Standards Based on Experience

By: Kendall Smith, Induron Power Market Manager

When I began working in the coatings industry in 1982, standards specifically developed for the electric utility industry’s transmission and distribution (T&D) coatings market did not exist. Specifically, coating standards for electric substations (equipment and structures) high-voltage transmission structures (monopoles and lattice towers/pylons) and for “flow-coating” large transformers were lacking.

Fast forward to 2020, and the addition of multiple standards for coatings work empowers those involved to achieve excellent results for T&D projects. Many organizations, such as NACE/IEEE, have published standards over the last decade. Other global organizations, such as ISO, have contributed valuable standards and specifications to the cause.

The global standards for T&D coatings had to be written generically and without favoritism toward a particular brand or type of coating. However, the standards could be written based on what coating system has proved to perform the best based on many decades of performance.  

With long-term proven coatings technology, tested and proven contractors, and recently developed and published NACE/IEEE global standards for T&D coatings application, high-quality coatings projects like the one featured in this video are possible. 

The coatings used on this particular T&D project were developed in the 1950s and formulated with ingredients that provide the electric utility with the lowest possible cost per square foot per year based on the proven performance of thousands of similar projects over the decades. 

Prior to the 1950s, T&D coatings work occurred, but with thinner film coatings that did not last very long. Because nearly 50 percent of the T&D structures in the United States have been previously coated, the current versions of T&D coatings must perform well as both surface-tolerant coatings and as “overcoating” materials. Plus, the ability of the coatings to “wet-out” the marginally-cleaned substrate, provide excellent barrier protection, offer a low-stress solution, and be thick enough to seal up the rusted areas and old coatings is imperative.

Though T&D coatings application does not involve complicated application or surface prep equipment, it is physically demanding. It requires the applicators to have the highest degree of safety training and focus. Selecting contractors based on proven performance with this type of work is critical. The standards tell you how to make sure you select the most qualified applicators. 

Induron only works with the best of these contractors. “Getting it right” is who we are. Not just what we do. You can count on Induron for extreme asset protection

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