Background of IMM Task Force on Coatings Fingerprinting

Updated by IMM Polymer Committee on 15th November 2016


Can polymeric products have a MILL CERTIFICATE like metals?

Are QUALITY and SAFETY not a major concern in our industry and our daily lives?

Do we need a catastrophe or fatality to occur before someone says “we should have foreseen this could happen”?

Corrosion of METALS is known to be the biggest culprit in catastrophes and fatalities when they fail despite having MILL CERTIFICATES (FINGERPRINTS). Therefore, it is generally assumed that even with a Coatings Fingerprinting, paint failures would still be anticipated. The only known result of poor quality paint supply is the increase in costs of repair and maintenance.

Should the industry allow non-conforming paints to be supplied just because the price of non-conformance is not a direct cause of leak or structural failure?

The Malaysian oil & gas industry had been focusing on the paint quality control inspection, surface preparation (abrasive blasting) and paint spraying application techniques & skills since 1990 to improve coating performance. IMM has identified three possible causes of paint failures:-

(i) painting work inspection,
(ii) Surface preparation & paint application, and
(iii) paint supply.

This led to the development of IMM Coatings Inspector Certification program in 1990 to improve the quality of local painting inspectors. In 2000, IMM developed the IMM Blaster & Painter Certification program to improve the quality of blasters & painters. Despite efforts to improve quality in these 2 skill sets, coating failures continue to get worse. Thus, the oil & gas industry now realizes that the coating materials can be another factor causing the failures.

However, there was widespread perception within the oil and gas industry that certification of polymeric coatings was not possible because the expertise on spectroscopic analyses and interpretation of results for such purpose were not available back then. Hence, the provision of Coating Fingerprint Certificate for polymeric coatings supplied to the oil and gas companies did not materialize.

This turnkey industry-academia project has been highlighting the practicality of the fingerprinting of the polymeric coatings as one of the effective approaches for QA & QC tools for the enhancement of the overall painting coating quality assurance. The Fourier-transform infra red (FTIR) spectroscopy technique enables paint manufacturers and customers to be assured that the paint products supplied from reputable paint manufacturers were not tampered. Customers can now be assured that the overall quality of paint they had purchased will not be affected, regardless of the raw materials sourcing. The progress on Coating Fingerprint Certificate in Malaysia is presented in Table 1.