion resistance to a wide range of acids, alkalis, solvents and saline solutions, while displaying excellent thermal stability.
With decades of experience protecting assets in the harshest environments, Jotun, headquartered in Sandefjord, Norway, is a global leader in coatings for offshore structures. The company has been developing high performance coatings for the offshore industry for over 50 years.
The report will be launched at this year’s ONS show in Stavanger, where Jotun can be found at stand 7540.